The Bears and 49ers have enjoyed interesting games in recent years. There was Blaine Gabbert running all over Chicago in 2015. There was the Toilet Bowl in the snow of 2016. And, last but not least, the Robbie Gould #RevengeGame of last season.
This year, the Bears are a Super Bowl contender while the 49ers are the best NFL team that’s decidedly not good, but is still playing for pride. Sunday’s game in the Bay Area is a microcosm of what NFL football in December often turns into: irrelevance.
For once, at least the Bears are actually playing for more than pride in comparison to their counterparts.
Here’s the Windy City Gridiron staff picks for Bears-49ers.
Robert Zeglinski: Bears 30, 49ers 17
The 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan is a great offensive mind, but even he can’t make up for this team’s talent deficiency against the Bears. Chicago wins a comfortable road game in San Francisco (Santa Clara).
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: Bears 23, 49ers 17
The 49ers have won two in a row and I could see them staying competitive with a late touchdown making it closer than it seems.
Aaron Leming: Bears 27, 49ers 20
I may be in the minority, but I think this is going to be a more hard fought game than assumed. The Bears should still win and keep their hopes for a first-round bye alive.
Jacob Infante: Bears 31, 49ers 20
Nick Mullens and George Kittle have been an effective quarterback-tight end combination, which should give the Bears a challenge. However, the Bears are still the Bears, and they’re the more talented team.
Sam Householder: Bears 31, 49ers 24
After knocking off a rival and one of the league’s best at home, the only thing left for the Bears to prove is that they won’t play down to bad opponents on the road. Nagy has his team ready to go with a top seed to play for.
Josh Sunderbruch: Bears 27, 49ers 23
I think the 49ers stay uncomfortably close and a late Gould field goal puts San Francisco ahead. Then the Bears finally get a late offensive drive to seal the game, and don’t trail again in the regular season.
ECD: Bears 28, 49ers 10
I feel the 49ers will put up a good fight, based on their two consecutive victories in recent weeks. With that said, Mitchell Trubisky should continue shredding weak secondaries, and the defense should be fine without Eddie Jackson this week.
Patti Curl: Bears 42, 49ers 9
The Bears fail to keep Gould in check, but otherwise dominate this game enough to anger the 49ers and prime them to knock the Rams out of the No. 2 seed in a Week 17 upset.
WhiskeyRanger: Bears 28, 49ers 17
The 49ers are on a roll, but they haven’t faced a team like the Bears. They’ll put up a fight, but the NFC North champions will be too much. Then I get to stick it to my father, who happens to be a 49ers fan. THAT’S FOR MISSING ALL MY JFL GAMES, DAD! Wait, what were we talking about? Oh, right.
Robert Schmitz: Bears 27, 49ers 17
Mullens has shown a surprising amount of poise, but has yet to play a top 16 defense. I don’t think the 49ers have enough weapons on offense to keep their young quarterback’s head above water when the Bears bring the rain.
Ken Mitchell: Bears 34, 49ers 20
The 49ers have been playing good football and any game is tough on the road. Additionally, it’s hard to imagine the Bears not letting down a bit after clinching. In the end, Chicago is the better team. But don’t be surprised if the game goes south.
WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Whiskey Ranger; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.