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.