Up 14-10 with just about three minutes remaining, the Chicago Bears allowed Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson to put together a 12 play, 97-yard touchdown drive.
With 24 seconds left, the Bears seemed completely out of it trailing 17-14.
But then Jay Cutler found his favorite target, wide receiver Brandon Marshall for the 10th time on the afternoon. This time it was for a big 56-yard catch which put the Bears in field goal range.
Robbie Gould booted a 46-yard field goal to tie the game at 17 and just like that the Bears were back in it.
The Seahawks won the toss in overtime and picked up right where they left off on offense. Russell Wilson generated a 12 play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a 13-yard touchdown catch by Sidney Rice.
It was a tough 23-17 loss for the Bears at home, but they got out played and out coached by the Seahawks.
The Bears had their chances. Up 7-0 halfway through the first quarter the Bears opted to go for it on a fourth-and-one in scoring range.
They decided to run it right up the middle with Michael Bush and he was stuffed. They probably should have settled for the field goal.
Then wide receiver Earl Bennett, who already had a touchdown reception in the game couldn’t capitalize on a big chance. Cutler found Bennett on the right side on a deep pass, but he juggled it about three times and couldn’t come down with it.
Bennett later left the game with a concussion.
LB Brian Urlacher (hamstring) and CB Tim Jennings (shoulder) also left the game late in the fourth quarter due to injuries.
QB Jay Cutler and RB Matt Forte were effective. Cutler completed 17 of 26 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns and a QB rating of 119.6.
Forte racked up 66 yards on the ground and 30 yards through the air including a touchdown reception.
The Bears’ defense was just beaten too much on this day. It hurt that safety Chris Conte left early in the first quarter flu symptoms.
Seahawks running backMarshawn Lynch ran for 87 yards and a touchdown and Russell Wilson ran for 71 yards on just nine carries.
They allowed the Seahawks to convert eight of 15 third downs. The Seahawks averaged 6.5 yards per rush and 7.3 yards per pass.
Wilson tossed 23 of 37 passes for 293 yards and two touchdown passes.
Plays were left on the field by the Bears. The offense had its moments. Cutler and Marshall were very impressive.
The Bears’ defense just wasn’t good enough. They allowed too many big plays in crunch time.
With the loss, the Bears (8-4) fall to second place in the NFC North with the Packers beating the Vikings on Sunday.
The Bears have to put complete performances down the stretch. They travel to Minnesota to battle the Vikings next Sunday, then return home to host the Packers the following Sunday.
It won’t be easy, but with better preparation this team can go far. The next four games will prove if the Bears are contender or pretender.