Seahawks 24

(7-9, 2-6 away)

Bears 35

(11-5, 5-3 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, January 16, 2011

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL 

1 2 3 4 T
SEA 0 0 3 2124
CHI 14 7 7 735

Top Performers

Passing: J. Cutler (CHI) - 274 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: M. Forte (CHI) - 25 CAR, 80 YDS

Receiving: G. Olsen (CHI) - 3 REC, 113 YDS, 1 TD

Jay Cutler accounts for 4 TDs as Bears throttle Seahawks

Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Football's oldest rivalry has a grand new prize: a spot in the Super Bowl.

Maybe even with an anniversary reprise of the "Super Bowl Shuffle" if the Chicago Bears can get past the Green Bay Packers.

"It's a big deal. We have a lot of history with them," Bears star linebacker Brian Urlacher said after a 35-24 victory over Seattle set up an NFC championship game matchup with Green Bay. "We don't like them, they don't like us."

Jay Cutler ran for two touchdowns and threw for two as Chicago (12-5) pounded the Seahawks from the outset. The Bears' built a 28-0 lead, but it was against the first division winner with a losing record, making it difficult to measure how good they are. The NFL will find out next week against the Packers (12-6), who have beaten third-seeded Philadelphia and top-seeded Atlanta on the road this month.

The last time Chicago won the NFL title, Walter Payton, Jim McMahon and Mike Singletary did the "Super Bowl Shuffle" all over their opponents. That was 25 years ago, and to compare these Bears with the wild bunch that won Chicago's only Super Bowl 25 years ago is a stretch.

But next Sunday's matchup is fitting if only for the history: It will be the biggest game in Chicago's 90-year series with the Packers. They will play for the 182nd time next Sunday, but it's their first meeting for the NFC title.

"Now that we have beaten the Seahawks, it just doesn't get any better, as I see it, than for the NFC championship coming down to the Packers coming down on our turf this time," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "The Packers and Bears to finish it up."

Cutler made it possible as much as anybody. And he did it with nimble feet as well as precise throws, running for 6- and 9-yard TDs.

"It was fun," he said with a smile. "That first one was called. Second one was kind of improv."

There was nothing improvisational about the way the Bears' defense shut down an offense that scored 41 points against New Orleans last week, but that gained only 111 through three periods at Soldier Field, where Seattle managed a 23-20 victory in October. The Seahawks' points all came with the outcome decided.

"Now we're back, playing together, hopefully peaking at the right time," Urlacher said.

Cutler, in his first postseason game, showed none of the wild swings that often have marked his five-year career. His shifty moves on a 6-yard run made it 21-0, essentially turning everyone's attention to next weekend.

"We're both familiar with each other, so nothing's going to be new," Cutler said. "We have our hands full."

Not much was expected of the Bears when the season began, but they've improved mightily since falling to 4-3 heading into their bye week. They clinched a playoff berth with two games remaining, grabbing their first NFC North championship since 2006 -- when they lost to Indianapolis in the Super Bowl.

Unlike Atlanta and Pittsburgh on Saturday, they showed no rust from having a bye in dominating Seattle. Then again, the Seahawks showed none of the surging emotions or big-play abilities they sprung on the Saints at home. It was merely a one-week reprieve, and they went even flatter after tight end John Carlson was carted off with a head injury in the first quarter following a nasty spill; Carlson landed on the side of his helmet and his shoulder, but had movement in his extremities.

Seattle lost cornerback Marcus Trufant to a head injury in the third quarter when he collided with Kellen Davis' knee while trying to make a tackle. Trufant also was carted off, but he also had feeling in his extremities.

Coach Pete Carroll said both players were hospitalized and were expected to stay overnight for observation. He said "all indications are that they are OK."

Chicago put away the game with touchdowns on three of its first four possessions, by which time Urlacher, Julius Peppers and the rest of the defense had taken charge.

Greg Olsen, showing impressive speed for a tight end, streaked past safety Lawyer Milloy for a 58-yard TD reception on Chicago's third offensive play. Chester Taylor added a 1-yard TD run and Cutler's 6-yarder built an insurmountable lead.

Cutler liked using his feet so much he added a 9-yard sprint in the third quarter to make it 28-0. He even threw in a 21-yard scramble in the fourth quarter and finished with a career-best 43 yards rushing, 9 more than the Seahawks.

"Jay's a very athletic quarterback," Seahawks linebacker Will Herring said. "So we have to account for that. He really hurt us with his feet."

Olindo Mare's 30-yard field goal got the first points for Seattle, which will get mixed reviews in Carroll's first season as coach. The Seahawks went 7-9, hardly what they had in mind when they hired Carroll away from Southern Cal. Still, they won the weak NFC West, and they eliminated the defending Super Bowl champions in the wild-card round.

"It took a long time for them to ... fight and compete and do the things we want them to do," Carroll said. "I would have loved to have got this game today that so many people didn't think we could. I see where we're going and I'm proud of that."

But the prospect of a .500 team playing for a berth in the Super Bowl is gone, even though Matt Hasselbeck threw for three fourth-quarter touchdowns.

So bring on the Packers, who lost to the Bears 33-14 at Wrigley Field on Dec. 14, 1941 in their only previous playoff meeting.

Green Bay beat Chicago 10-3 in the season finale to clinch a playoff spot earlier this month. The Packers haven't been to the Super Bowl since the 1997 season, when they lost to Denver.

Game notes

Cutler is the second QB in league history to have two TDs rushing and two passing in a postseason game. Otto Graham did it for Cleveland in 1954 and '55. ... Cutler was 15 for 28 for 274 yards and was sacked three times. Hasselbeck finished 26 for 46 for 258 and was sacked twice. ... Record-setting punt returner Devin Hester had one 26-yard runback, but otherwise had little impact for Chicago.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1821
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays6077
Total Yards276437
Yards per play4.65.7
Total Drives1314
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-43-3
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

chiTD12:17Greg Olsen 58 Yard Pass From Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 66 yds, 1:17
chiTD1:22Chester Taylor 1 Yard Run (Robbie Gould Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 50 yds, 4:05
chiTD10:07Jay Cutler 6 Yard Run (Robbie Gould Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 63 yds, 4:11
chiTD4:18Jay Cutler 9 Yard Run (Robbie Gould Kick is Good)
Drive info: 14 plays, 70 yds, 7:59
seaFG1:57Olindo Mare 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 18 yds, 2:20
seaTD11:25Mike Williams 2 Yard Pass From Matt Hasselbeck (Olindo Mare Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 33 yds, 2:01
chiTD4:47Kellen Davis 39 Yard Pass From Jay Cutler (Robbie Gould Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 48 yds, 1:37
seaTD2:19Mike Williams 3 Yard Pass From Matt Hasselbeck (Olindo Mare Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 74 yds, 2:24
seaTD1:27Brandon Stokley 9 Yard Pass From Matt Hasselbeck (Olindo Mare Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 55 yds, 0:27

Research Notes

The Bears were 0-for-12 on third-down conversions in Week 6 against the Seahawks. In the Divisional Round, the Bears went 10-of-18 on third down, picking up four of their five touchdowns.
The Bears ran three wildcat plays in their Divisional Round game against the Seahawks. The first two plays came in the red zone and both were followed with touchdown runs by Jay Cutler on the very next play. The third play was an interception thrown by Matt Forte. The Bears hadn't attempted a pass out of the wildcat the past three seasons prior to that play. The Bears ran seven wildcat plays this regular season, picking up 30 yards on seven rush attempts
The Seahawks had only two tight ends active on Sunday, making it difficult to run the ball, especially when they lost starter John Carlson in their first offensive drive. Because of this Seattle wasn't able to run any plays out of a two-tight end set, a personnel package they have favored this season, especially in the run game. Seattle had run 45 percent of its rushing attempts with at least two tight ends on the field, averaging only 3.3 yards. But not having that option, they averaged 2.8 yards out of all personnel packages.
Jay Cutler had three rush attempts (two scrambles, one QB draw) for 36 yards, three first downs and two touchdowns out of shotgun formations in the Divisional Round against the Seahawks. Cutler ran just seven times out of the shotgun in the regular season for 76 yards, five first downs and no scores, all on scramble attempts.
Greg Olsen had 64 yards after the catch against the Seahawks on Sunday, all coming in the first half. It's the most YAC Olsen has had in a single game over the last three seasons and the fourth-highest single-game total for a Bears pass-catcher since 2008.
The Seahawks were very aggressive with their pass rush in Week 6 against the Bears, blitzing a defensive back 44.7 percent of Jay Cutler's dropbacks, the highest single-game rate for the Seahawks this season. Seattle kept the blitzing to a minimum on Sunday and Cutler was able to pick the Seahawks apart, going 12-of-23 for 226 yards and two touchdowns against four or fewer pass rushers.
A week after torching the Saints for 140 yards and a pair of scores on throws 15 yards or more downfield, Matt Hasselbeck failed to connect on a single attempt 15 yards or more beyond the line of scrimmage until the 1:51 mark of the 4th quarter on Sunday. The Bears allowed only 40 such completions during the regular season, tied for fifth-fewest in the NFL.
In their last three postseason games, the Seahawks have allowed the most, second-most, and third-most points they've ever allowed in a postseason game. They allowed 35 points to the Bears Sunday, the third-most they've allowed in a playoff game. Most Points Allowed in Postseason Game Seahawks History 2007 NFC Divisional Packers 42 2010 NFC Wild Card Saints 36 2010 NFC Divisional Bears 35

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