Chicago Bears: Tough win keeps first round bye hopes alive

Chicago Bears (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears came away with a tough win on Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers. The team still has a shot at a first-round bye, but they’ll need help.

The Chicago Bears came into Sunday’s game with key injuries on the defensive side of the ball, and a chance to remain alive in the hunt for a top-two seed in the NFC. They needed to come away with a road victory, and they gutted out a 14-9 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Bears got the job done and made plays when they needed to. With key injuries for both teams, this wasn’t expected to be a high-scoring contest. Still, the Bears struggled to get things going offensively early in the game.

Down 6-0 and nearing halftime, the Bears needed a score on what looked to be their final drive of the half. Young quarterback Mitch Trubisky led the offense on an eight play, 75-yard drive to score a touchdown on a pass to wide receiver Anthony Miller before the end of the half.

The 49ers actually put together an impressive drive in the two-minute drill and came away with a field goal to take the lead 9-7 at halftime.

The defense had trouble containing 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens in the first half. Mullens is the replacement for the promising young signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo, who suffered a significant knee injury earlier this season.

In the second half, the defense stepped up and shut down the 49ers offense for the rest of the game. The one time it looked like the 49ers were going to score points, linebacker Danny Trevathan came away with a big interception.

There were still some big mistakes by the Bears that could’ve cost them the game against a stronger team. Kicker Cody Parkey continues to be a liability, as he missed a 37-yard field goal early in this game. It’s a big concern to go into the playoffs with an inconsistent kicker.

The offense pretty much had the game sealed up when wide receiver Allen Robinson caught a pass beyond the line to gain with under two minutes left. But instead of going down and securing the win, Robinson tried to make it to the end zone and was promptly stripped of the ball.

Chicago Bears, Danny Trevathan
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The 49ers still had a chance to win at that point, but the defense came up strong and forced the 49ers to turn the ball over on downs. They sealed a win, but there were a handful of times where this could’ve gone very wrong.

At the end of the day, the mistakes by the Bears don’t really matter after the win. However, one would hope the team gets these type of game-changing mistakes out of their system before the playoffs.

Next week will be interesting as Bears fans will suddenly become 49ers fans. The 49ers will travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams in the final week of the regular season. If they can somehow pull off a miracle win in LA, the Bears will get a first-round bye with a Week 17 win.

The Bears have a big game in the final week of the season when they travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings. They can possibly knock Minnesota out of the playoffs with a win. It will be fun to watch how the Bears approach next week.

The Bears game against the Vikings was moved to the afternoon time slot after the Titans/Colts game was flexed to Sunday night. The Bears could be watching the scoreboard in Minnesota to see how the 49ers are doing, and adjust their plan as the game goes on.

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It’s going to be a very interesting week leading up to the final Sunday of games in the NFL regular season. Keep checking Da Windy City for more Bears coverage.