Quick Game Comments: 49ers at Bears 9/11/22


  • Offensively this was really a game of 2 halves. Let’s start with a bad news with the first half. Bottom line, the Bears really lost the line of scrimmage in this half. The off lineensive line struggled against one of the best front sevens in the game. They had trouble protecting Justin Fields and they had trouble blocking the run.I was a bit surprised that they had the most trouble blocking on the inside of the line rather than on the outside with the office of tackles. I think we’re going to see a lot of that this year.
  • Perhaps related to that point. I I did notice that the Bears rotated Lucas Patrick in at right guard for Tevin Jenkins on occasion. I’ll be interested to hear what Matt Eberflus have to say about that after the game.
  • One thing I have to say is that Justin Fields is really going to have to learn to get rid of the ball quicker when he’s under pressure. Too often he dropped back and just simply couldn’t let go of the ball. He got better as the game went on. Going to have to be a lot better if it’s all offensive line is going to perform like that.
  • Fields was also having trouble with his accuracy early in the game. The balls seem to be flying rather high. I’m not sure what the trouble was but it did get better as the game we’re on.
  • As expected, the Bears wide receivers had a very hard time getting open when covered one on one by the 49ers defensive backs. They’re not a very good group and they’re going to have to get open with scheme. Which is exactly what happened in the second half. But that’s not going to be true and every game with teams that play better.
  • I think when you want to know what the Bears office looks like ideally, you look at the way the 49ers executed theirs in the first half. They establish the run, and then ran to play action pass off of it. And it was reasonably effective. There’s probably will add some Packers flavor like sceen passes and the rollouts. But that’s pretty much what they want the offense to look like.
  • On a related note, all the work that the Bears did on their screen passes in the off-season, they didn’t look very good running them this game. It’s obviously still a work in progress and probably will be all year.
  • It was hard to figure out exactly who Justin Fields was throwing the ball to on his first interception. Darnell Mooney was behind the safety who made the play. But I’m not sure it was intended for him. It did look to me on the replay like maybe the ball had been slightly tipped at the line and that may have deflected it just a little bit. But even so I really didn’t see anyone else in the area. Hard to figure that one out.
  • At one point in the second quarter, Trey Lance drew the Bears defensive lineman offside on a hard count, and I’m wondering when Justin Fields is going to start doing the same thing. 10 minutes later he did it.
  • I like the combination of David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert in the backfield. They have different running styles, Herbert being quicker and more elusive with Montgomery eing more straight ahead, running angles and breaking tackles. I think that they complement each other very well. Perhaps they could play Herbert just a little bit more. They could use his skill set. They could send both guys out on pass routes to little bit more.
  • In the second quarter Justin Fields started running, which was nice to see. Fields on the run should be a part of the Bears offense and hadn’t been up to that point. But it can’t be the entire Bears offense which is certainly what it was looking like.
  • The touchdown to Dante Pettis was a great example of what happens when a defense smells blood in the water. Fields was rolling out to the left and in trouble. Everybody left Pettis in order to pursue him thinking the play was on that side of the field. They were being aggressive and they couldn’t help themselves. Great job by Fields spotting it and getting him the ball.
  • Having said all of that, what happened in the second half of this game was really interesting. About midway through the third quarter all the Bears had done was throw short passes and try to run the ball. And the 49ers were stopping them cold. They were sitting on the short routes and they were crowding the box frequently putting eight men near the line in order to stop the run. Suddenly the Bears went to the play action pass and that’s where their big plays like the touchdown pass to Equiminius St Brown came from. When the 49ers backed off, the run game suddenly opened up and they started to move the ball that way. That was really good to see. That’s how the offense is supposed to work.


  • The 49ers came out running. Two reasons for that. First, it obviously the way that they prefer to play. Establish the run and go to the play action pass. And they did that reasonably effectively even if it didn’t result in many points. More on that later. The second reason was that they were trying to protect Trey Lance by not asking too much of him too soon.
  • Hard to tell watching television, but it looked at me like the Bears played mostly zone on early downs. But they went man-toman an awful lot on third down. My understanding is that that’s exactly what Matt Eberflus did it with the Colts so I think we can can anticipate seeing that the rest of the year.
  • I was a little bit disappointed that we didn’t see more of the speed on defense that we’ve been told to expect, especially in the first half. The Bears seem to be just a step slow on most plays. I certainly hope that gets better over the course of the year. There’s potential there but there were times when they didn’t look like they were playing with confidence and flying to the ball. Perhaps it was affected by the weather. But the 49ers didn’t seem to be affected. Play speed overall was lacking for the Bears on both sides of the ball.
  • Good job by Jaylon Johnson doing a peanut punch to get that ball to fall out on the Bears first fumble recovery. Looks like Tillman’s visit to the Bears training camp might have stuck with some of the players.
  • I think the good news is that the Bears seem to be getting decent pressure on Trey Lance with their front four. It wasn’t consistent. But it was definitely there. That’s absolutely necessary for success.
  • Having said that, the Bears seem to be having a very hard time stopping the run. They seem to be holding their position OK but they’re getting very little penetration on the defensive line. The result is that the 49ers were getting positive yards on every run. That has to get better.
  • It was great seeing Eddie Jackson come up with an interception in the first game. Let’s hope it’s the first of many this year and we’re seeing the 201 version of him.
  • Surprised that the 49ers didn’t go after Kindle Vildor more. It seemed they were concentrating more on Kyler Gordon.
  • Seeing Jaylon Johnson go down in the fourth quarter was not a good thing. The Bears do not have a lot of depth at cornerback. He returned on the next play but it was a reminder of what could happen.


  • Daryl Johnston and Joe Davis were in the booth with Pam Oliver the poor sole on the sideline in the rain this game. I’ll start by saying that I’m OK with Johnston. We could have done a lot worse for this game. Having said that, I thought Johnston and Davis spent a little bit too much time in the first half complaining about the referees. Yeah they were calling it close but it wasn’t that close. Those were legitimate penalties. In particular the push off by Brandon Aiyuk that they said “really didn’t affect the separation” was definitely a push off. Johnson’s head actually jerked back with the contact.
  • At the end of the first quarter the 49ers had 70 rushing yards and were averaging 5.8 yards per carry. The Bears had 15 rushing yards and we’re averaging 1.4. At the end of the game it was better at 4.8 Vs. 2.7 yards per carry. But still not good. When you can’t run the ball and you can’t stop the run that is an extremely bad sign. The Bears absolutely, positively have to be able to run the ball if they are going to have success this year. The entire first quarter was played in their half of the field.
  • Yes, the field was very wet. And I’m sure it wasn’t pleasant. But, in fairness, it sure looked to me like it was still a lot of green on the field at the end. It wasn’t exactly a mud bath. Kudos to them.
  • Kudos to the Bears crowd. They were pretty loud today on a really crappy day.
  • The great day for special teams. Two missed extra points might have really have hurt the Bears in this game.Penalty on Trenton Gill may very well have taken three points off of the board. Though, in fairness, I wasn’t aware of the rule that said that you couldn’t dry off the place where you were going to put the ball was illegal either.
  • This was a great game and that I think it showed us about a lot about how the season might go. First of all the Bears won the turnover battle 2 to 1. I think that’s something that they would like to see happen on a fairly consistent basis. Second they committed far fewer penalties with 3 than the 49ers at 12.That was an indication of the kind of discipline that they would like to play with. If you play with discipline and you manage to get turnovers, you can win a lot of games that you have no business winning. That’s what happened today.

    I said that, I think we also saw some of the problems that they may face. Both lines were dominated in the first half and to some extent in the second half.Doesn’t worry me so much on the office of side where the Bears have some young players who are still developing and who may get better over the course of the season. However on the defensive side, it’s a little bit of a different story. The defensive front seven has guys have to do better against the run.

    In additione, the wide receivers struggled to get open in man-to-man coverage. that, too, was as expected and I don’t think that there are going to be a lot of surprises. The 49ers did a very good job of keeping the ball from Darnell Mooney and, though the other guys made some plays, most of them were a result of play action rather than pure talent. A team that plays with more discipline than the 49ers did today will cause the Bears a lot of trouble because they don’t have the talent on the roster to win games with matchups.

    This was a good win, it was a win that the Bears had no business getting. And, If they are going to be a really good team this year, this was an indication that they could do better than many people expect.

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