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Miscues lead to second-half collapse for 49ers in 19-10 loss to Bears

Sep 11, 2022 at 1:07 PM

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
SF 0 7 3 0 10
CHI 0 0 7 12 19

On a rainy and sloppy day at Soldier Field in Chicago, the San Francisco 49ers went from a team that was seemingly cruising to a win over the underdog Bears to a team with an 0-1 record after a series of mistakes led to a second half collapse from which they could not recover.

The 49ers controlled the game for the first half and opened up a 10-0 lead early in the second half, but a variety of errors led to an unexpected turnaround that resulted in 19 unanswered Bears points in a 19-10 loss. The 49ers outgained the Bears 331 to 204 but committed 12 penalties for 99 yards in the game, several of those occurring at key moments in the second half, while turning the ball over twice.

49ers quarterback Trey Lance finished with 164 yards and an interception on 13-of-28 passing in the loss while rushing for 54 yards on 13 carries. Bears quarterbacks Justin Fields overcame a rough start to finish with 121 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on 8-of-17 passing.

First Half

The 49ers held the Bears to a three-and-out on the game's opening possession, then drove inside the Bears' 20 due in large part to a 31-yard completion from Lance to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. But the Bears halted the drive on the following play when a run from Deebo Samuel resulted in a fumble that was recovered by defensive back Jaquan Brisker, giving the Bears possession at their own 12-yard line.

The defense got the ball right back for the 49ers, however, thanks to an interception from safety Talanoa Hufanga. The Bears moved to their own 35-yard line on five plays, then on a 3rd-and-7, Fields fired a pass over the middle into the arms of Hufanga, who was brought down at the Bears' 48-yard line.

Nothing came of the turnover for the 49ers, who punted back to the Bears after four plays. The Bears followed with a punt of their own after a third down sack by 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, then held the 49ers to a three-and-out with under a minute left in the first quarter. The Bears were then held to a three-and-out of their own, giving the 49ers possession at their own 48-yard line after a 16-yard return from Ray-Ray McCloud.

The 49ers turned that field position into the first points of the game after a seven-play, 52-yard drive that ended with a six-yard scoring run from Samuel. A 20-yard completion from Lance to McCloud on the second play of the drive moved the ball to the Bears' 26-yard line, then Samuel took a handoff on a 2nd-and-Goal to give the 49ers a 7-0 lead.

The teams traded punts after the touchdown, then the Bears moved across midfield for the first time on their final drive of the half and put themselves in a position to add a field goal before halftime. But the field goal attempt was scrapped after a most unusual penalty call -- an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction after punter/holder Trenton Gill brought a towel onto the field to wipe the turf before the kick.

The Bears punted after the penalty, which was followed by a short drive by the 49ers that came up empty before the end of the half. The 49ers finished the half with a 179-68 edge over the Bears in total yardage and held the Bears to five first downs and 2.3 yards per play. Lance finished the half with 70 yards on 6-of-10 passing and 21 yards rushing on three carries, while Fields was held to 19 yards on 3-of-9 passing with 25 yards rushing on five carries.

Second Half

The 49ers extended their lead to start the second half after a 25-yard field goal from Robbie Gould moved the score to 10-0. Lance came up with a big play early in the second half's opening possession when he found wide receiver Jauan Jennings for a 44-yard gain on third down, then the 49ers moved inside the 5-yard line after some runs from Lance and running back Jeff Wilson. But the drive stalled from there, forcing the 49ers to settle for a field goal after an 11-play, 68-yard possession.

A familiar face burned the 49ers on the next drive, as wide receiver Dante Pettis scored on a 51-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 10-7. A third down face mask penalty on linebacker Dre Greenlaw kept the drive alive three plays earlier, then on a 3rd-and-10, Pettis, who was a second-round pick of the 49ers in 2018 before being waived in 2020, got loose in the 49ers' secondary while Fields escaped pressure and floated a pass that Pettis ran in for a touchdown.

Momentum carried over into the following possession for the Bears, who after holding the 49ers to punt on defense together a 10-play, 84-yard drive culminating with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Fields to wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown for a 13-10 lead. A third down defensive holding call on cornerback Charvarius Ward and a 15-yard unnecessary roughness call on linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair gave the Bears a boost on the drive, then Fields found St. Brown open in the end zone for a score. Kicker Cairo Santos missed the point after attempt, keeping the 49ers within three.

The hole grew deeper on the next possession for the 49ers, who found themselves struggling on offense after their successes earlier in the game. On the sixth play of the possession that followed St. Brown's touchdown, Lance was picked by safety Eddie Jackson, who set the Bears up with possession at returned the ball to the 49ers 21-yard line after a 26-yard return. The Bears scored five plays later on a three-yard run by running back Khalil Herbert, but a second consecutive missed PAT from Santos left the score at 19-10 with 7:21 to play.

Heavy rain began to fall as the 49ers attempted their next drive, which ended on a turnover on downs after 11 plays. The Bears took over with 3:38 remaining in the game and punted back to the 49ers after a three-and-out, but the 49ers were unable to fight through the downpour and turned the ball over on downs with 1:29 on the clock. The Bears ran out the clock from there to seal the win.

Game Notes: 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell exited the game in the first half with a knee injury and did not return... Today's game featured two first-round quarterbacks from the 2020 NFL Draft in Lance and Fields. The 49ers traded up to select Lance third overall, while the Bears traded up to select Fields at pick 11... The 49ers were a 6.5-point favorite and carried a series edge of 35-32-1 heading into the game. The series had a 3-3 mark over the previous six meetings, with the 49ers winning 33-22 at Soldier Field in 2021.

Up next: The 49ers will be back in the Bay Area next Sunday for their home opener against the Seattle Seahawks (4:05 p.m. ET/1:05 p.m. PT, FOX). The Bears take to the road next week for a Sunday night game in Green Bay against the Packers (8:20 p.m. ET/5:20 p.m. PT, NBC).

SF Team Stats CHI
155 Passing Yards 105
176 Rushing Yards 99
331 Total Yards 204
5.86 Avg Yards per Pass 7.12
4.76 Avg Yards per Run 2.68
1 Fumbles Lost 0
1 Int Thrown 1
2 Sacks Allowed 2
00:33:28 Time of Pos 00:26:32
12 Penalties 3

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Trey Lance 13/28 164 0 1
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Trey Lance 13 54 4.2 0
Deebo Samuel 8 52 6.5 1
Elijah Mitchell 6 41 6.8 0
Jeff Wilson 9 22 2.4 0
Brandon Aiyuk 1 7 7 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Jauan Jennings 4 6 62 0
Brandon Aiyuk 2 2 40 0
Ray-Ray McCloud 1 2 20 0
Deebo Samuel 2 8 14 0
Ross Dwelley 1 2 11 0
Tyler Kroft 1 2 9 0
Jeff Wilson 2 2 8 0
Kyle Juszczyk 0 2 0 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Trey Lance 1 0
Deebo Samuel 1 1
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Robbie Gould 1 1 25 1
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 4 40.3 3 51
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Ray-Ray McCloud 42 21 0 21
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Ray-Ray McCloud 2 11.5 0 16
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Talanoa Hufanga 9-2 0 1 0
Fred Warner 4-2 0 0 0
Nick Bosa 4-1 1 0 0
Dre Greenlaw 4-0 0 0 0
Azeez Al-Shaair 3-2 0 0 0
Tashaun Gipson 2-1 0 0 0
Hassan Ridgeway 2-1 0 0 0
Arik Armstead 2-0 0 0 0
Emmanuel Moseley 2-0 0 0 0
Samson Ebukam 2-0 1 0 0
Tarvarius Moore 1-0 0 0 0
Charvarius Ward 1-0 0 0 0
Ambry Thomas 1-0 0 0 0

Bears Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Justin Fields 8/17 121 2 1
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Khalil Herbert 9 45 5 1
Justin Fields 11 28 2.5 0
David Montgomery 17 26 1.5 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Dante Pettis 1 1 51 1
David Montgomery 3 4 24 0
Byron Pringle 1 2 22 0
Equanimeous St. Brown 1 3 18 1
Darnell Mooney 1 3 8 0
Cole Kmet 0 1 0 0
Ryan Griffin 0 2 0 0
Khalil Herbert 1 1 -2 0
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Roquan Smith 7-2 0.5 0 0
Nicholas Morrow 5-0 0 0 0
Kindle Vildor 5-0 0 0 0
Matthew Adams 3-1 0 0 0
Jaylon Johnson 3-1 0 0 1
Trevis Gipson 3-0 0 0 0
Eddie Jackson 2-1 0 1 0
Armon Watts 2-0 0 0 0
Robert Quinn 1-1 0 0 0
Justin Jones 1-1 0 0 0
Ryan Griffin 1-0 0 0 0
Mike Pennel 1-0 0 0 0
Al-Quadin Muhammad 1-0 0 0 0
Khalil Herbert 1-0 0 0 0

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