Week One: It’s the San Francisco 49ers vs… the San Francisco 49ers?

When it rains, it pours. Literally and figuratively. In unfavorable weather, the San Francisco 49ers fell to the Chicago Bears 19-10 in an upset at Soldier Field. Already regarded as one of the worst teams in the NFL this season among a division with two playoff-caliber teams, the Bears will not go anywhere with this win. The 49ers, however, turned some heads, especially considering Chicago was the easiest opponent on their schedule. Should 49ers fans be worried? Let’s take a look at two of the components that led to this defeat.

The 49ers only put seven points on the board in the first half after dominating both quarters. Simply put, this just cannot happen. A conservative offense keeps the opponent in the game and the defense on the field, no matter if its’ against the worst or best team in the league. When you have a quarterback who has been getting decent rushing yards, not to mention a second option with Deebo Samuel, you go for it on 4th and 1. Instead of throwing a screen pass with four seconds left in the first half on the chance that Deebo Samuel can get 20+ yards after coverage, why not just go for the touchdown? You have a quarterback with an arm and multiple quick receivers who can get up for the ball. San Francisco has to be more aggressive on offense.

The lack of points did not only come down to conservative playcalling. On what could have at least garnered a field goal, Deebo Samuel fumbled the ball. Another turnover occurred in the second half when Trey Lance’s pass was picked off over the middle. Lance also overthrew a wide-open Tyler Kroft who would have scored. Yes, this was a very sloppy Chicago field, but two turnovers and missed opportunities came back to bite in the long haul. The fact of the matter is, the 49ers should have put the Bears away in the first half.

The 49ers had a dozen penalties that amounted to nearly 100 yards. San Francisco’s discipline was largely the deciding factor in this loss. The timing was pivotal. Every single point that Chicago scored was because the 49ers allowed them to keep their drive alive. San Francisco’s defense did the work to pin the Bears on third down… multiple times. Instead of getting the ball back, they committed unnecessary penalties that gave Chicago a new set of downs, ultimately allowing their offense to continue their march downfield.

Both Kyle Shanahan and Nick Bosa expressed frustration with the yardage they allowed the bears to gain due to these silly slips. As coach and captain, this will no doubt be addressed moving into week two against the Seattle Seahawks at home, which is going to be a scrappy game as it always is. The 49ers could not get away with it against the Chicago Bears, they will certainly not get away with it against a division rival. 

These two elements make it look like everything was bad for the 49ers on Sunday, but there was some good to take away. The defense completely shut out the Bears in the first half and Talanoa Hufanga had a breakout game as he seemed to be everywhere on the field. Hufanga had 11 total tackles and one interception. Nick Bosa also had a great game as he got a sack and five total tackles. On the offensive side, San Francisco’s receivers looked good as Jauan Jennings and Brandon Aiyuk averaged 15.5 and 20 yards. Trey Lance threw to seven different players, showing that he is not reliant on only Deebo Samuel to make the play, as this seemed to be the case last year. This game served as a major learning experience for a young group.

Author

  • moniquereil

    Football, basketball and soccer fan. Currently a fourth-year student-athlete studying history, English and graphic design.

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