Although you couldn't tell from the scoreboard, the San Francisco 49ers looked like a different team with their new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo behind center. The 49ers moved the ball with ease between the 20s, but Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's "bend-don't-break" defense -- along with penalties and mistakes by the Niners -- forced San Francisco to trade touchdowns for field goals when they reached the red zone.
Garoppolo finished the game with 293 yards passing -- the highest output of his career. Although Garoppolo is still learning head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, and played the game with a limited playbook, Garoppolo looked cool and composed while calling audibles and running no-huddle plays.
Garoppolo was his signature self on third down, helping his team convert 10 of their 18 third-down attempts. However, he did throw his first career interception when a third down pass was caught by wide receiver Louis Murphy, and then taken away by Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller.
The 49ers dominated Chicago in the first half -- compiling 214 yards to the Bears' 74 -- but were forced to settle for three field goals after committing multiple mistakes in the red zone. The Bears sustained just one drive in the first half, which they converted into the first touchdown of the game.
49ers punter Bradley Pinion only punted once in the first half, but that punt was returned for a touchdown by running back Tarik Cohen -- who changed directions and ran backwards before taking the return 61 yards for the score. Bradley's only punt of the second half was nearly returned for another touchdown, but the long return by Cohen was called back due to an illegal block by the Bears.
The 49ers stopped the Bears' first drive of the second half, and then marched down the field on a 16-play drive. The 49ers appeared to have a first-and-goal before a juggled catch by Murphy was called incomplete, and the Niners were forced to settle for kicker Robbie Gould's fourth field goal of the game.
The 49ers stopped Chicago on their next two drives before the Niners received the ball on their 8-yard line, with 5:27 on the clock. Garoppolo led his team on a 14-play, 86-yard drive, before centering the ball for Gould's game-winning field goal with four seconds remaining.
|8 (53)||Penalties (Yds)||4 (29)|
|2 (2)||Punts (Avg)||5 (36)|
|38:47||Time of Pos.||21:13|
|49ers Player Stats|
|Bears Player Stats|