- The Bears went from playing the best team in the NFC to the worst but it looked the same at the line of scrimmage early. The Bears were dominated. They struggled to stop the run and they couldn’t get a pass rush. They never really got much penetration against the run all game.
- I’ll cut them a little break on the pass rush. The Bears seemed to think that the best way to play the 49ers new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was to drop 8 into coverage and rush three. It wasn’t working too well early to my eye and apparently the Bears agreed. They started to blitz more in the second quarter and, naturally, started getting more pressure.
- I thought it was interesting to see the 49ers occasionally go to the hurry up with a quarterback that supposedly wasn’t up to speed with the offense. Generally speaking I thought Garoppolo did a pretty good job with it.
- I found this game to be extremely frustrating to watch as the bears struggled to get off the field. The 49ers dominated the time of possession and dissected the Bears zone defense pretty much as easily as the Eagles did last week, holding the ball about twice as long as the Bears. In fairness, it was bend and don’t break and the 49ers settled to field goal after field goal and I suppose giving up 15 points could be considered to be a successful game. But it looked like the Bears were trying to hang around and let the 49ers stop themselves rather than stopping them with aggressive play.
- Like a lot of teams before them, the 49ers went right at Kyle Fuller and avoided Prince Amukamara.
- The 49ers started to attack the middle in the passing game in the second quarter. That makes sense given that the Bears were starting Chris Prosinski, who they re-signed just this week.
- The 49ers had good success rolling Garoppolo out. He’s more mobile than he looks and he throws well on the run. You’d like to see the Bears do that more with Trubisky.
- Garoppolo is also extremely accurate and has a pretty good arm. I’m impressed.
- Lamarr Houston got a sack and all I could think was “Don’t blow the knee. Don’t blow the knee.”
- The Bears relied heavily on the run and the short pass early. They seem to have rediscovered the slant pass as they successfully threw several early.
- The Bears concentrated heavily on passes over the middle. I don’t know if that’s a nod to Trubisky to keep the play in front of him and limit his reads or if they just think the 49ers are weak there.
- Dontrelle Inman looks like a find. He looks better than a #4 receiver which is what he was billed as. Of course, we wouldn’t know what a good #2 or #1 looks like around here anymore.
- Trubisky generally looked more accurate today which was encouraging.
- Trubisky struggled to find open receivers. How much of that was him and how much the receivers was hard to tell. The replays often showed open men. You wonder if head coach John Fox hasn’t made him gun shy in an effort to prevent turnovers.
- Neither Charles Leno nor Bobby Massie had a great game today. Both allowed pressure and Leno had a damaging holding penalty in the fourth quarter.
- This was a pretty miserable offensive game for the Bears. They struggled to get first downs, struggled to block the edges and struggled to get open. It was tough to watch.
- Andrew Catalon and James Lofton were your announcers. The broadcast was a bare bones affair without much of the detailed analysis of replays that we often see. The network seemed to be more focused on bringing back historical footage of both teams than in providing insight into the current game. Lofton didn’t teach me a whole lot. Overall, nothing special.
- The Bears had punter Neil O’Donnell kicking off. That’s unusual but he did a pretty good job. At the same time, it led to speculation that new kicker Cairo Santos was having trouble with his previously injured groin.
Tarik Cohen had an amazing 60 yard punt return where he reversed field. That was worth the price of admission.
Cohen had another wonderful return in the fourth quarter that was brought back due to a block in the back. It was a bad penalty away from the ball by Ben Braunecker.
Generally speaking I wasn’t impressed with the 49ers discipline on the coverage teams. They also looked slower than the Bears. Or at least too slow to keep up with Cohen.
Cohen, on the other hand, had an amazing game both offensively and on special teams.
- A Charles Leno holding call killed a Tarik Cohen 25 yard run in the second quarter. Having said that the 49ers killed themselves with repeated penalties in the first half with 6 for 43 yards.
- Kyle Fuller got a big interception in the first quarter. Fuller was itching to get one as he’d gotten a couple good breaks on the ball on passes before that.
- “Tough to watch” pretty much sums up this game. Most of it was simply watching the 49ers offense operate against a Bears defense that didn’t seem real interested in the kind of aggressive play that might have stopped them. Special teams weren’t bad even considering the kicker apparently had a bad groin. But the Bears offense was more miserable than usual and couldn’t move the ball.
This was generally ugly, ugly football. It doesn’t look like the kind of football most of the rest of the league is playing. It certainly doesn’t look like the kind of football a team on the rise is supposed to be playing.