Even though the Chicago Bears are a home underdog against the San Francisco 49ers, this is certainly a game that the Bears can win if they play ball control and get a couple breaks. Sure they have some key players missing but so do the ‘Niners. Both teams have solid defensive units, but San Fran’s offense has been clicking much better than Chicago’s has this season. But this game could come down to which team protects the ball better. San Francisco is a -7 in turnover differential, and the Bears are -2, but the 49ers have given the ball away 11 times to Chicago’s 10.
Let’s check in on the keys the WCG staff believes the Bears need to follow to win this game and crawl back to .500.
Sam Householder: Establish the run early and use it to set up the passing game with play action. Use balanced play calling to keep the ‘Niners off balance so they don’t know what’s coming. On defense, use whatever pass rushers you have to get after Jimmy G and he will wilt.
Ken Mitchell: On offense, run the ball, a lot. Run it some more. Run it with the backs, run it with the quarterback. The ‘Niners are mid-tier in both yards-per-game and yards-per-carry allowed, and if Chicago can run the ball on Tampa on the road, they for sure should be able to run the ball against the Niners at home. Defensively pressure the heck out of whoever is quarterback. Really, the D just needs to keep on keeping on... as long as the other team starts in their own end of the field, this D is just fine. The problem is the 30 yard drives to score.
Jack Salo: The 49ers’ defense has given up the 6th-fewest yards per game, and the Bears are trotting out the league’s worst offense in YPG. Yikes. Still, if anything, this should be an indication that something’s got to give. The 49ers defense is probably a bit over-ranked based on that stat, and the Bears offense isn't totally void of talent. Hit Mooney until they bring attention away from Robinson, then send A-Rob down the sideline!
On defense the Bears can’t get burned deep. This 49ers offensive line is pretty good, and whichever 49ers quarterback drops back, the Bears need to limit them to short throws. When they try the deep throws, pick them off or get a coverage sack.
Robert Schmitz: Offensively the Bears need to protect the passer while will allow them to [finally] score some points. On D, they need to make things even modestly hard for Jimmy G and they’ll reap the benefits.
Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter: On offense: Find a spark with the passing game. They’re running the ball quite well with Khalil Herbert emerging as a legit baller. It’ll also help to finally see the big and nasty Larry Borom back on the O-Line, likely at RT, so if he’s activated that’d be a help.
Defense: Take the ball away, and finish the play. I counted two interceptions dropped against the Bucs just last week, and Eddie Jackson had two opportunities for house calls slip through his fingers already this season.
Special Teams: Keep doing what you’re doing, and don’t take unnecessary risks with taking kicks/punts out from the endzone.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.: Keep running the rock, but some actual play action that mirrors the run action would be nice to see on occasion. How about getting the tight ends involved after they feign a block then leak out for an easy reception. Some rub routes and crossers would be fun too. And protect the quarterback at all costs, so if that means extra blockers, then so be it. Other teams have figured this out, it’s not really a difficult concept.
Robert Zeglinski: Okay, I’m going to keep this short. Friends, family, religion. These are the demons the Bears must slay if they wish to succeed in football. Any questions?
Yes, I have some questions...
And here’s Josh’s cinematic key this week! Guess the movie and win a prize!
Josh Sunderbruch: A good game should be like a small play, but played seriously. A good team does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, they contract. When the opponent contracts, the team expands. And when there is an opportunity, they do not score. The score happens all by itself.
What are your keys the Bears need to do to get the W?