The Bears officially kicked off their season this morning against the San Francisco 49ers. In a game greatly affected by the weather the Bears were able to come away with the win, but they still had plenty of rough moments along the way. Let’s take a look at how they did.
For much of the first half of this one Chicago’s offense was practically nonexistent. Play calling on the first thirty minutes of football was certainly conservative and worryingly reminiscent of the offense on former HC Matt Nagy. Now, much of this can likely be attributed to the rain. As is commonly the case, the wet conditions led to a very run heavy game. Unfortunately for the Bears it’s hard to lean so much on the run against a strong defensive front like San Francisco’s
In the first half RBs David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert had a combined 14 rushing attempts (9 for Monty and 5 for Herbert) while in comparison Fields had only attempted 9 passes, of which 5 were incomplete plus an interception (which came on a questionable pass to say the least). Clearly Fields was struggling a bit to start, a lot of it being from the constant pressure he was under with his o-line that was struggling to stave off the likes of Nick Bosa and Talanoa Hufanga. It was this pressure and passing struggles that led to what felt like an almost run only offense in the first half. The Bears offensive limitations made them far too predictable to get anything by the 9ers. All in all the Bears predictability caused them to go into halftime with only 68 total offensive yards down by 7.
That brings about the defenses 1st half performance. All things considered when you look at how things were going it was surprising to only be down by 7. The defense was able to step up in key moments. Drive after drive the Bears defense would bend but not break. Even with the 49ers constantly starting with great field position they were forced to punt on all but two of their possessions, one of which was the TD and the other being a fumble recovered by Chicago. This perseverance by the defense was huge in keeping the Bears in this game at halftime.
Coming out of the half the Bears offense began to find their groove while the defense continued to come up big when they needed to. After holding SF to a field goal on a drive where another TD seemed eminent the Bears got their first points on the board. Chicago responded with a TD in their first drive of the second half thanks to a tremendous play by Justin Fields in which his ability to roll out of the pocket and find an opening really showed. It was from this point that the Bears were able to pick up and hold momentum. In the remainder of the game the Bears held SF scoreless while adding on two more touchdowns to go ahead 19-10 (Santos missed two PAs).
What I took away from this game as a whole was four things. First the Bears looked to be a much more disciplined team than any under Nagy. SF committed 12 penalties for a total of 99 yards while Chicago only had 3 for 24. Unlike years past we weren’t the ones to repeatedly shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties. Next thing I took away was this new offense’s ability to change their game plan after a poor first half performance, something that the former regime really struggled with to say the least. Now, not unlike the Bears teams under that former regime I still see a team that greatly relies on the defense to keep them in the game. The Bears are not a team that runs away with it offensively. Lastly I see a team with great perseverance as a whole. Seldom in the past could the Bears pick up momentum after rough starts like they did today. At the end of the day not the prettiest of games but I’ll take it. BEARS WIN!