Week 10 Game Recap: San Francisco 49ers 9, Chicago Bears 17
What you need to know
The wind was the main story of the game, with cross winds gusting well beyond 30 miles per hour all day. The wind played havoc with the passing and kicking phases of the game, forcing both teams to run the ball on nearly every play. Ultimately, the game was decided by field position, turnovers and the kicking game as the Bears held on for a 17-9 victory.
Cody Pickett started at quarterback for the 49ers, but windy conditions meant the 49ers had little use for the passing part of the playbook. Pickett only attempted two passes in the first half and both were incomplete. Pickett only completed one of 13 passes for 28 yards in the entire game. Brandon Lloyd caught the lone reception of the game for the 49ers, but disappointed his coaching staff with two drops, one of which was near the goal line.
San Francisco handed the ball to Kevan Barlow and Frank Gore on the majority of the offensive plays. Barlow had more carries with 24 attempts for 58 yards, but Gore led the team in yards with 60 on 15 carries. Neither back reached the end zone despite six combined attempts in the red zone.
The San Francisco defense played admirably, allowing only 67 passing yards and ten points. The only weakness defensively was the inability to stuff the Bears rushing offense despite the Bearsí clear agenda to rush the ball in the breezy weather. Chicagoís two running backs rushed for 170 yards on 36 carries for the game, including the only offensive touchdown of the game for either team.
The windy conditions and the injury to regular starting RB Thomas Jones meant that the Bears intended to rely heavily on backups Cedric Benson and Adrian Peterson to run the ball and control the clock against San Francisco. Benson got the start and the majority of the carries until he was injured in the second quarter after 12 carries and 50 yards. Peterson carried the load the rest of the way and ran for a total of 120 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
The Bearsí passing game didnít have much impact on the game. Kyle Orton only attempted 13 passes and connected on eight of them for 67 yards. He didnít pass for a touchdown and threw an interception in the end zone, totally misfiring on a pass toward an open Muhsin Muhammad.
The play of the game was clearly the final play of the first half, when the 49ersí Joe Nedney attempted a 52 yard field goal that came up short and was returned 108 yards for a touchdown by the Bearsí Nathan Vasher. After Vasher caught the ball, he briefly appeared like he was going to down the ball in the end zone, and then he elected to try for the miraculous runback. He started down the left side of the field, seemed bottled up, then broke for the right sideline and found a convoy of blockers that led him all the way in the end zone for the Bearsí first score of the game and a 7-3 lead.
The Bears were fortunate to survive in this game despite four turnovers, three of which can be attributed to Bobby Wade and the punt return part of the game. One of the muffs gave San Francisco first and goal from the two yard line, but the 49ers were turned away on two rushing attempts before being penalized and kicking a field goal.
What you ought to know
|QB Cody Pickett, Pass: 1 - 13 - 28 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 6 - 15 - 0|
The 49ers put the ball in the hands of their rushing game with the inexperienced Pickett starting at quarterback and the windy conditions affecting the passing game. Pickett only threw two passes in the first half, both incomplete. The 49ers tried to open up the game a little in the second half, but Pickett still ended the game with only one completion in 13 attempts for 28 yards. He did not find the end zone and threw one interception. He was fortunate to have not been intercepted another time as the Bearís Charles Tillman had both hands on a badly overthrown ball and dropped it. He did run for 15 yards on six attempts, showing some scrambling ability on a few plays.
Barlow didnít get on track during this game, and he struggled to get his 58 yards on 24 carries. He only had one play for more than ten yards, a 17 yard run to get the 49ers out near midfield. The Bearsí rushing defense held him to one yard on five red zone carries. He would have picked up eight additional yards on a rushing play, but the play was nullified by an illegal motion penalty. He was not targeted in the San Francisco passing game.
Gore carried the ball 15 times, nine fewer than teammate Kevan Barlow. He did lead the 49ers in rushing with 60 yards for an average of four yards per carry. He only had one red zone carry and was stopped for a loss of two yards. San Francisco QB Cody Pickett did not look in his direction in the passing game.
He carried once for no yards.
Lloyd caught only one pass for 28 yards despite being targeted seven times. He dropped one very catchable ball and also should have caught a ball near the goal line but got alligator arms in the presence of two Bearsí defenders. The San Francisco coaching staff was clearly upset with Lloyd after the near touchdown was dropped.
Battle wasnít a factor in this game, like the entire 49ersí passing attack. He was only targeted twice and was held without a catch.
Morton was targeted twice and both passes were incomplete.
Bajema was targeted once in the red zone and the ball wasnít catchable.
Smith was targeted once and did not make the reception.
Nedney overcame the windy conditions and nailed a 30 yard field goal to give the 49ers an early lead. San Francisco elected to try a 52 yard field goal to end the first half, and the kick was well short, caught by the Bearsí Nathan Vasher and returned 108 yards for an improbable touchdown. Nedney kicked field goals of 34 and 29 yards in the second half.
With the windy weather conditions, both teams seemed to know that the opposing offense was likely to run the ball on nearly every play. With that apparent advantage to the defense, not to mention the absence of regular Bearsí starting RB Thomas Jones, the 49ersí rushing defense did not have a good game. Three Chicago RBs combined for 175 yards on 37 carries for an average of 4.7 yards per rush. After the second quarter injury to Cedric Benson, Bearsí third-stringer Adrian Peterson carried the load and ended the game with 120 yards and a touchdown on 24 attempts.
It isnít hard to defend the pass on a day with 30+ mile per hour wind gusts, and the 49ers fared quite well in defending the Bearsí passing attack. They held Bearsí QB Kyle Orton to only 67 yards and no touchdowns on 13 passing attempts and intercepted one pass. They did not record a sack in the game.
|QB Kyle Orton, Pass: 8 - 13 - 67 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - -3 - 0|
Orton wasnít called upon to do much in this game for the Bears given the windy conditions. He only completed eight out of 13 passes for 67 yards and no touchdowns. He was intercepted once. He did throw a few nice passes, particularly the 31 yard reception to TE Desmond Clark. The Bearsí offense only had one touchdown and one field goal for the game, and Orton didnít do much to get the Bears into position to score in either drive, completing just one pass each on the two scoring drives.
Peterson emerged as the Bearsí lead back during this game after the second quarter injury to Cedric Benson. He had a gain of 34 yards in the third quarter when he quickly burst through the line and into the secondary. He later rushed for the Bearsí only offensive touchdown of the game from seven yards out on what was his sixth carry inside the red zone for the game. He finished with 120 yards on 24 carries for his first professional 100 yard game. He was targeted once in the passing game but the ball was incomplete.
With the injury to Thomas Jones forcing him out of action against the 49ers, rookie Cedric Benson got his first career start in week ten of his rookie year. He shared carries with Adrian Peterson early in the game and was apparently seriously injured in the second quarter. His knee was bent awkwardly while being tackled and he did not return after 12 carries and 50 yards. A sideline reporter called the injury a sprained knee and didnít comment on the severity of the injury or if Benson would be available in week 11. It initially looked very bad but after the game, Coach Lovie Smith called it just a sprain.
Johnson caught two short passes for a total of two yards. He had one carry for five yards, but didnít see an increased workload after the injury to Cedric Benson. All of his touches came during the first drive of the game.
He was targeted on one pass and made the reception for three yards. This was his first game back on the active roster after being out with an injury for the first half of the season.
Gage did not have much of an impact on this game with only one catch for six yards on two targets. The weather limited the opportunities of all receivers.
Muhammad was targeted a team-high four times by Bearsí QB Kyle Orton, but only came away with one catch for three yards. One of the balls thrown in his direction resulted in an interception in the end zone when Orton failed to connect with him despite being open. Muhammad was also targeted on a long sideline pass that looked uncatchable, but officials called a pass interference penalty on San Francisco anyway. His one completion was in the red zone, but was caught well short of the goal line.
Wade nearly lost this game for the Bears by causing three turnovers in the punt return game. One of the muffs resulted in the 49ers getting first down and goal from the two yard line. He did catch one pass for 11 yards on his two targets. His reception set up the Bearsí field goal that gave them an eight point lead.
Clark caught both balls thrown in his direction for a total of 43 yards. His targets were limited due to the weather conditions favoring the run game.
The wind in Soldier Field made field goal kicking far more challenging than usual. Gould missed a 39 yard field goal early in the game that appeared to start on course but ended up nearer the corner of the end zone than the goal posts. He made a field goal from 37 yards late in the game. The Bears had earlier set up for a field goal that was botched due to a bad snap. Gould connected on both extra point attempts.
There was little surprise in the San Francisco play calling with the run heavy strategy in the windy conditions. The Bearsí defense crowded the line of scrimmage and held the 49ersí two running backs to 118 yards on 39 carries for an average of just over 3 yards per carry. The 49ers did not reach the end zone despite having eight rushing attempts within the red zone. The Bears had a tremendous goal line stand after a turnover on a punt return gave the 49ers a first down and goal from the two yard line. San Francisco ran two rushing plays for a total of one yard before the 49ers were penalized and forced to kick a field goal.
The Bearsí passing defense had a banner day holding San Francisco to one completion and 28 yards on 13 attempts for the game. The wind was the biggest factor in the poor passing game by the 49ers, but the Bears also had something to do with it. The Bears had no sacks and one interception, and should have had another easy interception that Charles Tillman appeared to have in both hands before dropping it.