After two weeks of waiting, analyzing and anticipating, it's game time. For the first time since the 2006 season, the Bears are in the playoffs.
This time, they are led by a playoff virgin -- quarterback Jay Cutler. In fact, many of the offensive starters have not been in a playoff game before. That's the polar opposite of the Seahawks signal caller Matt Hasselbeck. The 35-year-old is the most playoff-experienced QB in the postseason.
The winner gets the Packers in the NFC Championship game. Stick with us for live updates, and follow our Twitter feed here.
After a raucous national anthem sung by the Blackhawks Jim Cornelison, a pumped up Bears-team started strong. The defense forced a three-and-out, led by a behind-the-line-of-scrimmage tackle of Marshawn Lynch by Israel Idonije. Then, the offense didn't take long to get on the board. Jay Cutler unleashed a long bomb to Greg Olsen for a 58-yard touchdown. Olsen ran right past Seahawk safety Lawyer Milloy into the end zone, and Robbie Gould added the extra point.
There was a scary moment in the first quarter, as Seahawks tight end and Notre Dame alum John Carlson tried to avoid a tackle by hurdling over Danieal Manning. He landed face first, and had to be carted off the field on a back board with a neck immobilizer. He appeared to be moving his arms and speaking to medical staff as he was taken off the field.
Chicago added to the lead late in the first quarter. Olsen caught another long toss from Cutler for a 33-yard gain, setting up the Bears in the red zone. Chester Taylor capitalized on good protection from the offensive line, walking into the end zone for a Bears score.
Olsen's excellent game continued with a 22-yard pass that set up the Bears in Seattle territory. Earl Bennett added another first down, which was followed by Cutler getting in on the fun, running in for a touchdown.
The Bears extended the lead, as Cutler ran in for another touchdown. He had one rushing touchdown in the regular season; he has two in the postseason. Cutler brought the team to striking distance with a 15-yard throw to Knox, and then snuck it in for a nine-yard touchdown.
The Seahawks lost another player in a scary moment. Marcus Trufant was hit in the head by Olsen's knee, and had to be carted off on a backboard, making him the second Seahawks player to be seriously injured. The Bears' Chris Harris also left the game with a hip injury.
Seattle avoided the shut-out late in the third quarter. A 62-yard kickoff return from Leon Washington gave the Seahawks excellent field position, but Chicago's pressuring defense would not allow Seattle in the end zone. Seattle settled for a field goal.
The Seahawks cut the Bears lead to 18 early in the fourth quarter. In an odd play call, Matt Forte took the snap and threw a pass that picked off, giving Seattle good field position. Hasselbeck completed a series of passes to get close to the end zone, and then after throwing two incompletes, he hit Mike Williams for the short TD.
But Chicago took that big lead right back. Cutler connected with tight end Kellen Davis for a 39-yard touchdown late in the game.
The Seahawks scored again near the two-minute drill. Charles Tillman was fingertips away from an interception, but Mike Williams caught the ball in the end zone as it slipped out of "Peanut's" hands, and then got another touchdown from Brandon Stokely.