The Bears passing game did not fair much better – 67 yards, but at least the Bears had 8 completions. The Bears rushing game was lead by backup Andrian Peterson who rushed for 120 of 175 total Bears rushing yards. Really though, this 17-9 Bears win came down to a battle of special teams, where both teams had ample opportunity to win this game.
The wind prevented the Bears from converting two field goal attempts, and the 49ers from converting one of their attempts. The 49ers missed field goal was run back for a Bears touchdown – that would ultimately be the deciding factor in this bout. Despite kicker Joe Nedney’s veteran abilities the 49ers were unable to muster any real offense, even when inside the Bears 5 yard line. In fact, the 49ers best offensive play was punting the ball, which resulted in three fumble recovers for the 49ers.
Penalties remain a problem for the 49ers, particularly in the redzone. The team is preventing itself from having any chance to win by being called for penalties, particularly after getting a break or converting a big play. A rather disciplined team is beginning to look sloppy, which leads me to question if the coaching staff is losing this team.
The 49ers did lose Tony Parrish to a broken leg. The 49ers strong safety, and one of the players on the roster who is legitimately talented could be gone for the remainder of the season, or close to it. The 49ers defense continued to perform at a decent level, although the pass rush was lacking (perhaps because the team was keying in on the run – given the weather). In particular Bruce Thornton continues to be impressive at cornerback, and has even begun to contributed well in run defense. Julian Peterson, Andre Carter, Derek Smith and Bryant Young continue to lead this group in the right direction. Mike Adams and Shawntae Spencer seem to remain susceptible to one big breakdown per game.
Heading into a long road stretch in which the 49ers play 5 out of 7 games away from home, this game was a dismal start. The coaching staff should be furious over the penalties, and lack of concentration by the offense in general. Even Brandon Lloyd was off his game today – alligator arming an incomplete pass, and dropping another. I expect to see either Ken Dorsey or Alex Smith return to quarterback for the 49ers. Although Pickett does bring some nice things to the offense – particularly the ability to look down field and move through the pocket at the same time, I do not see him as being capable of leading this team to first downs every game.
For the first time in 49ers history the 49ers have not scored a touchdown in three consecutive games. It could be a long time before the offense sees the endzone again, and that will only make the defenses job more difficult.