Bears vs. 49ers recap: Everything we know about Chicago’s Week 8 loss

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After an embarrassing 35-point loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Chicago Bears couldn’t figure out a way to turn things around, and they’ve now lost three straight football games.

Though things looked better under Chris Tabor, the Bears still didn’t do enough to win, losing 33-22 to the San Francisco 49ers. This loss is the fifth loss of the season for the Bears, and all five losses were by 10 or more points.

Final Score: 49ers 33, Bears 22

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Keys to the Game

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Tabor as ‘Acting’ Head Coach: Going into this game, depending on your feeling on Matt Nagy, the Bears were either at an advantage or disadvantage. Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor was acting head coach due to Nagy testing positive COVID-19. Even though they lost, it’s fair to say the team looked sharper than weeks past, asking the question, how hot is Nagy’s seat?

Passing Attack: After Justin Fields turned the football over five times against Tampa, the question going into the week was how would this offense bounce back? Fields and the offense bounced back well, getting into a rhythm early. Bill Lazor used Fields under center, in play action, and in shotgun. The play calling through the air was impressive and the team looked way better in the passing game than weeks prior.

Rushing Attack: The Bears used three different running backs along with Justin Fields in the run game on Sunday. Fields and Khalil Herbert rushed for over 170 yards combined. Overall, the team ended up with 176 net rushing yards.

It was over when...

AP Photo/David Banks

It was over when on third-and-19, Jimmy Garoppolo hit Deebo Samuel for a long 83-yard pass. Granted, it was a check down that Samuel turned into a massive gain. On the field, it was called a touchdown, but it was reversed, as Samuel was ruled out of bounce at the one. That was the play that broke the Bears’ back.

Garoppolo finished off that drive with the first of his two rushing touchdowns in the game. After that drive, the Bears gave up 17 points. On offense, they scored seven more points, but punted twice and threw an interception.

That one play changed everything and without it, maybe the Bears are 4-4 right now.

3 Stars of the Game

AP Photo/David Banks

***Cairo Santos: Though Cairo Santos missed an extra point, his field goal streak was extended to 38 in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers. Santos had 10 of the Bears 22 points. His long was a 40-yard field goal, but that missed extra point seemed to kill the team’s momentum.

**Khalil Herbert: Khalil Herbert played well, rushing for 72 yards in 23 attempts. Herbert went down with an injury and the offense stalled out without him. Though he did come back later on, it showed that this team needs him to be successful in the running attack while David Montgomery is out.

*Justin Fields: Justin Fields turned around his worst NFL performance into his best. Fields completed 70.4% of his passes, threw for one touchdown, and had 175 yards in Sunday’s loss. He was escaping sacks, being smart with the football, and playing with a lot of confidence. Fields rushed for over 100 yards, including this touchdown down seven in the fourth quarter.

What's next

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The Bears will go on the road to face the Steelers in Pittsburgh for the first time since 2013. These two teams most recently played against each other in 2017. Chicago won that game 23-17 in overtime. The two teams will meet on Monday Night Football on Nov. 8.

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