Thoughts and notes from 49ers Week 1 disaster vs. Bears

·7 min read

The 49ers were dominating their season opener in Chicago, until they weren’t. A 10-0 lead at halftime evaporated quickly and the Bears pulled away for a 19-10 victory at Soldier Field.

Here are our notes and observations from a bad Sunday for San Francisco:

First quarter

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

– Wow. First snap the Bears go empty and Javon Kinlaw burst through to affect an attempted screen pass from Bears QB Justin Fields. Good start to the year for Kinlaw.

– First sack of the year is Samson Ebukam and Kinlaw who both carried defenders into fields. That was an excellent defensive series to start the season.

– 49ers first offensive play is a jet sweep to Brandon Aiyuk. Expecting lots of stuff like that today.

– QB sneak by Lance gets a first down. Nice work by him after Deebo Samuel got them in third and short on a little shovel pass.

– Sweet throw to Brandon Aiyuk by Lance. Nice pass protection from Elijah Mitchell and Lance threw a strike for a big gain.

– Samuel fumbled on his first carry of the year and the Bears recovered. Yikes. San Francisco was in the red zone. That’s a bad time for a turnover.

– The 49ers should’ve had another third-down stop. Quick pressure forced Fields to improvise and RB David Montgomery slipped the tackle of Dre Greenlaw.

– Interception by Talanoa Hufanga! Not sure what Fields was looking at there but the throw was never there. The 49ers will take it.

– Nice run by Elijah Mitchell after the pick. The middle of the 49ers’ offensive line has been decent so far.

– First sack of the day allowed by the 49ers comes from Mike McGlinchey’s side. He got beat inside to force a 49ers punt after the INT.

– Another tough play for Greenlaw. They had Fields stopped for a loss. He slid and Greenlaw landed on top of him for a 15-yard penalty. That’s not great, but he’s in a hard spot there.

– Hufanga is having a stellar game. He had the INT on the last series and cut down Bears RB Khalil Herbert for a loss on a screen pass.

– Kinlaw is hurt. Absolutely brutal. He walked off under his own power and had his ankle taped. That’s good news for San Francisco for now.

– There’s Nick Bosa on a third-and-8 for his first sack of the season. Goodness this Bears OL is bad.

– Another failed third down for the 49ers. This time the pocket collapsed on third-and-3. Lance did a nice job stepping up through the pocket, but he throw low and behind WR Jauan Jennings. The good news is he kept his eyes downfield as the pressure caved in.

End of first quarter: 49ers 0, Bears 0

Second quarter

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

– Wow. A handoff on third-and-9 for the Bears deep in their own territory. The 49ers defense is just dominating this game.

– A triple option look! That was fun. Handoff to Samuel was available, but Lance pulled it and ran the option with Elijah Mitchell. That’s so unfair for defenses.

– SWEET throw into the second level by Lance to Ray-Ray McCloud. Touch over the linebacker in front of the safety to the boundary. That’s great work.

– First touchdown of the year is to wideback Deebo Samuel, who took a handoff around the right end for a TD. Mitchell was lined up out there blocking. Great work by Ray-Ray McCloud blocking that play too. Samuel bulldozed his way through one tackler for the score. 7-0, 49ers.

– First throw Mooney Ward’s way is incomplete. He blew up WR Equanimeous St. Brown.

– Brandon Aiyuk flagged for offensive pass interference on a great throw from Lance. He did not commit offensive pass interference.

– Wow. Third-and-13 and the 49ers call Lance’s number on a draw. He barreled his way forward for 14 and a first down. That’s a terrific play call and one of the reasons the 49ers moved to Lance.

– Drake Jackson got twisted around on a play action boot by Chicago. He got his head down and by the time he looked up Fields was behind him.

– Fields’ legs have been a major factor in the Bears putting together a good drive late in the half. He’s been evading pressure all day, and now he’s finally breaking out and finding yards on the ground.

– The Bears were going to try a 46-yard field goal, but they were flagged because they brought a towel out to try and dry out the kicker’s landing spot. That’s wild.

Halftime: 49ers 7, Bears 0

Third quarter

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

– Samuel dropped the first throw of the second half. He also had a fumble earlier. May be an issue with the rain and wet ball

– Dime from Lance to Jauan Jennings on a deep shot. That was sweet. It’s clear the 49ers are pushing the ball down the field more with their passing attack.

– Lance looks to be running with more force this season. Last year tackle breaking was an issue for him. He bullied his way forward on a third-and-2 for a first down.

–  Woof. Bad goal-to-go series for San Francisco. Two failed runs and then Lance took a sack on third down. A 25-yard Robbie Gould field goal made it a 10-0, 49ers.

– Another bad penalty by Greenlaw. This time he commits a facemask on a play where Bears RB David Montgomery was already stopped. Unnecessary penalty on third down gives the Bears life.

– Wow. Fields was nearly sacked, then found Dante Pettis wide open on a coverage bust after the QB scrambled. Pettis walked in for an easy score.  We have a ball game. 10-7, 49ers.

– The 49ers need points on this drive.

– Third-and-5 and Lance throws a dart to Jennings for a first down. Easy slant and he hit a throw he had to have. Nice work from the QB.

– Third-and-9 and a Lance scramble goes for eight. The offense was not good enough on that drive and now Chicago gets a chance to take the lead in a game they have no business being in.

– More busted coverage for San Francisco allows Fields to make an easy 23-yard completion. Looked like rookie CB Samuel Womack got lost.

– Now more bad penalties. After a third-and-9 stop, CB Mooney Ward was flagged for defensive holding. Just abominable from the 49ers the last two drives.

End of third quarter: 49ers 10, Bears 7

Fourth quarter

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

– Another 15-yarder as Azeez Al-Shaair flies in and hits Fields after he slid. Penalties on the defense are erasing an otherwise sterling effort.

– Good coverage by Ward on a deep shot to WR Darnell Mooney.

– Al-Shaair went to the medical tent after the hit on Fields. Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles is in.

– The Bears have the lead on a TD pass to Equanimeous St. Brown. Embarrassing consecutive series for the 49ers defense. It’s 13-10, Bears.

– Incomplete pass to start the drive. Then a false start. This is so, so bad. The 49ers haven’t looked this disjointed and out of sync in a long time.

– Huge conversion from Lance on a third-and-10. He stepped up through pressure then drilled in a throw to TE Ross Dwelley for 11 and a first down.

– Yikes. Another third down and this time Lance is intercepted by safety Eddie Jackson. That might do it.

– More defensive penalties. This time it’s a hold on Javon Kinlaw it’s their 10th penalty and gives the Bears a first-and-goal. Disaster.

– Khalil Herbert runs in for a score to put this one away. It’s 20-10, Bears.

– Penalties have been a killer. Lance scrambled for a first down on third-and-2, but then Trent Williams was flagged for a false start to put the 49ers behind the sticks immediately.

– It is POURING late in this game.

– Incomplete on fourth-and-8. That’ll do it at Soldier Field with 3:38 left. All-time bad loss here for San Francisco.

Final score: Bears 19, 49ers 10

Story originally appeared on Niners Wire