Chicago Bears Maul Pete Carroll's Seattle Seahawks

Paul PeszkoSenior Writer IJanuary 16, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 16:  Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during pregame warmups before the Seahawks take on the Chicago Bears in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Today on an icy Soldiers’ Field in Chicago, Pete Carroll’s first season as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks came to an end in a lopsided contest against the Bears.

While the Bears move onto the NFC Championship game against their Northern Division rivals, the Green Bay Packers, Carroll will return to Seattle and start thinking about next season.

The 35-24 final score was hardly indicative of how much the Bears dominated Seattle. 

The Bears scored a touchdown in the first three minutes and were up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 21-0 at halftime.

Jeremy Bates’ offense could only manage three points over the first three quarters. 

Matt Hasselbeck did toss three short TD passes in the final quarter to make the final score respectable.  But the outcome was never in doubt as the Bears racked up 437 total yards against Pete Carroll’s defense.

So, the question is, how successful was Pete Carroll’s first season in Seattle?

The fact that the Seahawks won the NFC’s Western Division is not very impressive considering the weaknesses of the other three teams.  Only the St. Louis Rams have improved over last year when they had the worst record in the NFL, 1-15.

The San Francisco 49ers, who were picked as the division front runner, collapsed and fired their head coach, Mike Singletary.  Last year’s division leader, Arizona Cardinals, also had a miserable season after their Hall of Fame quarterback, Kurt Warner, retired.

Carroll’s 41-36 playoff win against last year’s Super Bowl Champions New Orleans Saints was certainly impressive, but the game was at Seattle’s Quest Field, the loudest venue in the NFL.

With the help of the Twelfth Man, the Seahawks won six games this year at home.  They were only 2-6 on the road.

Carroll, who was criticized on his last stints as a head coach in NFL with the New England Patriots and the New York Jets, had a tremendously successful nine-year tenure as a college head coach at USC.

A poll of Seattle fans going into the Seahawks final regular season showed that most of them wanted the Seahawks to lose to the Rams, so Seattle could get a higher draft choice.

But the Seahawks beat the Rams 16-6 for the division title, and a packed stadium showed up the following week to help the Seahawks beat the Saints in the Wild Card game.

Now that the season is over and the Seahawks have chalked up a not-too-impressive 8-10 season, how do Seattle fans feel about Pete Carroll as their head coach?

Do you think it can be considered a success despite the team’s 8-10 record?  What do Seattle fans think of Pete Carroll’s coaching style?  Do you like his upbeat, rah-rah approach to the game?

Do you think Carroll will be around for long time or will that shocking victory over the Saints soon wear off?