Peephole perspective: The Seahawks finally scored, on an Olindo Mare field goal. But the Bears scored again, on Jay Cutler second TD run. Chicago 28-3.
Player of the quarter: Cutler. In his first postseason game, the Bears did all he could to make sure there would be a second. He not only scored his second rushing TD, Cutler also scrambled for a first down on the drive and completed a 15-yard pass – both on third-down plays.
Play of the quarter: The Seahawks were desperately in need of a big play, and Leon Washington delivered by returning the kickoff following Cutler’s TD for 62 yards to the Bears’ 30 to set up Mare’s three-pointer.
Number of the quarter: 23. That’s Marcus Trufant’s uniform number. Like TE John Carlson in the first quarter, the veteran cornerback sustained a head injury in the third quarter and was strapped to a board and taken off the field on cart.
The bigger picture: The second half began with the Seahawks doing something they were only able to accomplish once in seven first-half series – force a three-and-out.
The offense then was unable to do something it accomplished only one in the first half – convert a third down, as CB Charles Tillman made a diving deflection of Matt Hasselbeck’s third-and-10 pass that was intended for WR Mike Williams. It was the Seahawks’ fifth three-and-out of the game.
On the Bears’ next possession, however, they were back to coming up with big third-down plays – while another Seahawk went down. Trufant went low to tackle TE Kellen Davis after a 3-yard reception and appeared to take a knee to the helmet. Like Carlson, Trufant was strapped to a board and taken off the field on a cart. Also like Carlson, Trufant was motionless on the field as his concerned teammates could only watch. Rookie Walter Thurmond took over on the left side for Trufant.
Back on the field, Cutler scored on a 9-yard run – on a third-and-6 play. Cutler’s second TD run capped a 14-play, 70-yard drive that consumed almost eight minutes. Cutler scrambled for 8 yards on third-and-2; pass to WR Johnny Knox for a 15-yard gain on third-and-11; RB Matt Forte ran for 2 yards on third-and-1; and Cutler scored on the next third-down play.
Washington then got the Seahawks their best field position of the afternoon as he returned the ensuing kickoff 62 yards to the Bears’ 30. The offense could move the ball only 18 yards in seven plays, so Olindo Mare kicked a 30-yard field goal to make it 28-3 with 1:52 left in the quarter.