By Bryan Dietzler
The Bears will face the 1-10 San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field this Sunday at noon in a game that they should be able to win. But the Bears didn’t win the last game they were favored in (Green Bay), so nothing is guaranteed. As Bears’ fans, we hope they will win and start to look respectable. Losing is getting very old.
Chicago’s Offense versus San Francisco’s Defense
The Bears’ offense took several steps back last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, but they were going up against the best team in the NFL. This week, they will be going against one of the league’s weakest teams.
When it comes to passing the ball, Chicago’s offense is ranked 31st getting just 167.1 yards per game. That’s not going to win you many games, and it hasn’t. The Bears must find a way to get the ball down the field through the air, but they are hampered by the growing pains of Mitchell Trubisky and the lack of weapons to the throw at receiver.
The 49ers’ pass defense is allowing teams to pass for an average of 244.6 yards per game which is good for 26th in the NFL. If the Bears could get their passing game going, they could have some positive opportunities against the 49ers. They just need to get Trubisky headed in the right direction and get his receivers open. If they could get going this could be a breakout game, of sorts, for the passing offense.
Let’s hope it is.
Despite their effort last week, the Bears are still ranked eighth in the NFL gaining 120.4 yards per game on the ground. They will be going up against the NFL’s 30th ranked rushing defense which is allowing 129.5 yards per game. Chicago can run on the 49ers all day long it appears and will need to do that to win. If they can get the running game going and get Trubisky playing well enough to get them out of tough spots, they should be able to beat San Francisco.
Should be able to win it.
San Francisco’s Offense versus Chicago’s Defense
We are going to have a bit of an unknown in this game. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is going to start in place of the injured C.J. Bethard and we aren’t quite sure what we have with him. He has played before and played well but that was a while ago and we aren’t sure just how ready he is to take over. Remember, he hasn’t been with the 49ers long and before, when he was in New England, he didn’t play this year, so he will be rusty.
Let’s just hope he doesn’t shake that rust off against the Bears and have a big game.
It’s not fair to use San Francisco’s passing stats as a basis for seeing how they could do against Chicago because Garoppolo hasn’t been there that long. We will just talk about how well Chicago does against opponents passing attacks. Currently, the Bears are ranked 12th against the pass and are allowing 215.8 yards per game. The Bears passing defense is better than it would appear and hopefully will have a good game.
The Bears aren’t terrible at stopping the run either. Chicago is allowing 112.4 rushing yards per game which is good for 16th in the NFL. They are in the middle of the pack. San Francisco is gaining 99.3 rushing yards per game which is ranked 23rd in the league. They have Carlos Hyde who is averaging 4.1 yards per carry and that’s the guy the Bears need to key on and shut down. If they can take him out and force the 49ers to be one dimensional, then they will have a better chance of winning this game.
Look for this game to be a good example of how teams struggle. I would suspect the offenses of both teams will have problems scoring points. So, it will be a low scoring game. The Bears appear to have the better defense and that will account for something. But with the injuries they have suffered, especially on defense, just how will they stack up against the 49ers?
It could easily be anyone’s game Sunday.
Call this even.
The following is a look at the Bears’ and 49ers injury reports as of Friday with some details on impacts on the game.
Joshua Bellamy-WR-He had a concussion but has practiced fully all week and will play. The Bears need him to help move the ball down the field through the air.
Deon Bush-S-Bush did not practice the last two days of this week after being injured in preparation for Sunday’s game. He is questionable. The safety position has been rocked by injuries and so hopefully Bush will at least be available for depth.
Adrian Amos-S-Due to a hamstring injury, Amos is doubtful for Sunday. Chicago did activate Deiondre Hall off injured reserve, so he can step in and play safety if needed. And it looks like he will be needed. The Bears also brought back former safety Chris Prosinski for depth.
Tom Compton-RT-Compton was limited on Wednesday but practiced in full Thursday as he is still nursing an ankle injury. His status for Sunday is up in the air.
Bryce Callahan-CB-Callahan was limited with a knee injury this week and is questionable for Sunday. If he can’t go then Cre’Von LeBlanc may get the nod at nickel depending on his health.
Roy Robertson-Harris-DE-A hamstring injury limited Robertson-Harris on Wednesday but he practiced in full Thursday, so it appears he will be ready to go.
DeAndre Houston-Carson-S-The backup safety did not practice all week due to an ankle injury and is officially listed as questionable for Sunday. It’s likely he will be inactive. The Bears need their safeties to get healthy and hopefully, Houston-Carson will soon.
Cre’Von LeBlanc-CB-Illness-LeBlanc did not practice Friday due to an illness. The Bears may have some trouble at the nickel position if both LeBlanc and Callahan can’t play. Hopefully one of them will be healthy enough to play and stay in the game.
Josh Sitton-G-Sitton is questionable after being in the NFL’s concussion protocol this week. He didn’t practice on Wednesday and was limited the last two days. He could be cleared to play at the last moment.
Danny Trevathan-ILB-Trevathan has missed considerable time with a calf injury but finally appears to be ready to play. He started out the week limited but practiced in full on Thursday and wasn’t even on the report Friday.
Isaiah Irving-LB-Irving suffered a knee injury in practice earlier in the week and didn’t participate on Thursday or Friday. On Saturday, he was placed on injured reserve and Hall was called up to take his place. Irving’s season is over.
San Francisco 49ers
Here are the players that San Francisco lists on their injury report this week.
Elvis Dumervil-DE-Not injury relayed-Full participation.
Trent Brown-OT-Shoulder-Limited and questionable.
C.J. Bethard-QB-Knee and Hip-Full participation.
Ahkello Witherspoon-CB-Ankle-Limited participation and is questionable.
Joe Staley-OT-Not injury related-Full participation.
George Kittle-TE-Ankle-Full participation.
Adrian Colbert-S-Thumb-Limited participation and questionable.
Eric Reed-S-Knee-Full participation.
Solomon Thomas-DT-Knee-Full participation.
Earl Mitchell-NT-Not injury related-Full participation