CHISportsNation

3 point stance (1)

The Chicago Bears (3-8) take on the San Francisco 49ers (1-10) this Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field. Sunday’s matchup will be the 66th meeting between the two teams with the San Francisco 49ers holding the all-time series advantage (33-31-1). Sunday’s matchup between the Bears and 49ers has little appeal to NFL fans nationally as two teams with two of the worst records in the NFL square off on the lakefront. Locally, there will be buzz around this game as the 49ers start exciting young QB and Arlington Heights native, Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo attended Rolling Meadows High School and went on to quarterback the Eastern Illinois Panthers from 2010-2013. Playing his first three and a half NFL seasons with the New England Patriots and earning two Super Bowl rings, Garoppolo was traded midseason to the 49ers in exchange for a second round draft pick. Garoppolo was the subject of many trade rumors in the 2017 offseason with many people thinking or hoping the Bears would land him on their roster as the QB of the future. The Bears come off of an ugly blowout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday which once again leaves more questions than answers for the Bears faithful. After watching the Eagles outplay the Bears in every facet of the game last week, you can’t help but feel the Bears are closer to being the Cleveland Browns than they are to becoming a contender in the NFC.

Matchups (1)

Offense– This week marks the eighth start for rookie QB and first round draft pick Mitchell Trubisky as he faces off against one of the worst ranked defenses in the NFL. Ranking at the bottom of the league in both yards and points, this could be the matchup Mitch and the Bears offense need to get back on track after looking lost against the Eagles a week ago. The 49ers defense comes into this contest as the 30th ranked rush defense, so there should be some room to get Jordan Howard and Tarik Howard some yards on the ground. The Bears offense will have their best opportunity in weeks to move the ball through the air with favorable weather conditions at Soldier Field today. I believe the 49ers will play with more of an edge on defense knowing they have a new QB who has the potential to put points on the board but the Bears still manage to move the ball down the field today. EDGE: BEARS

Defense– After a disastrous outing against the Eagles last week, the Bears defense looks to rebound against the new look 49ers. Carlos Hyde has been a tough runner this season for the 49ers and he’ll look to ease the burden on Garoppolo in his first start for his new team. The 49ers don’t have big name receivers but they do tend to spread the ball around the field and rack up a lot of receptions each week. Marquise Goodwin is the best of the bunch and will most likely be the top threat for Garoppolo to target this week. The Bears get back a tackling machine and team leader in Danny Trevathan but the Bears defense doesn’t scare anyone. Garoppolo will look like he’s been running this offense all season.  EDGE: 49ers

Special Teams–  The 49ers have one of the top ranked special teams in the NFL. Robbie Gould makes his return to Soldier Field and comes in having made 21 out of 23 kicks on the season. The all time leader in points in Chicago Bears history, Gould arrives back in Chicago looking like the #9 who seemingly never missed while wearing a Bears uniform. The Bears don’t know what they have in kicker Cairo Santos and Pat O’Donnell struggled last week. EDGE: 49ers

Impact Players (1)

OffenseMitchell Trubisky– There will be two young players wearing #10 at Soldier Field on Sunday and the Chicago Bears fans and front office are hoping the one wearing orange and navy is the one who shines the brightest. There are many Bears fans (myself included) who had hoped to see Jimmy G in a Bears uniform to start the 2017 campaign. It didn’t work out that way and I believe in Mitch and his future with the Bears but it’s imperative that the Bears see their #10 outduel Garoppolo on the field this week. Both players are playing with limited weapons and this game will come down to who can make their teammates better and make a play when it’s needed.

DefenseDanny Trevathan– Having missed three straight games with a calf injury sustained during practice in the bye week, the Bears get one of their best defensive players back in Danny Trevathan this week. Trevathan is a tackling machine who has played at a high level this season. When Trevathan plays, he makes everyone around him better and there is no question the Bears defense is a better unit when he’s in the lineup.

Special TeamsCairo Santos– This will be a close game and it could all be decided by the right leg of Santos. It was a tough position to be put in when John Fox sent Santos out to kick his first in game field goal since injury and have him attempt a 54 yarder. That kick would have tied his career best. Santos will need to be clutch this week if the Bears are to win this game.

Keys to Victory (1)

1) Make life miserable for Garoppolo. For the Bears to win, they will need to force the 49ers into pass situations and he needs to feel uncomfortable in the pocket all game long. If he is able to set his feet and deliver the ball, it will be a long day for the Bears.

2) Hand the ball off. Howard and Cohen need to deliver on the ground today in order to open up a passing game for Mitch. They need to have 30+ touches and have success on the ground against a subpar defense.

3) Make at least two explosive plays. We have not seen a big play from the offense in a few weeks. The Bears offense has not been able to sustain drives and hitting on a big play or two when it’s available will be key for the Bears this week.

Chad's Take (1)

The Bears enter this week’s contest on a four game losing streak. This game will be close throughout as neither team has the ability to light up the scoreboard. Bears fans won’t have to leave the house in disgust at halftime to run errands like they did last weekend but Jimmy Garoppolo proves to be the spark for a struggling 49ers team who get their first road win of the season. Robbie Gould sends the game winner straight through the uprights and the Bears move to an unthinkable 3-9 record.

49ers 27  BEARS 24

(All stats for this post were provided by espn.com)

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