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Seattle receiver Sidney Rice holds onto a touchdown catch in overtime after being hit by Chicago safety Major Wright on Sunday in Chicago.
Seattle 23, Chicago 17

OT touchdown lifts Seahawks past Bears

– His team desperate for a road win, Russell Wilson had one simple message before overtime.

This is it, this is the season.

If the Seattle Seahawks didn’t save their season, they sure gave their playoff hopes a boost.

Wilson threw two late touchdowns, connecting with Sidney Rice for a 13-yard score with 7:33 left in overtime to lift the Seahawks to a wild 23-17 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

“He’s just so beautifully poised and so confident that it gives himself a chance to play at this level,” coach Pete Carroll said of Wilson.

Unbeaten in five home games, Seattle finally figured a way to win on the road after dropping five of its first six and knocked off the NFC North leaders in the process.

“I just told the guys, ‘This is what the season comes down to, right here and right now,’ ” Wilson said.

A 97-yard touchdown drive late in regulation gave the Seahawks a lead that didn’t last, and they finally won it on Rice’s catch after Chicago’s Robbie Gould sent it into overtime with a field goal.

Seattle (7-5) leads the NFC wild-card chase and, despite its frequent struggles on the road has won three in a row in the regular season at Soldier Field.

This one sure was dramatic. Seattle took a short-lived lead late in regulation on rookie Wilson’s 14-yard pass to Golden Tate, only to watch Gould boot a 46-yard field goal as time expired to send it into the extra period.

Rice hauled in a pass from Wilson and took a shoulder-to-helmet hit from Major Wright that jarred the ball loose and appeared to knock the receiver unconscious as he lunged into the end zone. Rice stayed down for several minutes but eventually walked off the field, and he insisted afterward he was alert the whole time.

“(Medical personnel) rushed out on the field because I had a couple of concussions before, so they just wanted to make sure everything was fine,” he said.

Wilson threw for 293 yards, ran for 71 and was particularly cool down the stretch, sending Chicago (8-4) to its third loss in four games. That knocked them into a tie with Green Bay for the division lead with the Packers beating Minnesota, and coach Lovie Smith clearly was furious afterward.

“That hasn’t happened to us very often around here,” Smith said. “Terrible job I did getting our football team ready. I thought we were ready to go. Some decisions I made really hurt us early on.”

Jay Cutler threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns and Brandon Marshall added 165 yards receiving.

“We don’t lose many games like that here – as long as I’ve been here and having a lead that late in the fourth quarter,” Cutler said.

They were leading 14-10 with 3:40 remaining in regulation. Wilson orchestrated a dramatic drive, capping it with a 14-yard pass to Tate that gave the Seahawks a 17-14 lead with 24 seconds left in regulation.

Cutler hit a leaping Marshall with the Seahawks’ Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas on him for a 56-yarder that put the ball on the Seattle 30. Two plays later, Gould nailed a 46-yard field goal to send the game into overtime.

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