49ers 26, Bears 20

In the “blind squirrel finds nut” department, the 49ers won their first road game of the year Sunday in Chicago by being slightly less inept than the Bears. The game featured 15 punts — six by the Bears and nine by the 49ers. If there was a Most Boring Game of the Year trophy, this effort would be a contender.

The 49ers had one TD drive the entire game and went without a first down in the second half until the final three minutes of the fourth quarter. The Bears weren’t much better, putting up three drives in the first half and one to start the second half. All the rest of the game was punt, punt, punt …

Bears’ OC Adam Gase made the curious decision to feature the running game and marginalize the passing attack. It achieved a time of possession edge of 37 minutes to the Niners 24, but didn’t put many points on the board. Still, it might have succeeded except for three Niners’ plays: a pick six in the first quarter, a 45 yard QB run up the middle and untouched late in the fourth quarter, and a 70 yard bomb in overtime to a wide open Torrey Smith, Blaine Gabbert‘s only pass all day that was longer than ten yards. That and two chip shot FGs missed by Bears’ kicker Robby Gould, the last one a virtual PAT attempt at the end of the game that would have sent the Niners home with yet another road loss.

Afterwards, the Niner players celebrated like they had just won a playoff game. Embarrassing.

That missed FG might come back to haunt the Niners more than the Bears, though. The Bears are not a playoff contender this year, but they might be one next year. The Niners aren’t and won’t, but this fluke victory might prompt head doofuses Jed York and Trent Baalke to lull themselves into a belief the team is improving and HC Jim Tomsula and his staff should not be fired at season’s end. Something that would make them both ecstatic since it would help them avoid saying “Oooops!” for their franchise gutting actions the past offseason.

Three of the 49er’s last four games are against teams with 4-8 records or worse. A couple of meaningless December wins have kept more than one HC in business for another inept year, and York is just stupid enough to buy into that wishful thinking — yet again.

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47 comments on “49ers 26, Bears 20
  1. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The Bears had every confidence in Gould to make the chip shot FG so they were playing it safe and didn’t try to move the ball closer. A 36 yd FG to win the game would be made 96 out of 100 tries if not even higher. The second chance was a gift and the Niners accepted it and capitalized.

    Gabbert threw a perfect pass to Smith hitting him in stride. Game over.

    I hope that a suprise win doesn’t delude the FO into thinking they should stick with this staff. Jed expected 11 victories before the season and publicly declared it. Niners now sit at
    4 wins which still reeks of failure.

  2. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Elligton is averaging 4.5 yds per punt return and not showing much as a WR.

    In a lost season why not give Hayne a chance. Hayne gives me a sense that he’ll break a return and go all the way unlike Ellington. Ellington does too much dancing rather than stick his foot in the ground and advance past the first wave of tacklers. Hayne gets past the first wave and starts picking his lanes.

    Sadly Ellington is Kyle Williams 2.0 and the FO might waste another season before they realize that.

  3. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Oh joy, Browns announce that Johnny Football will start against the Niners next week.

  4. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Tomsula seems to be very reluctant to make a change in his lineup.
    Very disappointing that Kilgore was activated and only played TE.

    By past performance it is very clear that Kilgore is a key piece to the line. Last year Boone held out yet they played him when he first cam back to knock the rust off and integrate him into the line. Very puzzling why Kilgore didn’t get any snaps at C or RG.

  5. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Before the OT bomb to Smith, Gabbert had passed for about 125 yards, which is Kaepernick territory. The two things he does better, though, and why his teammates like him is he gets the ball out fast, avoiding sacks and making the O-line look better than it is; and he finds the open man and delivers the pass, even though it doesn’t accumulate a lot of yardage or even first downs. The offense seems crisper, if not necessarily more effective.

  6. NoFear49erNo Gravatar says:

    Do you mean to tell me we aren’t very good?

    Despite a few outstanding plays the Bears refused to win no matter how many times we handed them the game yesterday.

    Hell, they stuffed our first possession and ran back our punt for a TD.

  7. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Niners have been flexed out of primetime.
    The Bengals game will start at 1:25 instead of 5:30pm.
    Instead of Sunday Night Football it’ll be a regional telecast
    on Dec 20.

    The NFL thought Cards-Egos was a more watchable game and that will be on Sunday night.

  8. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    If the Cowboys somehow win this game, they’ll be 4-8 and only one game out of the lead in the NFC East. Sheesh.

  9. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Smelter wasn’t activated so he’s out for the year.
    A wasted pick for 2015. The team needs help now and not activating Smelter and keeping Simpson on the roster is a complete waste.

    The season is lost and Baalke can develop and advance some rookies rather than keep a guy on the roster like Simpson who is not in their long term plans.

    Baalke’s track record with hurt players is not good. He’s killing the roster with these misses with many in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds.

  10. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit the Smelter gamble at this point is futile.
    4 games remaining vs a year of accrued time toward FA is the likely hook here.
    Like Carlos, I’d have shut them both down in hopes of better returns next year.

    We’re playing out the string at this point.
    Hodges looks to be a good step toward replacing Wilhoite at least.
    I’m more interested in seeing what Mangini can do with the young guys on the Defense.
    This Draft appears to be heavy with OL/DL talent which are areas we most need to address IMO.

    Haven’t scoured the FA Class just yet but, there too, we’ll have some money to spend, which will also shape the Draft Board.

  11. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    No point having Simpson on roster and inactive every week.
    If Smelter were on roster he could at least get reps and practice with the team. As it stands now they will shut him down.

    I was all for stashing injured talent when you have a very deep roster. That ship sailed 2 years ago and Baalke is still operating like this team is deep. Obviously they are not.

    The deepest position on the team was TE where we actually traded away 3 of them. We are now down to one and he’s a rookie.

  12. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Erik Armstead played 28 snaps but did not record a tackle or any defensive stat and he is absent from the defensive stats.

    Would like to see improvement as the rest of the season drags on.
    I have noticed that he doesn’t pursue plays and lacks hustle.
    The standard I will always cite is when Justin Smith pursued Maclin and forced a fumble to save the game against the Egos in Harbaugh’s first year. Wish Armstead adapts the same work ethic.

  13. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit the TEs were basically shuffled this year.
    Busta and Bell replaced the the Traded pieces.
    Armstead is simply too raw to have many expectations from thus far.
    He’s simply going through the Rookie ‘conditioning’ stage I think.
    Probably get a better perspective on him next year once he’s had a chance to gain some game reps.

    We’ve got to be looking for some younger options for Dorsey and Brooks either via FA or, the Draft.
    Eli Harold could supplant Lemonier as a potential option, which is why I’d prefer to see them get the reps through the final 4 games.

    Bigger concerns, for me anyway, are whether they’re going to change anyone on the Offensive Staff.
    Is Chryst the answer at OC?
    Will we continue with the ZBS under Foerster or, seek a change of philosophy there?
    Pretty obvious that Martin isn’t the answer at OC too.

  14. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    The Senior Bowl Watch List is growing in attendees as well.
    The OLB from LSU I shared last night, Deion Jones, is planning to attend.
    I think he’s got some potential as an ILB.
    Looking forward to seeing him play.


  15. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    QB Carson Wentz from ND St is also expected to participate.

    Caught the QB from W-KY recently too, Brandon Doughty – 6’3″/216

    See how he fares with some of the better known talent.
    Seemed like a pretty competitive kid from the 1 game I saw.
    Projecting him in RD3-4 at this point.

    “Does a lot of positive things that have scouts encouraged. Stands tall in the pocket despite constant pressure. When he does push the ball downfield, not intimidated by small windows, relying on touch over velocity to deliver catchable balls.
    Doughty relies on a lot of short passes and screens in the WKU offense. Has the toughness and football I.Q. to stay poised in the pocket while making his reads.”

  16. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit this kid is also expected to participate in Mobile next month.
    He’s already on my Watch List for the Dline –
    Caught him on several occasions, primarily as a NT.

    DE/DT Sheldon Rankins from Louisville – 6’2″/302
    Already playing in a 3-4 at multiple positions.


  17. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    The Bears ran this play on their first punt return and they faked out the Niners. Shows me the Niners did not do their homework. This is on the Special Teams coach.
    Saw this play a few seasons ago and Bears are still using it with success.


  18. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Celek was just put on IR with an ankle injury.
    Niners only have one healthy TE on their roster.
    McDonald is in concussion protocol and questionable.

  19. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Warriors about to win 23rd in a row.
    Love their “The City” jerseys.

  20. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    See who gets the nod to replace Celek soon enough Bullit.
    Brian Leonhardt is the Baalke University guy.

    Also have Jamie Childers hanging around.

    They could opt to give WR DiAndre Campbell some reps as well.

  21. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I also see that they’ve re-signed Skov and, given him a 2yr deal on top of it.

  22. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Shouldn’t they promote TE Busta Anderson from the PS?
    I feel very strongly that keeping Simpson is a dumb move and inhibits the younger WRs.

    I want them to give Hayne another shot because I think he’s a better returner capable of breaking long returns because he makes people miss. Punt returning is not just about raw speed
    and Hayne has a unique ability to make guys miss.

  23. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Busta is on IR Bullit.

    Only 1 guy can be designated to return, and that was given to RB Mike Davis.

  24. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Agree about Hayne as well.
    I think his situation is more about versatility at other positions.
    Being as raw as he is, his value may be somewhat limited?
    With 4 games to go, I’m not overly concerned about Hayne.
    He’s got a lot to learn about the NFL in general.

    Simpson is a head-scratcher, no question.

  25. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    I think they feel that QB Dylan Thompson needed to be protected too?
    Perhaps it was as simple as swapping Hayne and Thompson for that reason?
    With Skov getting re-signed, along with Hodges and Ray-Ray, the LB position has some potential depth insurance at least.

    Might be an indication that other positions will get early attention for the Draft?
    See who they’ve got targeted for FA first. Once that is determined, the rest should be focused on Draftees.

    Would you take a shot at WR Laquon Treadwell with Pick 1?
    He’s hanging firmly in the Top 10 right now.

    I’d prefer OT/DT at Pick 1, if I was turning in the card tomorrow.
    Might be able to snag Doctson in RD2?

    Assuming of course, that we don’t go QB in RD1.

  26. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Even with Manziel at QB, the Browns are two point favorites.


  27. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Basically a Pick ‘Em Spread Grump.
    At this point?
    Who eff’n cares?

    Playin’ out the string…

  28. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Kilgore is cleared to play and they don’t integrate him into the Oline at least for a few snaps. Martin maintains his record of negative grades at center.
    Tomsula can’t make any decisions on the fly.

    My mistake as I thought Busta was still on the PS and not on IR.

  29. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Started poking around the FA List for 2016.
    Tiller and Devey are both scheduled for FA.
    No brainer there.
    Tiller looks to be worth an extension perhaps.

    A guy I liked when he first came out is also due to hit the market.
    OG Mike McGlynn, now with NOLA.

    Question becomes what to do with Boone?
    He may be looking for OT employment and, McGLynn is 2 years older than Boone.

    Ted Larsen in AZ is due to come out, along with Kelechi Osemele in Baltimore also.

    Mo Wilkerson could get there too, we’ll see?

  30. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Kilgore might get in soon enough Bullit.
    I think they wanted to ease him back.
    See how it goes by the weekend.

    These games are basically irrelevant at this point.
    Be nice to see how Kilgore responds though at his former position.

  31. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    We’ve got quite a few of our own guys to make FA decisions on next year too.

    Boone, Celek, Ian Williams, TJ-E, Tiller and Draughn among them.

    Where do we go with Phil Dawson at 40?

    CB Marcus Cromartie looks like he’s earned an extension offer as well.
    Might have to think about what to do with TBrock, though he isn’t a FA, he’s making some decent money by comparison.

  32. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Bush is gone, which opens the door for Draughn perhaps.
    Wilhoite, Devey, Anquan, Gaskins and Ray-Ray all due to see FA in ’16.

  33. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Boldin is also a big decision FA in 2016.

  34. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Possibly one more win and the FO will declare this season a step in the right direction at 5-11. If Niners finished 3-13 then there would be a discussion of a possible coaching change.

    What led me to this conclusion? Denise Debartalo York was down in the locker room to embrace Tomsula after the unexpected victory over the Bears. Not a good sign if you want Jimmy T gone.

    A 5 win season buys Tomsula another season to show what a mediocre head coach he is and how sad this coaching staff is.

    So if the team wins 6 in 2016 does that treat the Niner fans to another season of watching our coach with that bewildered look on the sideline?

  35. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Denise might have been relieved by the fluke win, but that’s what makes it so depressing. When you start looking at a losing season as a success, you’ve got a worthless franchise.

  36. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Maybe that was Denise’s kiss of death. As long as Baalke’s in place we probably will be a team in transition for quite awhile. This team needs to draft 3 players who could start and 3 or 4 FA’s to step right in to be competitive next year. And that is just the offense

  37. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    If you look at the injury list for this year clearly Tomsula’s theory of a take it easy training camp with workouts under 2 hours is the wrong way to go.

    A hard hitting training camp seems to prepare the players for the season. At the end of training camp there were no injuries.
    Then the season started and the players didn’t seemed prepared for the hard hits.

    The team is not veteran and they cannot be so arrogant as to discard the preseason game and rest everyone. If they had a do-over they should’ve played the first team for 2 series and second string through 3rd quarter. Tomsula chose to play scrubs who would probably get cut and making the game totally meaningless.

    If Tomsula returns I hope he’s learned from his mistakes and changes his approach.

  38. winderNo Gravatar says:

    I figure if a new GM comes in he will clean house.

  39. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    My Christmas wish is for a new GM and coaching staff and to try to get it right this time.

    Niner fans just got sold snake oil last year. It looked like minimal effort was made to get the best coaches. Jed and Trent said this new staff was superior and some believed them.

    The coaching staff is an assembly of the dregs and leftovers.
    I can’t name the DB coach, the DL coach or the WRs coach and I doubt anyone on this blog can without cheating. That’s how insignificant they are.

    The big clue should have been when they hired Chryst as OC.
    There was a reason that Chryst hasn’t been an OC for over 10 years and the QB coach (name??) was doing talk radio.

    The hilarious thing is some people actually believed this team would improve and get better. Those same people have done 180’s and now pretend their foolish beliefs of improvement never happened.

    Coaching does matter.

  40. rtfireflyNo Gravatar says:

    Niners 27-17
    Johnny Freefall has a decent, at times good, game. Gabbert has a fun day with what Browns fans laughingly call a defense.

  41. winderNo Gravatar says:

    17-13 browns

  42. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Obviously Tomsula didn’t learn much from Fangio.
    Games are won and lost in the 4th quarter and usually the tougher team that is in better shape prevails.

    I still can’t believe that Jimmy T cuts meetings off at 30 mins so players can text and talk on the phone.
    No wonder the team is disorganized and some players look lost.

    A college player that starts with the Niners under Tomsula will die if he goes to another team because they have 2 hour meetings and 3 hour practices. Harbaugh had the 3 hour practices to simulate games.

  43. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Comment from Donte Whitner per Cam Inman

    “Ex-49er, now Browns’ Whitner: Harbaugh was the one that really kept that thing together and really helped us understand what it takes to win”

  44. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Crabtree has signed a 4 year contract extension with the Raiduhs for $35 mil with $19 mil guaranteed.

    Also Wilhoite is about to be put on IR with a stress fracture of his ankle.

  45. Sir Spitblood from GeneoushireNo Gravatar says:

    Seven. Thousand. Four. Hundred. Twenty. One to Six, Browns. Go Browns.

  46. phil fanNo Gravatar says:

    The Niners have turned the corner, the rat is dead, war is not in progress, we’re kill the Browns. Sure whatever.

    rtfirefly: Niners 27-17 Johnny Freefall has a decent, at times good, game. Gabbert has a fun day with what Browns fans laughingly call a defense.

    winder: 17-13 browns

    Phil: 24-17 Niners. Win streak continues, ripping off another one to screw our draft order, give hope to distressed fans and ensure delusions of relevance blooming in the minds of hope addicts.

    Spit sez we suck and will lose this game…and every game for next 20 years.

  47. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2021 Schedule
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26 · 5:20 PM v GB
10/03 · 1:05 PM v SEA
10/10 · 1:25 PM @ AZ
10/17 BYE
10/24 · 5:20 PM v IND
10/31 · 10:00 AM @ CHI
11/07 · 1:25 PM v AZ
11/15 · 5:15 PM v LAR
11/21 · 10:00 AM @ JAX
11/28 · 1:25 PM v MIN
12/05 · 5:20 PM @ SEA
12/12 · 10:00 AM @ CIN
12/19 · 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 · 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 · 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 · 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17