Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: San Francisco 49ers (1-10) at Chicago Bears (2-9)

Al Sacco
Nov 30, 2016 at 4:08 PM--
Updated Dec 3, 2016 at 9:26 PM

If you like moral victories (and really, that's all we've got at this point) you're probably at least feeling optimistic after the San Francisco 49ers (1-10) hung in there against a red-hot Miami Dolphins team (7-4) last week. The offense seems to be coming around and QB Colin Kaepernick is starting to show flashes of his old self. That's good – I guess – if he actually decides to stay with the team next year and doesn't opt out of his deal. Kaepernick and company have a good chance of continuing their improving play as the Niners will take on one of only two or three teams they can actually beat in Week 13 – the Chicago Bears (2-9).

Recent History

Does anyone else remember that "fun win" from Week 13 last season? It was Jed York who sent out that infamous tweet declaring the victory "fun" after the 49ers defeated the Bears 26-20 in overtime and the fans were none too pleased. After all, the Niner's record went to 4-8, and there was nothing fun about watching a team that was a recent powerhouse get a meaningless win while the franchise was spiraling downward. The game ended when QB Blaine Gabbert hit WR Torrey Smith for a 71-yard touchdown strike, which was an exciting play, but overall didn't mean much in what was basically a lost campaign.

Players to watch

The 49ers continue to struggle to rush the passer and it cost them dearly in Week 12. Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill was pressured on just eight of his 34 dropbacks and was 20-26 for 285 yards and three scores when throwing from a clean pocket. Currently, OLB Ahmad Brooks leads San Francisco with 4.0 sacks, but OLB Eli Harold and OLB Tank Carradine have been invisible on the other side. Enter DE/OLB Ronald Blair, who's been impressive in limited action thus far. Blair had a sack and two hurries during 21 pass rushes last week and the rookie should continue to see his role increase as the season reaches its homestretch.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears are absolutely reeling right now and are missing key players on both sides of the ball. With both QB Jay Cutler and QB Brian Hoyer out for the season, third-string QB Matt Barkley will make his second career start. Barkley did throw for 312 yards and three touchdowns against the Tennesee Titans in his first game, but much of that was with Chicago already down big. The Bears will try and protect their inexperienced signal caller with the running game, so expect RB Jordan Howard to get touches early on. Howard's been extremely impressive in his rookie year, averaging 5.1 yards per carry and 766 yards in 10 games.

Stats to Know

At the end of the first half in Week 12, San Francisco wide receivers had 6 catches for 70 yards over their last six quarters. That's not one player, it's every receiver. For the season, the numbers from this unit are absolutely abysmal as the entire depth chart has combined to catch 107 balls for 1,281 yards and just 6 touchdowns through 11 games. To put that into perspective, WR Julio Jones has 1,140 yards on his own, which is only 141 less than every Niner receiver. The position was ignored this offseason and it shows.

Game Changing Factor

The list of players the Bears are missing is stunning. Cutler, Hoyer, WR Alshon Jeffery, WR Kevin White, LB Danny Trevathan, LB Jerrell Freeman, CB Kyle Fuller, TE Zach Miller, and G Kyle Long are all injured or suspended. Chicago is a skeleton crew at this point and that's the main reason why this team is in shambles. The Bears weren't very good to begin with, but losing all of this talent has made them even worse. If the 49ers can't win this game, I'm not sure they can beat anyone (maybe the Browns), so this will be a measuring stick of just how bad San Francisco actually is.

By the Numbers

QB Colin Kaepernick's 373 rushing yards in 7 games this season are the 2nd-most in the NFL among quarterbacks.

Phil Dawson's current 93.8 field goal percentage ranks 2nd in the NFL this season (Justin Tucker, Bal. – 100.0%). If he keeps this pace, Dawson will post the most accurate season of his 18-year career.

San Francisco has scored first in 8 of the team's 11 games this season.

Last week at Miami, Kaepernick became the 5th player since the NFL merger in 1970 to register 3 passing touchdowns and 100 yards rushing in a single game.

News from the Week

The 49ers' loss to the Miami Dolphins was the team's 10th straight. That set a franchise record.

The 49ers released this year's sixth-round draft pick, RB Kelvin Taylor. He had spent the entire season on the practice squad. The roster move leaves just one of the team's three sixth-round selections from this year. The remaining player is WR Aaron Burbridge, who is currently on the active roster.

Matchup Information

Kickoff: Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. PT

Where: Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois

All-Time Matchup: 49ers lead series 33-30-1

Last Meeting: 12/6/15, 49ers win 26-20 (OT), at Chi.

Current Streak: Won 1

Betting: The 49ers are 2.5-point favorites

NFL Fan Picks: 58% pick the Bears to win according to Yahoo! Sports

49ers Fan Picks: Within our Pick 'em Contest, 65% believe the 49ers will win

49ers Schedule: View full schedule

Bears News: Bears news at

Follow Game Online:'s Game Center

Discuss: Niner Talk forum

Follow Us: Facebook, Twitter, Google+

Television and Radio

The game will be televised on FOX (Check 506 Sports to see if it is local).

Play-By-Play: Kenny Albert
Color Analyst: Daryl Johnston
Sideline Reporter: Laura Okmin

KGO 810 AM and The Bone 107.7 FM (Other markets) will carry the radio broadcast with Ted Robinson doing the play-by-play and Tim Ryan as the color analyst. ESPN Deportes and KKSF 910 AM will carry the Spanish broadcast.

San Francisco 49ers Injuries

LB Aaron Lynch (ankle), WR Quinton Patton (concussion)

Chicago Bears Injuries

QB Jay Cutler (right shoulder)

S Adrian Amos (foot), LB Leonard Floyd (concussion), DB Deiondre' Hall (ankle), WR Eddie Royal (toe), G Josh Sitton (ankle), OLB Willie Young (knee)

Game Averages (Rank)

49ers Bears
20.7 (22nd)
Offense Pts
16.2 (31st)
324.6 (28th)
Offense Yds
350.2 (16th)
198.2 (30th)
Offense Pass
251.7 (15th)
126.5 (4th)
Offense Rush
98.5 (21st)
31.3 (32nd)
Defense Pts Allowed
24.0 (20th)
424.5 (32nd)
Defense Yds Allowed
343.2 (11th)
252.6 (15th)
Defense Pass Allowed
239.8 (12th)
171.8 (32nd)
Defense Rush Allowed
103.4 (18th)

Individual Statistics

Team Leaders
Passing Comp Yds TD INT
Colin Kaepernick, SF 55.3 1440 10 3
Brian Hoyer, CHI 67 1445 6 0
Rushing Car Yds Avg TD
Carlos Hyde, SF 154 594 3.9 6
Jordan Howard, CHI 149 766 5.1 2
Receiving Rec Yds Avg TD
Jeremy Kerley, SF 42 448 10.7 3
Alshon Jeffery, CHI 40 630 15.8 1

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