The Chicago Bears pulled off one of the bigger upsets of Sunday with a 19 to 10 win against the San Francisco 49ers, and while the awful conditions were a factor, it wasn’t as critical as Matt Eberflus’ H.I.T.S. philosophy.
The buy-in from the players was evident all offseason, but with them trailing 10 to 0 midway through the third quarter, we saw how much this team believes in themselves with 19 unanswered points.
The 49ers outgained the Bears, 331 yards to 204 yards, had more first downs, 17 to 15, had the time of possession edge, 33:28 to 26:32, and were better on third downs, 47.1% conversions to 35.7%, but the Bears kept plugging away all game long.
Chicago won the turnover battle (2 to 1), and they played more disciplined with just 3 penalties for 24 yards to 12 for 99 for the ‘Niners.
Now let’s take a closer look at the playing time breakdowns for the Bears and also some individual stats.
Justin Fields had a rough first half passing (3 of 9, 19 yards, 1 int, 2 sacks), but he bounced back in the second half (5 for 8, 102 yards, 2 TDs). Three knees in victory formation dropped his rushing numbers to 11 for 28 yards.
Khalil Herbert led the Bears in rushing with 45 yards on 9 carries and a TD. David Montgomery had 3 catches for 24 yards but was held to 26 yards on 17 rushes.
Dante Pettis had a 51-yard TD catch, and Equanimeous Tristan Imhotep J. St. Brown caught an 18-yard TD. [I just wanted to use his full legal name!]
The weather threw a wrench into what offensive coordinator Luke Getsy wanted to do, but the staff adjusted the gameplan and put the team in a position to succeed.
Head coach Matt Eberflus said it was the team’s plan all week to rotate Teven Jenkins and Lucas Patrick at right guard. Once the club is off of Patrick, and he’s able to snap the ball, it’s presumed he’d slide into the starting lineup at center.
Roquan Smith led the Bears with 9 tackles, and he added a pass defended and a half sack.
Eddie Jackson (3 tackles) had his first interception since December 12, 2019. Jaylon Johnson had 4 tackles, 1 TFL, and a forced fumble.
The rookies showed out with Dominique Robinson getting 7 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a tackle for loss, Jaquan Brisker had 4 tackles, a TFL, and a fumble recovery, and Kyler Gordon had 6 tackles and a TFL.
Some of the Bears’ defensive ends are still listed as linebackers per the graphic above, but they had a nice rotation up front all afternoon.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
Trenton Gill (aka the Gill-otine) punted 6 times for a 46.2 average while hitting one inside the 20-yard line.
Cairo Santos missed 2 of 3 extra points, but the veteran kicker made sure to let the media know that the unsportsmanlike penalty that Gill got for bringing a towel out on the field was his responsibility.
Trestan Ebner returned 2 kicks for 48 yards.
To check out the full Bears vs 49ers box score, I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site.
All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.