Bears Fall To Seahawks In OT
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Dec 3, 2012 4:00PM
The Bears troubles with the NFC West continued Sunday, as they faltered at home against the Seattle Seahawks. Despite some last minute heroics to send the game into overtime, the Bears ultimately fell 23-17 and dropped to 8-4 on the season.
In the first quarter, the Bears did what we'd come to expect from this team during the first half of the season. On the game's first drive, Brian Urlacher forced a fumble that Kevin Hayden recovered near midfield. The Bears' offense used the short field to engineer a touchdown drive and take an early 7-0 lead. Jay Cutler hit Earl Bennett from 13 yards out, who pinwheeled into the end zone for the score.
On their next possession, the Bears used 14 plays and 8 minutes, 30 seconds of game clock but came away without any points when a fourth-and-one failed at the Seahawks 15 yard line. A field goal from that distance would have been a gimme, but Lovie Smith chose the riskier attempt for a first down instead of adding three points. Seattle drove 94 yards and scored a touchdown with just over two minutes to go in the half, and then after a quick Bears three-and-out, managed to tack on a quick field goal to take a 10-7 halftime lead.
The Bears regained the lead when Matt Forte scored from 12 yards out to cap an 85 yard drive in the third quarter. Originally ruled down at the one, replay reversed the call as Forte rolled into the end zone untouched by Seattle. Bears led 14-10.
With less than four minutes remaining in the game, the Bears appeared headed to victory after pinning the Seahawks inside their own 5 yard line. But rookie quarterback Russell Wilson engineered a 97-yard, 12 play drive that ended with Golden Tate finding the end zone from 14 yards out and just 24 seconds remaining on the game clock. The Bears looked finished, but Jay Cutler connected with Brandon Marshall for 56 yards to quickly get the Bears into field goal range and Robbie Gould connected from 46 yards out to send the game into overtime as regulation ended.
However, in overtime the Bears came up short when Wilson marched the Seahawks down the field and hit Sidney Rice for a TD to win the game without the Bears even having a chance to run a single offensive play. With the Bears given new life after being seemingly left for dead, the Seahawks came right back and finished them off.
Jay Cutler completed 17 of26 passes for 233 yards and two TDs without an interception, for a 119.6 passer rating. The bulk of his passes ended up in Brandon Marshall's hands; Cutler's favorite target catching 10 passes for 165 yards. Matt Forte caught three balls for 30 yards and a TD, while Earl Bennett caught just the one TD pass before leaving the game with a concussion. He also dropped what would've been a surefire TD bomb. The ragtag offensive line managed to provide Cutler decent pass protection, but didn't do much to open up holes for the running game. Matt Forte managed just 66 yards despite 21 carries. Michael Bush added 39 yards on seven touches.
The defense created the early take-away that led to the game's first point, but they faded as the game wore on. They allowed a rookie QB to engineer two long, touchdown-scoring drives with the game on the line and it cost the Bears the game in the end.
With the loss, the Bears fall into second place in the NFC North. Tied with the Green Bay Packers at 8-4, Green Bay holds the tie breaker. Next up for the Bears is a rematch with the Minnesota Vikings, yet another key Black & Blue Division match-up. And the Bears may well be black and blue when they take the field. Decimated by injuries in last week's game, the Bears saw Bennett, Brian Urlacher and Tim Jennings leave the game with injuries.