Chicago Bears Week 13 Preview: San Francisco 49ers


The Chicago Bears take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. They hope to finally reach the .500 mark for the season, and inch closer to a playoff spot in the NFC.

The Chicago Bears take on the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field on Sunday. They are looking to finally climb up to the .500 mark after starting the season 0-3. Beating the 49ers would also strengthen their playoff chances.

The Bears are facing a Niners team that is in shambles at the moment. They have lost eight of their last ten games. They have seven players lost for the season on injured reserve, have three more players who are declared out for the game, and have SIXTEEN other players who were on the injury report.

San Francisco is in a place that the Bears and their fans are familiar with. Last season it was the Bears who were in shambles, having internal strife and awful play on the field that led them to an eventual 5-11 season.

The Niners rank dead last in points scored, and last in total offense. They are 30th in passing yards and 30th in passing touchdowns. They are 20th in rushing yards and 26th in rushing touchdowns. They are led by Blaine Gabbert, who has a 6-24 career record.

The Bears defense should be able to take advantage of the Niners’ passing attack. They rank second in passing yards given up, so they should be able to shut Gabbert down (and honestly, who hasn’t been able to do that?). Kyle Fuller and Tracy Porter have played well the last month or so, and that fine play should continue on Sunday. 

Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears /

Chicago Bears

The Bears’ rushing defense has been a sore spot so far, ranking 29th in rushing yards allowed, but has done a good job of keeping rushers out of the end zone, ranking 2nd in touchdowns allowed on the ground. This could be the game that gets their confidence up against the run.

In their last five-game stretch, the Niners were held to single-digit scoring twice, and did not score more than 17 points in any of the others. With the quarterback and running back troubles for San Francisco, and their line being decimated, the Bears defensive line may have a great day.

Defensively, San Francisco ranks 29th in total defense, 28th against the pass and 25th against the run. They also rank 29th in rushing touchdowns allowed. That bodes well for a Bears rushing attack that now features Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford as a two-headed rushing monster. 

Even though the Bears will be without Marquess Wilson, they will have Alshon Jeffery in better health, and will have Martellus Bennett back. Bennett missed the Thanksgiving night game against the Green Bay Packers.

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With Jeffery, Jay Cutler can lengthen the field, opening things up underneath. Langford and Forte will have a field day with the short passes. With Bennett, he has a big target he can use in the red zone or on third down situations. The Niners have had trouble with their tackling, so be on the lookout for some big plays.

It will be important for the Bears to start strong, and get the Niners down early. Being offensively challenged, they will have trouble trying to come back. If the Bears allow them to stay in the game, much like the Arizona Cardinals did last week, it could be an ugly, grind-it-out kind of game, something they do not want.

The Bears’ playoff hopes are on the line, and this is one of those games that need to go in the win column. The first step to being playoff contenders is to at least be at .500, and that needs to happen on Sunday.

The Bears also need to improve their porous record at home. They are just 1-4 at Soldier Field. Home is supposed to be where a team feels its most comfortable, but it has been a house of horrors for the Bears the last couple of years. That needs to change.

Next: Tracy Porter a Surprising Key to the Chicago Bears Defense

If the Bears lose this game, any hope for the playoffs goes out the window, and any hope of having a positive end to the season will also go down. In addition to being a must-win game, it is a should-win game. You have a struggling team traveling a couple of time zones over, so the Bears should take care of business. It’s no wonder that they are favorites for the first time this season. They cannot mess it up now.