Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse after a blowout loss in Week 12, we were proven wrong. The Chicago Bears came up on the losing end once again in Week 13. This time, it was to the one-win San Francisco 49ers. The Bears (3-9) are still in danger of matching their 3-13 record from last season, and the way things look, it just might happen.
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Chicago had problems on both sides of the ball. The offense couldn’t stay on the field long enough, and the defense couldn’t get off the field quick enough. The Bears managed to convert only eight first downs throughout the contest, and held the ball for only 21:13. The defense allowed San Francisco to get into the red zone five times. Although they didn’t surrender a touchdown, the 49ers’ five field goals were enough to take down the Bears. A big spark on special teams didn’t even help put them over the top.
After another disappointing loss, he’s another disappointing report card.
Things seemed to be going well for rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky early in the game. During the Bears’ second drive, he led them down the field and threw a 21-yard strike to Dontrelle Inman for a touchdown, giving Chicago a 7-3 lead. After that, things slowed down tremendously. Trubisky did finish the contest completing 12 out of 15 pass attempts for 102 yards, and connected with seven different receivers. He also didn’t turn the ball over. However, he did fumble a snap from the shotgun, and fumbled again on a strip-sack.
Running back Jordan Howard was slated to have a big game against one of the worst run defenses in the league, but ended up with disappointing numbers. Howard had 13 carries for only 38 yards. The two-year veteran also had one catch for minus-five yards and a dropped pass. Rookie Tarik Cohen’s two carries for five yards wasn’t much, but his four receptions for 39 yards led all receivers for the Bears. Cohen could’ve had 25 more receiving yards, but it was negated on a holding call.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Chicago’s wide receivers and tight ends combined for seven catches for 68 yards. Kendall Wright led the bunch with two receptions for 25 yards, while Inman had two grabs of his own for 21 yards and a touchdown.
The offensive line couldn’t help establish the running game, and having Kyle Long leave with a shoulder injury didn’t help. Two sacks were allowed, and a holding call on Charles Leno Jr. in the second quarter wiped out a big gain by Cohen.
San Francisco’s running game had a quietly productive game with 110 yards, which was good enough to help them win the time-of-possession battle. On a second-and-17 during the Bears’ first defensive series, Roy Roberson-Harris was flagged for a late hit out of bounds on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, which helped shorten the distance for San Francisco’s first field goal. Akiem Hicks and Jonathan Bullard each had four tackles.
Chicago’s thinness at their linebacker position showed with their lack of pressure in their pass rush. However, Lamarr Houston and Christian Jones did manage to record a sack each. Jones led the way with a game-high 13 tackles, while Danny Trevathan had 11 tackles. The Bears’ corps of linebackers did have some trouble covering the 49ers’ tight ends and running backs out of the backfield, allowing them to combine for 10 catches for 86 receiving yards, and to convert on some key third downs.
Kyle Fuller was the only standout from this group. Fuller recorded his first interception of the season, and added six tackles and two pass deflections to his stat line. Unfortunately, as a group, they couldn’t contain San Francisco’s wide receivers. Marquise Goodwin and rookie Trent Taylor had 99 and 92 receiving yards respectively.
Cohen’s 61-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter was hands down the biggest play of the game. In the fourth quarter, the rookie returned another punt for 68 yards down inside the 49ers’ 20-yard line, but an illegal-block-in-the-back penalty on Ben Braunecker, pushing the ball back to the Bears’ 19-yard line.
This was one game the Bears should’ve won, yet John Fox has still managed to find a way to not fully prepare his team. Garoppolo looked as if he has been playing with the 49ers all season long, and exploited a defense that played so far back in coverage on third downs. Record-wise, Chicago may not be at the very bottom of the totem pole in the NFL, but looking at how this game turned out, they just might be the worst team in the league, and the coaching staff seems to be unable to fix that problem.