Sunday was a tough one for fans to swallow.
On paper, the San Francisco 49ers were a team that the Bears should’ve been able to hang with, and for the most part, they did.
However, when it came down to it, it was the defense that really couldn’t get a stop. Like at all.
The Bears’ run defense is quickly becoming a huge problem.
They now rank 25th in yards per carry allowed and 23rd in rushing yards allowed. Absolutely brutal. The Bears didn’t force a single punt Sunday and allowed a season-high 467 yards.
That’s with the blowouts by the Bucs and the Rams. They still had less yards than the 49ers against the Chicago defense.
So it’s not great for the defense, but the offense showed some signs of life. Or at least their most important future piece did.
Let’s get to it.
Justin Fields, QB - This was Justin Fields’ best game as a starter. His biggest mistake was late in the game when he was taking a huge shot downfield just to try to make something happen. I want a quarterback who will do that and isn’t afraid of the blemish on his stat line.
Fields became the first quarterback to rush for 100 yards in Bears history since Bobby Douglass in 1973. His fourth and one touchdown run will quickly become a season highlight. His touchdown pass was even better; rolling to his left, looking downfield he placed a pass where only a diving Jesse James could get it or it would fall harmlessly on to the grass.
Jason Peters, LT - Peters has had some up and down moments this season, which I think can be expected of someone with his experience and mileage but I thought Sunday was mostly up. Especially on the aforementioned Fields touchdown scramble when he absolutely laid out Fred Warner.
Jesse James, TE - His stat line wasn’t crazy impressive; three catches, 38 yards and a touchdown, but it was just what Justin Fields needed. The Bears have been looking for more tight end production and I think turning to the one who got the most reps with Fields in the preseason was a good choice. He clearly has good chemistry with Fields and he was a good outlet for the rookie signal caller.
Cody Whitehair, OG - Whitehair has had a bad season and Sunday was rough for him. He had two ineligible man downfield penalties (one was declined because James Daniels was also downfield) and a holding penalty.
Eddie Goldman, NT - Goldman has not looked like himself this season. I won’t speculate on the reasons for that, but his play has not been up to the standard of the Goldman of a few years ago. He was one of the best run stuffers in the league and a key cog in what the Bears did up front, but Sunday was getting pushed around and the 49ers were able to run up the middle on the Bears all day.
Roquan Smith, LB - Sunday wasn’t a banner day for Smith, especially in his quest to be a highly paid LB and an All-Pro. Robert Schmitz talked about it on Bear with Me a bunch, so I won’t rehash, go give it a listen, but Smith didn’t look as effective when he didn’t have the pass rush he’s used to up front. To some extent, an All-Pro LB should overcome that, but Smith’s five tackles and one TFL were all he could produce.
Who did I miss? Who do you think had a good or bad game Sunday?