The Bears got their best performance from rookie quarterback Justin Fields on Sunday. Any encouragement Chicago fans had turned out to be a Halloween trick, though, as a defensive collapse led to another defeat.
Fields relied on his arm and his legs Sunday to put up a very good stat line. The Bears had scoring drives on their first four series of the game. The problem was, three of the four drives resulted in field goals as opposed to touchdowns.
That said, Jesse James did catch a touchdown in the first quarter to help the Bears build up a 13-9 halftime lead. The 49ers finally broke through in the third quarter thanks to an 83-yard Deebo Samuel screen pass which set up a touchdown (a missed extra point kept the Bears ahead 16-15).
A punt return set up San Francisco’s go-ahead score in the fourth quarter. Elijah Mitchell paid off the touchdown and a two-point conversion put the Niners up by seven. It was at that point that the Bears QB pulled off a truly memorable touchdown scamper.
The Bears went for a fourth and one at the San Francisco 22 yard line and the play was botched from the start. A Fields bootleg found nothing but 49ers defenders bearing down on him. Justin did not give up on the play he dodged tackle after tackle before turning the corner and amazingly running all the way for the touchdown.
Of course with Chicago’s season going as it has Cairo Santos immediately missed the extra point to keep the Bears behind 23-22. The home team defense continued to falter late as the 49ers drove quickly down the field to go ahead by eight on a Jimmy Garoppolo quarterback keeper TD.
San Francisco passed up a two-point conversion that could’ve put the game on ice but it was academic as Chicago’s attack stalled. The road team added a late field goal and took home a 33-22 victory. (Box score)
Why the Bears Lost
The Bears’ defense could not stop the 49ers’ short passing and running in the second half. The inability of the offense to pay off early drives with touchdowns also turned out to be huge.
Samuel’s big screen pass came on a third and 19 deep in their own territory. San Francisco seemed to get a huge momentum boost out of the play and the Bears never stopped them the rest of the day.
Stats That Matter
- Fields was a true dual-threat quarterback on Sunday, throwing for 175 yards and running for 103 more. His scrambling especially created numerous impact plays and kept the Bears in the game.
- Khalil Herbert started out very effectively but slowed down as the game progressed putting up 72 yards rushing. He was forced to come out for a couple of series after an injury so keep an eye on that.
- The Bears created no turnovers and did not have a sack which has to be a huge disappointment. The Niners had previously struggled in both those areas.
You have to feel better about Justin Fields after that game. Despite continued coaching malpractice, he made things happen. If he can get a quality head coach and coordinator in his ear he could be very good in the NFL. The rest of the Bears are a mess right now and it really seems like the right time to move on from Matt Nagy and his staff. The playoffs seem like a pipe dream at this point.
The Bears head to Pittsburgh for a Monday night clash with the Steelers. The 7:15pm CT game will be broadcast on ESPN and WBBM radio. Personally, I recommend the Manning-cast on ESPN2 featuring Eli and Peyton Manning.