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The San Francisco 49ers find themselves in a low-scoring 9-7 affair with the Chicago Bears through one half of Week 16 action at Levi's Stadium.


The Chicago Bears' third-ranked defense figured to be a major factor on the road in Week 16 versus the San Francisco 49ers, and it was, as head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad finds itself leading 9-7 over the first half of Sunday's contest. On the Niners' first two offensive possessions, Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks managed to swat down two of quarterback Nick Mullens' passes on third down.

Yet the 49ers' own defense managed to hold its own against Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and Co., too. Aside from a 43-yard reception by Chicago wide receiver Allen Robinson, San Francisco held Trubisky to a total of 137 yards passing and a touchdown over the first half.

Robinson's big play should have ended in Bears points. Yet kicker Cody Parkey's 37-yard field-goal try missed wide right following cornerback K'Waun Williams' impressive open-field tackle on the Bears' Jordan Howard:


The Niners weren't able to respond, offensively, however. Yet their defense managed to have an impressive stand of its own late in the first quarter, which culminated in EDGE Cassius Marsh picking up a sack on Trubisky, followed by a combined tackle for a loss by Williams and linebacker Fred Warner on Bears running back Tarik Cohen.

Marsh would add another sack in the second quarter, bringing his yearly total to 5.5.

San Francisco was able to take a 3-0 lead just after the 11-minute mark of the second quarter. Yet that drive proved costly for San Francisco, as the team lost running back Matt Breida to an ankle injury and wide receiver Dante Pettis to what appeared to be a knee injury.

Breida is questionable to return. Pettis, meanwhile, was able to walk back to the locker room without assistance and is also listed as questionable. That's good news, particularly since it looked as if he suffered something like an ACL injury when he was tackled.

Tight end Garrett Celek was taken out to be evaluated for a head injury.

UPDATE: Breida, Celek and Pettis have all been declared OUT for the rest of the game.

A key play in the game was defensive tackle DeForest Buckner picking up a loose-ball fumble from Trubisky, which marked only the sixth defensive takeaway the 49ers have had this season. The 49ers managed another field goal off that turnover -- a 30-yard attempt, which kicker Robbie Gould made to increase the lead to 6-0.

Yet the Bears responded back, cashing in with a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Anthony Miller after a would-be red-zone interception by Williams was nullified by a defensive holding call against Warner. Miller beat rookie cornerback Tarvarius Moore on the play, which briefly gave Chicago a 7-6 lead after the successful point-after attempt by Parkey.

With less than two minutes remaining, though, Mullens engineered an eight-play, 63-yard drive culminating with Gould's third field goal of the game, giving San Francisco back the lead, 9-7, heading into halftime.

Chicago managed 178 all-purpose yards in the first half, while going 2-of-5 on third downs. The 49ers, meanwhile, had XXX yards of offense with Mullens going 11-of-18 for 98 yards and a passer rating of 75.7.

San Francisco will start off on offense in the third quarter.