Studs and duds from Bears’ Week 1 win vs. 49ers

·5 min read

The Chicago Bears opened the 2022 NFL season with a 19-10 upset win over the San Francisco 49ers.

It was a tale of two halves for the Bears, especially on offense. Chicago was held scoreless in the first half. After San Francisco went up 10-0, the Bears scored 19 unanswered points to open the season at 1-0.

There were plenty of players who played key roles in the Bears’ victory, including both rookies and veterans.

We’re taking a look at the studs and duds from Chicago’s win over San Francisco.

Stud: DE Dominique Robinson

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It’s a good thing Robinson was able to make his NFL debut Sunday (after being questionable with a knee injury), because he had an impressive outing and played a big part in the win. Robinson made the most of his opportunities in his debut, where he brought plenty of pressure on Trey Lance. Robinson had 1.5 sacks on the afternoon, including the first sack of the 2022 season for the Bears. Robinson had seven tackles, including one for a loss, and two QB hits.

Stud: RB Khalil Herbert

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The run game took some time to get going against a dominant San Francisco front, but it played an important role late in the game. While David Montgomery had his moments, Herbert helped the Bears offense to victory late in Sunday’s game. Herbert led Chicago with 45 rushing yards on nine carries (5 yards per carry) and had the game-sealing three-yard touchdown following a takeaway by the defense.

Stud: S Jaquan Brisker

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Another rookie who made a strong impression in his first NFL start was Brisker, who forced the first turnover of the season for the Bears. With the 49ers offense driving, cornerback Jaylon Johnson punched the ball out of receiver Deebo Samuel’s hands and Brisker was quick to jump on it for the fumble recovery. Brisker added four tackles, including one for a loss.

Stud: QB Justin Fields

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Things looked rough for Fields in the first half against the 49ers, where he was under constant duress and failed to complete a pass to a single receiver. Things changed in the second half with Fields coming up clutch for Chicago, including two touchdown passes to Dante Pettis (a 51-yard bomb) and Equanimeous St. Brown (18 yards). Fields completed 8-of-17 passes for 121 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for a 85.7 passer rating. The numbers aren’t sexy, but Fields came through when his team needed him in the second half.

Stud: S Eddie Jackson

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In his fresh start with this new regime, Jackson came up huge for the Bears defense with an interception of Trey Lance that led to the game-sealing touchdown by Herbert. It was Jackson’s first interception since the 2019 season, and it came at a time when Chicago really needed it. Jackson totaled three tackles and a pass breakup on the afternoon.

Stud: LB Roquan Smith

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Smith saw his first live game action since the 2021 season finale against the Vikings, and he had a solid outing at weak-side linebacker for the Bears. Smith led the team with nine tackles and added 0.5 sack, one pass breakup and a QB hit. That 0.5 sack, that he shared with Robinson, came on third-and-goal from the 4-yard line, and it was huge for the defense.

Dud: Bears offensive line

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The Bears offensive line looked rough in their first game of the season, and it’s certainly a cause for concern heading into the remainder of the season. Fields was under duress throughout the game, but especially the first half where he was sacked twice. Luckily, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy made some nice adjustments in the second half to help Fields. This is an unproven group on the offensive line, and it’s clear they still have plenty of work to do.

Dud: K Cairo Santos

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Santos has been reliable since arriving in Chicago, including connecting on 40 consecutive field goals, which is the most in Bears history. But he had a rough day at the office on a rain-soaked field Sunday. Santos didn’t have any field goal attempts, but he had three extra point opportunities. He missed two extra points in the second half. Luckily, it didn’t wind up costing the Bears. Sure, the field was in poor shape. But those are kicks Santos has to make.

Dud: P Trenton Gill

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While Gill had a solid day on punts (and he was especially busy in the first half) averaging 46.2 yards per punt, he lands on our duds list because of a critical mistake at the end of the first half. With the Bears offense struggling, they had a chance to get some momentum with a field goal in the final minute of the second quarter. But Gill received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for bringing a towel on the field to wipe the area where Santos was kicking. It was an obscure penalty for sure. But it still cost the Bears a potential three points.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire