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article imageNFL: Bears defense dominates to keep Super Bowl hopes alive

By Kristofor Molson     Jan 16, 2011 in Sports
Chicago - The Bears could not close out the Packers in weeks 16 to keep them out of the playoffs, but will face them again next week for a trip to Super Bowl XLV.
With the fire power that the Seattle Seahawks (7-9) put up last week in an upset against the defending Super Bowl Champ Saints, they lacked it today until the fourth quarter. The Chicago Bears (11-5) came out on defense and dominated the Seahawks from the jump and with Jay Cutler (15/28 274 yds, 2 TD’s) protecting the ball throwing no interceptions.
The Seahawks won the toss and elected to receive only to punt it away to the Bears. From their own 34 yard line the Bears took no time in scoring going 66 yards in 1:17 with 3 plays to score on a 58 yard pass to Greg Olson (3 rec, 113 yds, 1 TD).
The Seahawks could muster points in the first half and looked stagnant punting almost the whole game. The Seahawks’ offense could only gain a total of 45 yards the whole first quarter to the Bears 137, and scored another touchdown to close out the first quarter. The Bears went on a 5:24, 8 play drive spanning 50 yards to get in the end zone. Mixing the game plan up with run and pass plays, the bears got in on a 1 yard run by Chester Taylor (11 car, 44 yds, 1 TD). The first quarter ended with the Bears leading the Seahawks 14 – 0.
The second quarter was pretty quiet with both defenses trying to establish their dominance, but the Seahawks falter once and the Bears took advantage. With a 9 play 63 yard drive that lasted 4:11, the Bears scored with Jay Cutler (8 car, 43 yds, 2 TD’s) doing it himself taking it in from 6 yards out. After the play a few more punts and the half was over with the Bears going into halftime up 21 – 0.
After watching the Steelers vs. Ravens yesterday come back from 21 down maybe the Seahawks can do it too, but they put their fight up a bit too late.
The Bears got the ball to start the second half, but could not do much against the Seahawks defense so they had to give it up with a punt. The Seahawks turned around and gave it right back only to have the Bears take it to them on a 7:59 play drive that took 14 plays to go 70 yards. Cutler ran it in again for his second score to boost the lead to 28 – 0.
The Seahawks got another chance to score but ended up with a field goal by Olindo Mare to finally put them on the board at 3. The drive took them 7 plays to 18 yards in 2:20 minutes do to good field position for the first time all game.
The fourth quarter is where we finally saw the Seahawks offense catch some steam and almost make a comeback putting up 21 points in the quarter. The Seahawks scored first after the Bears tried a trick play having Matt Forte (0/1, int) throw the ball to Devin Hester (2 rec, 4 yds). The Seahawks were not fooled and linebacker Aaron Curry (2 tack, 1 int) intercepted the pass to give them good field position. With the ball on the Chicago 33, the Seahawks went 33 yards in 9 plays to score their first touchdown of the game in 2:01 with a pass to Mike Williams (4 rec, 15 yds, 2 TD’s) from Matt Hasselbeck (26/46 258 yds, 3 TD’s) for 2 yards.
Chicago got on the board in the fourth quarter for the only touchdown in the period with a pass from Cutler to Kellen Davis (2 rec, 42 yds, 1 TD). Cutler hit Davis on a 39 yard pass to finish their 1:37 drive that took all of 3 plays. That touchdown put the Bears up 35 to 10.
Then the comeback looked like it was on the Seahawks struck quick with a pass to Mike Williams for a touchdown with less than five minutes to play. Cornerback Charles Tillman looked like he had the interceptions in front of WIlliams only to have the ball bounce off his hands, and into the hands of Williams for a touchdown. The Seahawks tried an onside kick that hit a Bears player in the leg and bounced back towards them, but could not recover.
The Bears with control looked to close the game out running but Seattle had timeouts to extend the game. The Bears went four plays and out to give the ball right back to the Seahawks with good field position because of an unnecessary roughness penalty by Olin Kreutz.
The Seahawks struck quick with a 2 play 55 yard drive that took all of 27 seconds. First Hasselbeck hit Ben Obomanu with a 46 yard pass and no huddle hit Brandon Stokley on a quick route from 9 yards out to close the gap 24 – 35.
The Seahawks needed another onside kick but failed to recover it and with no timeouts left the Seahawks could do nothing but watch as Cutler down the ball to run the clock out and seal a rematch with the Green Bay Packers next week in the NFC Championship.
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