This was a cold and snowy one in January at Soldier Field between two inconsistent teams during the regular season. It was ultimately the battle of two erratic quarterbacks during the regular season — Seattle Seahawks Matt Hasselbeck and the Chicago Bears Jay Cutler. However, they both have weapons the offensive side, and whether either team, more specifically their quarterbacks, could deliver the ball to them.
Now to the post-game analysis:
- Blown coverage by Seattle’s secondary led the 58 yard pass from the Chicago Bears Jay Cutler to his tight end Greg Olsen for the first score early first quarter. Greg Olsen tore up this offense with 113 yards and a touchdown by the end of the game, and his receptions helped set up the rushing game for the Bears offense.
- The loss of John Carlson due to a head injury early first quarter impacted the Seattle’s offense tremendously.
- This was a slower and more methodical paced game than the two previous divisional games on Saturday. Even the dominating Chicago Bears moved the ball slowly against the Seahawks defense.
- Matt Hasselbeck could not establish any rhythm against the stiff Chicago Bears defense led by Brian Urlacher until the fourth quarter. The entire defense was rattling the offensive line and the wide receivers. The Seattle Seahawk offense was anemic in this game, aside from the receivers.
- Lightning did not strike twice for Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. He ran for 2 yards the entire game.
- The Wildcat offense performed by the Chicago Bears with running back Matt Forte attempting to pass the ball was too cute for its own good. It led to an interception by Packers linebacker Aaron Curry. Unfortunately, it led to a 2-yard touchdown reception by Mike Williams from Matt Hasselbeck to close the lead in the fourth quarter 28-10.
- Bears Jay Cutler quarterback rush into the endzone from 6 yards out was great and brought in another score for the Bears to 21-0 in the second quarter. Another rushing touchdown by Cutler late third quarter sealed the game for the Seattle Seahawks.
- The Good Jay Cutler showed up. Cutler ended the day with a 111.3 quarterback rating on 2 touchdowns and 274 yards passing.
- The Good Matt Hasselbeck showed up the fourth quarter, albeit a bit too late. He made passes to Mike Williams and Bradon Stokley, and he ended the game with a 94.3 quarterback rating on 3 touchdowns and 258 yards passing.
In the end, the Chicago Bears trumped the Seattle Seahawks with a score of 35-24 at Soldier Field. However, this game has shown the Bears strengths and weaknesses, and it may not be able to contain the potency of Aaron Rodgers another time, considering his performance yesterday against the Atlanta Falcons. The is the NFC Championship game between two long-time rivals (hopefully) in the cold (and snow), and this next game will be their second Championship game between these two teams in the post-season in NFL history. It has the makings of a physical, in-the-trenches classic as Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs will have their skills tested against hot-handed Aaron Rodgers and their offense.