Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports



As Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen changed direction and raced through the San Francisco 49ers special teams unit on the way to the end zone on a punt return, it could have been very discouraging for an opposing team. It was Chicago's second touchdown of the game and gave the Bears a 14-6 lead over the visiting 49ers. However, as head coach Kyle Shanahan explained following the game, 49ers players were not discouraged and never felt that a win was out of reach.

"We didn't play our best," Shanahan said. "We had a bunch of penalties, gave up that punt return. We knew it was going to be a tight game, just with the way they played ball and the way we were going to try to play this game. And when they got that punt return and when we were short on a number of red zone opportunities, that is pretty discouraging to a team.

"Just to come out at halftime, talked about how we've got to eliminate those penalties and overcome some of that stuff, that's what I was excited about because it wasn't clean, it wasn't perfect, but there was never one time in that game that you felt guys on the sidelines feel like you were going to lose. Guys seemed confident. They never wavered, and that's what we're trying to get done here.

"You want to believe that you can win the game. True belief happens from having success and having those experiences and not just hoping. Hopefully, we can put a few of these together and gain that confidence going into next year."

The 49ers are armed with a confident veteran quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo. While Sunday's 15-14 victory over the Bears was just his third career NFL start, he studied the quarterback position for years in New England behind one of the all-time greats in Tom Brady. Against Chicago, he showed poise in the pocket and command of the offense, which gives the Niner Faithful some hope for the future.

"Since I've been around him, which isn't too long, but he's been the same guy every day," Shanahan said. "He never seems too high, he never seems too low, which is what you want in a quarterback. He kept that throughout the game. By no means was everything perfect and the guy never changed, which is what you want to see. It allows you to overcome mistakes and it allows you to handle when you're doing real good too and not lose your focus."

The 49ers have four games remaining on their schedule. Their opponents to close out the 2017 season will be the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Los Angeles Rams.