|San Francisco 49ers||0||13||0||15|
|Game Thread||Box Score|
During the first half the Bears put on a dominant show. Rex Grossman came out firing and aired out a deep ball to Bernard Berrian for a 45 yard gain on the first play. That was the first of 3 catches for Berrian who finished the game with 41 yards and 1TD to his name. After the Bears pulled out one Sexy Rexy deep ball, they gave the ball to Cedric Benson for no gain and went to Berrian again and Clements was nailed with passer interference bringing the ball to the 49ers 11. At that point the Bears handed the ball to Benson 4 times until he finally got it the TD. It wasn't the prettiest of drives, but it was GREAT to see Grossman and Berrian connect for a big play. The 49ers really geared their D to stop the run, but they couldn't keep Benson from busting the red zone on the first drive. Benson finished with a grossly underwhelming stat line (19 carries 41 yards with a 1.7 avg 1TD and 7 as his long), but when we needed him to get us to the end zone he got it done. Benson hasn't been great, but he hasn't given us any real reason to worry just yet.
On the first defensive outing our D put up the first of three impressive three and outs, the defense lives on this kind of thing and it was good to see them get pumped up and put on a show. They ran into Adewale Ogunleye for a 1 yard loss, passed left on a short route for 6 yards before Nathan Vasher put a stop to the play. The 49ers finally finished with an incompletion.
On the second offensive drive the Bears busted the enigmatic Devin Hester play for the game and tossed it his way for 3 yards. Grossman tried to connect with Greg Olson and there was a penalty on the play bringing it up to the SF 44 for the first. The next play caused all of Chicago to hold its collective breath as Hester was "injured" on the play after Benson got nailed for a 5 yard loss. It turned out that Hester was fine and we saw him alter in the game. Unfortunately, the only other hallmark of the drive was yet another botched snap by Grossman. I don't know what to make of this. Hopefully, Grossman is just working out the kinks as we continue to develop our defense. On the brighter side, at least he didn't lose the ball! Seriously though, this isn't good, but I admire Lovie Smith for the way he handled the situation by saying that we have to hold on to the ball. I mean there really is no other way to look at it. Lovie has a no nonsense view on things, and hopefully this tomfoolery on Grossman's part will not translate into the season. We can only hope right? Feel free to discuss this further in the comments. Honestly, I didn't see the play cause I got up from the game for a minute, so if anyone has any insight please share it. Thankfully the drive still ended in a score as Robbie Gould nailed his only FG for the night.
Again our D threw up another 3 and out as the 49ers tried to run against us to no avail as Dusty Dvoracek worked to break up the two plays and after a false start on the 49ers Adam Archuleta prevented a first down and forced the 49ers to punt.
The next offensive series was a dream for bears fans. Benson ran right for 5 yards, Grossman (Finishing 13/20 for 211 yards with a 10.6 avg. 2TD's and 1 INT) threw for 9 to Jason McKie, Grossman threw left to Olson for 23 yards, Grossman passed to Benson for 2, Benson ran for 6, Adrian Peterson ran left for 3, Benson ran up the middle for 7, and then Benson derailed the hurt-mobile with a no gain at the end of the quarter. Then on the first play of the second quarter the Bears busted out the Sexy Rexy deep ball yet again as Berrian was wide open for the TD. I was excited, my friends were excited, and apparently Berrian got a little bit too excited as he was nailed for unsportsmanlike conduct (I hope this doesn't translate into the regular season for Berrian).
This lead to the third impressive showing for the Bears D as Briggs made a stop as the Niner caught the ball and Hunter Hillenmeyer ran a guy out of bounds for a no gain. Then Alex Smith took the liberty to fumble the ball and lead to a fourth down, and then we looked human again. Drisan James (Do I know this Bear? Hell no I don't) looked absolutely stupid as he dropped the ball on our 6 and doesn't have the sense to jump on top of it and the 49ers recover. At that point the Bears D made a valiant stand. Before allowing the TD run by Maurice Hicks.
Then we had another good looking series and a bit of Bear luck as Brad Miller showed a rare mishandle of the long snap (planned or unplanned?) and ran it for the first. Before the inevitable TD to follow, the Bears opened up the playbook a little bit and ran a play action reverse to Berrian for 11 yards. I was borderline elated when I saw this play. I think we will be seeing a lot of reverses this year. The Bears marched down the field with Grossman leading the way and looking sharp and ultimately finding Desmond Clark for the short TD pass.
The Bears looked great once again and forced another 3 and out. I love three and outs, they are my favorite thing about Chicago Bears football. Briggs came up with two stops and Ogunleye had a sack to force the 49ers off the field again. Briggs finished with a handful of tackles, but it is good to see him making plays like we pay him to. This is obviously a contract year for him, and he looks very, very hungry on the field. Ogunleye has one tackle and one sack and is quietly having a productive preseason. Hopefully he can get more sacks as the season comes along.
Then it happened. Grossman threw a interception. It was a classic gunslinger mistake where he put the ball where he needed to and Walt Harris took a BIG gamble and jumped the route. Most times this type of situation ends in a first down for the defense, but once in a while the Defender will pick off the pass and then return it for in emphatic fashion for the TD. Unfortunately, we were victim of the latter, but on the bright side, it sure was fun to see Greg Olson almost catch the little booger before he got the TD.
The next big play came on the next defensive series when Brian Urlacher reminded us all how much of a man he is when he stripped the RB of the ball. Vasher recovered and brought the ball to the 49ers 20. Then Grossman connected to Olson for 16 yards to set up an Adrian Peterson run where Mike Has was instrumental in providing a GREAT block and allowed Peterson to make it in for the TD. IT was a great read by Peterson, but also a great play by Hass as he is proving that he can be used in a lot more way then just a "slow possession receiver."
All that to say our first teamers are looking good. My only concerns is Grossman's continued tomfoolery, but I am confident this will end. My major concern is Tommie Harris STILL not being on the field. I really hope this isn't that serious and if anything major comes up Adam or I will be sure to fill you all in, but man we need this guy. I would say he is the most important player on our team, and we need him in order for our Defense to be dominant.
Some second team guys showed some flashes. Dan Bazuin got a sack, and granted, it was against second and third team players. However, I am glad to see him in form and getting his job (sacks) done. Garrett Wolfe continues to make the other teams back ups look silly. If nothing else I hope that this guy can be more of a change of pace back and allow Adrian Peterson to do his thing on ST.
All in all it was a great showing by the Bears. There are some little things to nit pick here and there, but it is hard to get too finicky about the pre-season. Again, the only major concerns in my mind are Grossman's brain farts and Tommie Harris' appearance in sideline apparel. After that I think we will be fine, and I don't think we have too much to worry about.
Lets get ready to make the Cleveland Browns look silly here in the Chi next week!