CHICAGO – Red Bryant ran away from the Bears after his third-quarter interception.
The same could be said for the rest of the Seahawks, who scored 31 consecutive points in the second half, coming back to beat the Bears 38-14 on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field in a game that not only sustained, but improved Seattle’s playoff chances.
Bryant picked off the first pass of the second half from Chicago’s Caleb Hanie after it was tipped by linebacker K.J. Wright. Bryant returned it 20 yards for the first touchdown of his career. It was Seattle’s second touchdown in the span of 50 seconds in the third quarter to begin a second-half turnaround that never slowed down for the Seahawks.
The Seahawks’ defense intercepted three passes in the second half, and four in the game. Two of those interceptions resulted in touchdowns, the first by Bryant and then by cornerback Brandon Browner. Marshawn Lynch finished the game with two touchdowns, fullback Michael Robinson scored on a 2-yard pass in a second half so lopsided it was hard to remember how bad Seattle looked at times in the first half.
The Seahawks trailed 14-7 at halftime before scoring 24 consecutive points in the first 18 minutes of the second half.
Seattle entered Sunday’s game trailing the Bears by one game in the playoff pecking order. The Seahawks (7-7) are now at .500 for the first time in more than a year, have won three in a row for the first time since 2007 and are alive for at least one more week in the chase to earn a wild-card playoff berth.
That was hard to foresee in a first half in which quarterback Tarvaris Jackson passed for 51 yards and Seattle’s only touchdown was set up by a Bears turnover when safety Kam Chancellor forced a fumble from Johnny Knox and Earl Thomas recovered at the Chicago 22. Even then, the Seahawks needed a Chicago penalty on a field-goal attempt to give Seattle a second chance at first-and-goal.
Jackson – who was 4 for 12 passing in the first half – completed three passes for 77 yards on Seattle’s first drive of the second half, as the Seahawks tied the score on Lynch’s second touchdown run. Lynch finished with 42 yards rushing, failing to reach 100 yards for only the second time in his last seven games. But he now has 1,011 yards rushing on the season, the first Seahawk to surpass 1,000 yards in a season since Shaun Alexander in 2005.
Lynch has also scored at least once in each of his last 10 games, a franchise record. The Seahawks scored 30 or more points in three consecutive games for the first time since November 2003.
Sea—Lynch 2 run (Hauschka kick)
Chi—Idonije fumble recovery in end zone (Gould kick)
Chi—Bell 25 pass from Hanie (Gould kick)
Sea—Lynch 3 run (Hauschka kick)
Sea—Bryant 20 interception return (Hauschka kick)
Sea—FG Hauschka 33
Sea—Robinson 2 pass from Jackson (Hauschka kick)
Sea—Browner 42 interception return (Hauschka kick)
|Total Net Yards||286||221|
|Time of Poss.||31:37||28:23|
RUSHING—Seattle, Lynch 20-42, Forsett 6-12, Washington 3-6, Tate 1-2, Jackson 3-(minus 2). Chicago, Bell 15-65, Hanie 5-34, Barber 11-33.
PASSING—Seattle, Jackson 19-31-0-227. Chicago, Hanie 10-23-3-111, McCown 1-2-1-12.
RECEIVING—Seattle, Tate 4-61, Miller 4-23, Williams 2-31, Butler 2-19, Lynch 2-5, Obomanu 1-43, Morrah 1-21, Baldwin 1-13, Forsett 1-9, Robinson 1-2. Chicago, Bell 5-43, Sanzenbacher 2-26, Bennett 1-20, Knox 1-15, K.Davis 1-10, R.Williams 1-9.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.