The stage was set for Pete Carroll to make history, as his Seattle Seahawks marched into Soldier Field Sunday to take on the Chicago Bears in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.
The Seahawks had met with the Bears in week six of the regular season, winning that matchup 23-20, but things were different this time around, as the Bears got off to a quick 21-0 start in the first half before cruising to a 35-21 victory.
But before falling in defeat, Seattle made one final valiant effort.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Seahawks, who were looking at a 25-point deficit, saw quarterback Matt Hasselbeck connect with wide receiver Mike Williams for one of his two touchdowns around the 11-minute mark.
The play appeared to ignite the Seahawks’ offense and revive the 35-year-old Hasselbeck, as he went on to throw two more touchdown passes before the team’s comeback attempt was stopped.
Trailing by 11 with less than two minutes remaining on the clock, the Seahawks attempted an onside kick, but were unable to recover it ending the game, in which the Bears punched their ticket to the NFC Championship game for the first time since 2007.
The Bears were quite effective against Seattle’s running game, one week after Marshawn Lynch amassed 131 yards on the ground, including an explosive 67-yard touchdown run in the team’s 41-36 win over the New Orleans Saints.
The most impressive Seahawk of the afternoon, behind Hasslebeck’s 258 yards, may have been wide receiver Brandon Stokely who finished with eight catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.
However, Stokely’s performed looked mild in comparison to Bears’ tight end Greg Golson, who totaled 113 yards, three receptions and a touchdown. Quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 274 yards and two touchdown passes, while running for another.
The Bears will host the Green Bay Packers next week at 12 p.m. PST on FOX with the winner earning a trip to Super Bowl XLV.