The 49ers dominated the hapless Bears Sunday in Chicago, having a TOP edge of 38 to 21, a first down advantage of 23 to 8, 388 to 147 net yards lead, and a whopping 73 to 38 lead in offensive plays. But they only managed to squeeze out a victory with a last second FG, the fifth of the day by Robby Gould.
Gould was the guy who missed a chip shot FG while playing for the Bears two years ago, that allowed the Niners to win the game in overtime. He’s now delivered two victories for the Niners in Chicago.
But the story of the day was the impressive debut of QB Jimmy Garoppolo. He completed 26 of 37 passes for 293 yards, looking handsome and virile, even studly, while deftly managing the pocket and driving the team up and down the field between the 20 yard lines. Several 49er cheerleaders had to be treated for swooning related injuries.
Inside the Red Zone, it was business as usual, though. The team would start self-destructing, committing penalties in various dimwitted fashion, and backing themselves away from the goal line, eventually having to settle for Gould and three points.
Chicago had one TD drive and one TD punt return, but otherwise produced mostly nothing but awful on offense. Still, it was enough to hold the lead all the way to the last eight seconds of the game. Maybe the last eight seconds of John Fox‘s NFL head coaching career.
The 49ers’ RB tandem of Carlos Hyde and Matt Breida combined for 99 yards on 29 carries. An underwhelming 3.4 yards per carry. But Garoppolo bailed them out by converting 10 of 18 third down plays. He was particularly effective throwing to Marquis Goodwin (8/99) and Trent Taylor (6/92).
It did not look like GM John Lynch or HC Kyle Shanahan wanted to play Garoppolo this year, but the cat is out of the bag now and there’s no going back without giving the impression of tanking and pissing off what few fans still sleep with their red and gold pom poms every night. Kudos to CJ Beathard for stoically enduring getting his butt pounded for half a season, but his time as the starter has come to an end.