Seahawks Missed chances and broken dreams

Snow flurries and dropped passes.

That was the story for the Seattle Seahawks season-ending loss, a 35-24 defeat at Chicago in the Division Playoffs. Well, that and one consistently uncovered opposing tight end. Bears’ tight end Greg Olsen had more yards of total offense in the first half than the entire Seahawks team combined, and Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler outrushed Seattle’s team.

The Seahawks trailed by four touchdowns before they ever got the ball inside Chicago’s 40-yard line as Seattle — the ultimate underdog as the first team in 28 years to make the playoffs with a losing record — was unceremoniously bounced from the NFL’s postseason party.

Seattle trailed 28-0 before it scored, and is now 1-8 all-time in road playoff games. Receiver Mike Williams scored Seattle’s only two touchdowns, but the Seahawks were never closer than 18 points in the second half.

It was a rather inglorious conclusion to Seattle’s unexpected postseason run, and just a little unexpected. While Seattle was the largest underdog in the playoffs for a second consecutive weekend, the Bears were the one playoff team that Seattle beat during the regular season, winning in Chicago 23-20 on Oct. 17.

There wasn’t much danger of a repeat on Sunday, though. Not given Seattle’s inability to move the ball in this game where the first half was played amid constant snow flurries.

The Seahawks didn’t complete a pass longer than 14 yards in the first three quarters, and that was a first-quarter pass to John Carlson, which resulted in a head injury that knocked Seattle’s starting tight end out of the game.

The defense didn’t help, either. Chicago’s first turnover came on a fourth-quarter trick play as linebacker Aaron Curry intercepted a pass thrown by running back Matt Forte. That set up a touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck to Mike Williams, which made the score 28-10.

Dropped passes were consistent problem for Seattle as tight end Cameron Morrah, and receivers Brandon Stokley and Williams all had passes bounced off their hands.

Matt Forte led the Bears in rushing, but Cutler — the quarterback — had 46 yards with 3 minutes remaining, which more than Seattle’s team total at that point. Cutler also scored two touchdowns.

The Seahawks had just 96 yards of total offense in the first half and never had a credible scoring threat.

The Bears scored on their third play from scrimmage, a 58-yard touchdown pass to Olsen. It was the second-longest pass ever given up by Seattle in a playoff game.

Olsen caught three passes for 113 yards in the first half. Chester Taylor scored on a 1-yard run, and Cutler scrambled for two touchdowns.

The Bears led 28-0 after Cutler’s second touchdown, which was scored with 4:12 left in the third quarter.

Leon Washington returned the ensuing kickoff 62 yards, giving Seattle a first down at the Chicago 30. It was the farthest Seattle had advanced the ball into Chicago territory because while the Seahawks advanced farther than anyone could have expected this season, they didn’t get too far in Chicago on Sunday.

At least not until it was too late.