Hawks battle past Bears in overtime

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CHICAGO — The victory was unforgettable.

It would be understandable, though, if Sidney Rice didn’t remember it.

Seattle’s top receiver appeared to be knocked out as he scored the winning touchdown, losing control of the ball just after he put it over the goal line in overtime to give Seattle a 23-17 victory Sunday at Soldier Field.

“I definitely knew I was in there,” Rice said.

The officials reviewed the replay to confirm Rice indeed scored halfway through overtime, which was only fitting. This was a game that you had to see again to truly believe as the Seahawks won in overtime for the first time since 2005.

That’s right. The Seahawks won a close one, and they did it on the road, overcoming everything from a touchdown the officials overturned in the first half to the fact that Seattle’s defense gave up a 56-yard completion in the final 20 seconds that allowed Chicago to force overtime.

The Seahawks had their two longest drives of the season, including a 97-yarder in the final four minutes of the fourth quarter. And then — even after Seattle failed to finish off the Bears in regulation — Seattle won the coin toss to start overtime with the ball and never turned back, driving 80 yards in 12 plays for a victory that just might turn out to save the Seahawks’ season.

“It was on the road, and it was against the Bears,” fullback Michael Robinson said. “Da Bears! Playing at Soldier Field, our backs were against the wall, and we kept marching. Boom, boom, boom, boom.

“And all of a sudden, the crowd is silent.”

But not the Seahawks, having made a statement. They are 7-5 with three of their final four games at home.

“It’s a powerful demonstration for a young bunch of guys that it can happen,” coach Pete Carroll said. “This is how it does happen. It has been long in coming.”

Quarterback Russell Wilson completed 10 of the final 13 passes he threw in the game for 115 yards and two touchdowns. He was not intercepted for a fourth consecutive game, and when it was over, Seattle had what might be the most important comeback it has had under Carroll.

The Seahawks rallied to beat Green Bay and New England earlier this season, but those games were at home. This was on the road with Seattle at 6-5 and needing a victory for playoff position.

The Seahawks came back despite fumbling away their first possession and having Braylon Edwards’ touchdown catch overturned at the end of the second quarter. They instead settled for a field goal.

They came back after trailing 14-10 with 3:40 left in the fourth quarter, driving 97 yards on a possession that culminated with Golden Tate’s catch/run across the middle of the field for the go-ahead touchdown with 24 seconds left in regulation.

And when Seattle’s defense couldn’t close it out, allowing Jay Cutler’s 56-yard pass to Brandon Marshall, the Bears were able to force overtime with a 46-yard field goal.

After that, the Seahawks came back and took the ball 80 yards on the first possession of overtime, scoring a touchdown to win the game right then and there.

The Seahawks that were 1-5 on the road entering the game dug out a victory against a Chicago team that was 5-1 at home.

Seattle is 4-1 when facing opponents who enter the game with a winning record.

Count Bears coach Lovie Smith among those trying to figure out just what in the heck happened.

“That hasn’t happened to us very often around here,” he said.

That hasn’t happened very often to the Seahawks on the road this season, either.

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