Seahawks overpower Bears in the second half
Seattle scores 31 unanswered points after halftime to beat Chicago, 38-14, and remain in the playoff hunt.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Can Seahawks make the playoffs?The short answer is yes, as a wild-card team, and Seattle's most likely chance is to win its final two games and for Detroit to lose its last two. The teams' opponents:
• vs. 49ers (10-3)
• @ Cardinals (7-7)
• vs. Chargers (6-7)
• @ Packers (13-1)
CHICAGO — The first half of Sunday's game was like the first half of the Seahawks' season.
Yep, it was that bad.
It also wasn't the whole story. Not even close. The second half is what decided Seattle's 38-14 victory over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, just as it's the second half that is coming to define this season for the Seahawks.
Seattle scored 31 consecutive points in the final 30 minutes of Sunday's game, which sustained the Seahawks' playoff chances for at least another week.
"If you're going to be a terrific program," coach Pete Carroll said, "you've got to figure that out: how to finish the season."
On Sunday, Seattle showed it knows how to finish a game that for the first 30 minutes it appeared to have little interest in winning. The Seahawks had only one play longer than 15 yards in the first half, the only time they had the ball in the Bears' half of the field was because of a Chicago turnover, and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson fumbled a ball in the end zone that the Bears recovered for a touchdown.
The Seahawks weren't just half bad those first two quarters; they were pretty uniformly awful. At halftime, Chicago quarterback Caleb Hanie had almost as many rushing yards (21) as Seattle's Marshawn Lynch (27), and his 25-yard pass to running back Khalil Bell had given the Bears a seven-point lead that felt bigger than it actually was.
"That's one score," said Seahawks receiver Golden Tate. "That's one big play by the defense, special teams or us (on offense)."
How about all of the above?
The Seahawks defense returned two interceptions for touchdowns, and punt returner Leon Washington set up a touchdown with a 36-yard punt return in the fourth quarter. And the offense came out firing, gaining 33 yards on a pass to Tate on its third play of the half and 43 more on a throw to Ben Obomanu to set up Lynch's second touchdown run of the game.
That was just the beginning, though.
Defensive end Red Bryant ran away from the Bears when he returned a third-quarter interception for a touchdown. The same could be said for the entire Seattle team, which scored two touchdowns in a span of 50 seconds in the third quarter and turned the Bears on their ear.
Thirty-one unanswered points is a closing argument no jury can dispute, even on a day when Lynch was held to 42 yards rushing. Certainly not on a day in which the Seahawks defense intercepted four passes, recovered one fumble and scored two touchdowns, compared to only one for the Bears' offense.
"You can't win with five turnovers," Chicago coach Lovie Smith said. "It's as simple as that."
It was more than just turnovers, though. It was Jackson, who, after completing four passes for 51 yards in the first half, threw for 77 yards on Seattle's first possession of the second half.
It was also about the defense sacking Hanie three times in the second half, as the Seahawks did their best to make the Bears' backup quarterback feel like a piñata.
"It's a perfect situation," said defensive end Raheem Brock, who had two of Seattle's four sacks. "The offense has got to pass the ball, and as a defense, we're just trying to tee off."
As a result, the Bears spent the final 30 minutes of this telling game in the woodshed. Those six losses in Seattle's first eight games may wind up keeping Seattle out of the playoffs, but it won't curb the momentum the Seahawks have generated in this closing kick.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or email@example.com. On Twitter @dannyoneil.
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