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From the sidelines: Seahawks at Bears
CHICAGO — Considering all the Seahawks have gone through this season, could there have been a more appropriate way for Sunday’s game to unfold?
Down 14-7 and downtrodden mentally, the Seahawks entered the locker room at halftime only to come out flying, outscoring the Bears 31-0 en route to a 38-14 obliteration at Soldier Field.
Satisfying? Very much so. Symbolic? Even more so.
Like Sunday’s game, the Seahawks entered the halfway point of the 2011 season at a low, crawling to a 2-6 record before the results turned. And like Sunday’s game, Seattle has emerged on fire in the second half, winning five of their last six and remaining in the playoff conversation into Week 16. It’s highly unlikely anyone outside of the head coach’s corner office at Virginia Mason Athletic Center thought that could’ve even been a possibility.
But here they are at 7-7 and one of the hottest teams in the NFL, culling wins and momentum that could potentially result in great things this season but will undoubtedly equate to great things in the future.
It can all be traced back to a finishing mentality the Seahawks have taken hold of in the last six games. Coach Pete Carroll always pushes “doing things right longer than the other guys.” Seattle took that to heart in the second half of Sunday’s game against the Bears — and they’ve certainly done it after the halfway point of the 2011 season.
“You turned it around in so many different ways,” Carroll said during his postgame speech in the locker room on Sunday. “Let’s understand this finish thing. You can capture that mentality — and today you did.”
Carroll’s halftime speech pointed to the Seahawks being in prime position once again to demonstrate this new-found finishing drive.
“Let’s be together on this,” Carroll told his team at the intermission. “This game is perfect for us. We’ve got to play smart and finish.”
That they did. The dichotomies between the first and second half could go on and on — 84 yards of offense in the first half, 202 in the second half; Tarvaris Jackson went 4-for-12 for 51 yards in the first and 15-for-19 for 176 yards in the second; and the defense held Chicago to just 53 total yards and two first downs in the second half after allowing 168 yards and 11 first downs in the first half.
It all added up to a glistening second half performance and a spectacular finished product — one where the first half sluggishness was forgotten and passed over for the beauty of the finish.
It’s very similar to what the Seahawks are hoping the season as a whole will turn out to be thought of for. After a rough opening eight-game stretch, Seattle is charging forward into a December to remember and a second half to hold onto forever.
But there’s still plenty on the table. Two games remain in the finishing stretch, two games that could go a long way toward further cementing the finishing mentality that has taken root among the Seahawks.
“Let’s stay humble,” Carroll said in the locker room after Sunday’s win. “We ain’t done yet. We’ve got work to do.” Read