The Chicago Bears struck early and often, scoring three first-half touchdowns, then added another score late in the third quarter to build a 28-10 lead over the Seattle Seahawks in their NFC divisional playoff game today at snowy Soldier Field.
Quarterback Jay Cutler hit tight end Greg Olsen with a 58-yard touchdown pass less than three minutes into the game, and the Bears used another Cutler-Olsen connection to set up another first-quarter TD.
The Bears added a third touchdown early in the second quarter, and took a 21-0 lead into halftime, as the Seahawks struggled to move the ball against the vaunted Chicago defense in far-from-ideal weather conditions.
Game-time temperature was 25 degrees, with snow falling. The Seahawks punted on all seven of their first-half possessions, and again on their first possession of the second half.
The Bears had no such struggles. They gained 238 total yards to 96 for the Seahawks in the first half, and had 11 first downs to Seattle’s six. Neither team turned the ball over.
Chicago put together a long third-quarter touchdown drive, taking nearly eight minutes to move 70 yards in 14 plays. Cutler covered the final nine yards for a 28-0 lead with 4:18 toplay in the third period.
Then, thanks to a 62-yard kickoff return by Leon Washington to the Bears’ 30-yard line, the Seahawks made their deepest penetration of the game. But on fourth-and-nine from the Chicago 12 – despite trailing by four touchdowns – the Seahawks opted for a 30-yard Olindo Mare field goal to make it 28-3.
In the first half, the Cutler-Olsen touchdown came on the their third offensive play of the game after the Seahawks received the opening kickoff, ran three plays and punted.
The second Chicago score, a one-yard run by Chester Taylor, capped an eight-play, 50-yard drive with 1:19 left in the first quarter. Devin Hester’s 26-yard punt return set the Bears up at midfield. A 33-yard Cutler-to-Olsen pass was the key play in the drive.
The Bears’ third touchdown, a six-yard scramble by Cutler on a third-down play, completed a nine-play, 63-yard drive with 10:01 left in the first half.
Seahawks tight end John Carlson was injured during the Seahawks’ second possession after catching a 14-yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck, and was removed from the field on a stretcher. Carlson was taken to the hospital for observation.
In the third quarter, Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant was hurt making a tackle, and also was taken off on a stretcher.