Date: January 16, 2011
Venue: Soldier Field
The Chicago Bears, scoring on three of their first four possessions, squashed Seattles hopes of hosting the NFC Championship Game next Sunday at Qwest Field with a dominating 35-24 rout of the Seahawks at Soldier Field on Sunday. The Bears raced to a 21-0 halftime lead and had a 28-0 advantage in the third quarter as they toyed with the Seahawks before 10-point underdog Seattle scored two late TDs (Matt Hasselbeck scoring passes to Mike Williams and Brandon Stokley, and a field goal by Olindo Mare). Had Seattle, the NFC West champion prevailed, the Seahawks would have hosted the Green Bay Packers in the conference title game next Sunday.
Star Of The Game
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler ran for a pair of scores and threw two touchdown passes, a 58-yarder to Greg Olsen and a 39-yarder to Kellen Davis. Cutler’s two rushing touchdowns made him the first opposing quarterback to twice run for TDs in a playoff game against Seattle (only other quarterback to run for a TD vs. Seattle in the postseason: Ben Roethislisberger of Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XL). Cutler finished with 274 passing yards and 43 rushing yards, outgaining Seattle all by himself on the ground. The Seahawks rushed for just 34 yards. Cutler’s 43 rushing yards are the most in a playoff game by a Bears quarterback since Sid Luckman had 63 against Washington in 1943. Cutler also became the first quarterback to throw for two TDs and run for two in a playoff game since Otto Graham in 1955 (Graham also did it in 1954).
Play of the game
Cutler’s 58-yard TD pass to Greg Olsen at the 12:17 mark of the first quarter set the tone for a Bears offense that outgained Seattle 437 yards to 276.
Misplay of the game
Lawyer Milloy bit on what he thought would be an underneath throw from Cutler to Olsen, who blew by Milloy and caught a 58-yard touchdown pass that gave momentum to Chicago.
- Matt Hasselbeck: Completed 26 of 46 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns, two to Mike Williams and one to Brandon Stokley; finished the game with a passer rating 94.3, but didn’t really get anything going until the second half when the Seahawks were playing catch-up.
- Brandon Stokley: Led the Seahawks in receiving with 8 catches (targeted 11 times) for 85 yards and a touchdown.
- Mike Williams: Targeted 13 times, made just four catches due to heavy coverage, but turned two of those four grabs into touchdowns.
- Leon Washington: Ran once for 9 yards, caught one pass for 10 yards and returned 5 kickoffs 143 yards, a 28.6-yard average.
- David Hawthorne: Led the Seahawks with 9 tackles, including 8 solo stops.
- Lofa Tatupu: Made 7 tackles (5 solo), recorded a sack and had a quarterback hit.
- Brandon Mebane: Made 6 solo tackles, including two for loss.
- Chris Clemons: Had 5 tackles (4 solo), registered a sack and a quarterback hit.
- Raheem Brock: Had 2 tackles (1 solo), a sack and two quarterback hits.
- Aaron Curry: Made 2 solo tackles, broke up a pass and intercepted a Jay Cutler pass.
- Marshawn Lynch: One week after his 131-yard rushing effort against New Orleans, ran for just 2 yards on 4 carries.
- The Seahawks rushed for just 34 yards (Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had 46), the third-lowest total in a playoff game in club history (the Seahawks ran for 28 yards in a 2008 playoff loss at Green Bay).
- When the Seahawks fell behind 21-0 in the first half, it matched a Seattle postseason record for largest intermission deficit (also down 21-0 to Cincinnati in 1988).
- The 58-yard Cutler-to-Olsen TD pass marked the second-longest ever yielded by the Seahawks in a postseason game (trailed a 68-yard TD from Chicago’s Rex Grossman to Bernard Berrian on Jan. 14, 2007).
- The Seahawks gave up 3 receptions for 113 yards to Chicago’s Greg Olsen in the first half. Had the Bears needed to pass in the second half, Olsen could have obliterated the most opponent playoff receiving yards against Seattle — 123 by Hines Ward of Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XL.
- Seattle’s leading rusher: wide receiver Golden Tate, 1 carry for 13 yards.
- The Seahawks averaged just 5.3 yards per pass attempt, the Bears 9.0.
- The Bears had possession for 37:10, the Seahawks for just 22:50.
- After the Bears opened up a 28-3 lead in the third quarter, the Seahawks finally found some offensive traction. Following an Aaron Curry interception early in the fourth quarter, Matt Hasselbeck led Seattles first sustained drive of the game, which resulted in Hasselbecks two-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams. The Bears promptly responded with a touchdown pass from Cutler to Kellen Davis covering 39 yards. Hasselbeck answered with a 3-yard TD pass to Williams and a 9-yard scoring toss to Brandon Stokley to make the final score 35-24.
- Justin Forsett: Ran 4 times for 9 yards, caught 3 passes for 25
- Lawyer Milloy: Made 7 solo tackles, but got turned around covering Greg Olsen early in the game and got burned for a 58-yard touchdown.
- Olindo Mare Made his only field goal try, from 30 yards, and added 3 extra points.
- “It took a long time for them to … fight and compete and do the things we want them to do. I would have loved to have got this game today that so many people didn’t think we could. I see where we’re going and I’m proud of that.” — Pete Carroll, Seahawks coach, after the 35-24 loss
- John Carlson: Suffered a game-ending head injury on Seattle’s first offensive series in the first quarter.
- Marcus Trufant: Carted off the field in the third quarter with a head injury and did not return.
- 9: Punts for Jon Ryan of the Seahawks, a record for a postseason game. Old record: 8, by Jeff West against the Los Angeles Raiders on Dec. 22, 1984, in the Kingdome.
- 4: Dropped passes by the Seahawks.
- 1: Rushing first downs by the Seahawks — out of their 14 total.
- 1,2,3: In their last three postseason games, the Seahawks have allowed the most, the second-most, and third-most points they’ve ever allowed in a postseason game. They allowed 35 points to the Bears Sunday, the third-most they’ve allowed in a playoff game. Most: 42 in a 2007 NFC Divisional game against the Packers; second most: 36 to the Saints last week.
1 — TD (Chicago), 12:17, 7-0: 58-yard pass from Jay Cutler to Greg Olson (Robbie Gould kick), 3 plays, 66 yards.
1 — TD (Chicago), 1:19, 14-0: Chester Taylor 1-yard run (Robbie Gould kick), 8 plays, 50 yards.
2 — TD (Chicago), 10:01, 21-0: Jay Cutler 6-yard run (Robbie Gould kick), 9 plays, 63 yards.
3 — TD (Chicago), 4:18, 28-0: Jay Cutler 9-yard run (Robbie Gould kick), 14 plays, 70 yards.
3 — FG (Seattle), 1:57, 28-3: Olindo Mare 30-yard field goal, 7 plays, 18 yards.
4 — TD (Seattle), 11:25, 28-10: Mike Williams 2-yard TD pass from Matt Hasselbeck, 9 plays, 33 yards.
4: TD (Chicago), 4:40, 35-10: Kellen Davis 39-yard TD pass from Jay Cutler (Robbie, 2 plays Gould kick), 3 plays, 48 yards.
4: TD (Seattle), 2:19, 35-17: Mike Williams 3-yard TD pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Olindo Mare kick), 7 plays, 74 yards.
4: TD (Seattle), 1:27, 35-24: Brandon Stokley 9 yard TD pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Olindo Mare kick), 2 plays, 55 yards.