Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Keys to Victory: 49ers vs. Bears

Sep 9, 2022 at 12:15 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers take on the Chicago Bears on Sunday, September 11, at 10:00 a.m. PT at Solider Field. The game will be quarterback Trey Lance's first time starting as the number one option in San Francisco. The 49ers are loaded with talent in just about every position group on the team. The Bears have a young quarterback in Justin Fields, and by no means is he looking to lay down and lose this matchup. Here are my keys to victory for the 49ers.

Defense must CONTAIN Justin Fields

In the previous matchup, quarterback Justin Fields rushed for 103 yards. He also threw for 175 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Even as a rookie, Fields was the best player on the field, no pun intended, for the Bears. The defense needs to do their best to keep him inside that pocket. I believe that with speed on the edge of the defense in Nick Bosa and Drake Jackson and the depth, containing Fields shouldn't be too much of a problem. Suitable containment on Fields will eliminate his chances of sustaining drives for the Bears.

Establish the RUN GAME early

The 49ers appear to have a different mindset this season. Not only do they want to play "Bully Ball" and enforce their will on their opponents in the run game, but they also want to establish the mindset of durability to sustain drives on the offensive side. The 49ers have a new running backs coach, Anthony Lynn, who seems to be about power and running violently. What do these four running backs and fullbacks have in common? The punishing ability.

In my opinion, the 49ers released Trey Sermon, a former third-pick, because he just didn't fit the new mantra of Anthony Lynn. Though it's not coming to dress five backs for a game, I would like to see a minimum of four backs, including the fullback, Kyle Juszczyk. It doesn't matter which three halfbacks, as long as they run hard and keep the chains moving. Rumor has it that the weather won't favor the passing game, so the 49ers may have to lean on the run game, and the run game will need to find ways to sustain drives for the team.

Defense must ELIMINATE the run game

As much as they need to contain the quarterback, the Chicago Bears will look to set the tone by running the ball. The 49ers run defense didn't look too good stopping the run in the preseason. The last time the 49ers faced the Bears, the Bears didn't have running back David Montgomery. Khalil Herbert was their leading back with about 70 yards. The 49ers defense was without defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, and team captain Arik Armstead was still lined up on the outside. This season Armstead will be on the interior of the defensive line.

What concerns me is that the 49ers are without an actual nose tackle. The team lost D.J. Jones in free agency to Denver. In losing Jones, the team lost a more significant player to eat up space in the gaps. Having smaller and quicker players, such as Armstead and Kinlaw, means that the linebackers of the 49ers will have to plug those gaps as quickly as possible and make the tackles, of course. If the 49er's defensive front seven can stop the run, it will force Fields to pass, leading to turnovers.

CAPITALIZE on Bears mistakes

The 49ers defense did just this in the preseason. They forced turnovers which helped lead them to two victories. I'm not sure if this was a focus for the 49ers in the off-season, but they look like a completely different team, forcing turnovers on defense. I know it's cliche, but if you win the turnover battle, you win the game. There's a two-part fold to this situation because if the defense gets the offense the ball, the offense also has to capitalize by putting points on the scoreboard. If the 49ers do this, they will be hard to beat.

Get the Offense into a RHYTHM

Since this is Trey Lance's first official start as the leading quarterback, it would be wise to get him into a rhythm early. We already know we need to establish the run, but expect head coach Kyle Shanahan to create high percentage throws for his young quarterback. Once Lance is comfortable, you can bet your bottom dollar that he will look to get the ball down the field. The weather may play a role again, but Trey Lance is a quarterback capable of making all the throws. Lance seems confident, and let's keep him that way.

Of course, you want the team to play mistake-free and have zero penalties, but this is the NFL, and there are referees out there for a reason. I believe if the 49ers focus on these five elements of their game, they will start the season off 1-0.
  • Written by:
    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for 49erscap.com. His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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