A funny thing happened on the way to the usual dick-tripping-over-late-game clusterfuck-catastrophe this team seems to have perfected. They got ept late in the game! You know, the opposite of inept. After stumbling, bumbling, dropping passes, and penalty-ing their way to a 13-9 deficit at the half in Soldier Field, Chicago, the 49ers awoke from their four-and-a-half game malaise and strung together some competent compelling football in the 2nd half.
After giving up a field goal to start the 2nd half that put the Niners down 16-9, the 49ers scored TOUCHDOWNS on THREE straight drives to put a game but fair-to-middling team out of their misery. The Niners even added a FG on their 4th drive. Amazingly Shanny did a couple notable things. He went no-huddle to stop the Bears from subbing out their defense and quickened the tempo to attack their defense. He made adjustments!! He threw deep!! And. It. Fucking. WORKED! If not for a bad pass by Jimmy after the 50 yard bomb to Samuel, the 49ers would have gone into halftime up 14-13. Shanny also overcame a 7+ point 2nd half deficit for the first time. Strange as that may sound, he’s never done that. Maybe the old sod is learning something. He also stuck with the run game even when the game was not decided yet. Mitchell had a fantastic day, as did Deebo. Mitchell had 137 yards, and Deebo 171 in their respective positions. Brandon Aiyuk even had 4 for 45.
Gone were the sideline out routes that get picked off. Jimmy looked very solid throwing on the move, and hitting passes over the middle. You know, the stuff he does well. Kinda nice that the coach sticks with what the quarterback does well. Jimmy even added a couple rushing TDs to punctuate his homecoming. Best play of the game however was the 3rd down and 20 *gulp* bubble screen that Deebo took for 83 yards and a near-score.
The defense? Well, they had their usual problems with a guy like Justin Fields. A mobile guy who ran for over 100 yards, but we also got to him for 4 sacks. His 23 yard TD run 4th down run nearly cost me my remote. I’ll tell you one thing, it irks me to no end to see Nick Bosa flying inside on fakes and completely giving up the edge. This has been an issue with him since his entrance into the NFL, but it doesn’t take away the impact he has on the field. he and his invisible pass rushing budy Arik Armstead are on the field a lot more than they should be, but with everyone going down on defense, we are what we are. The walking wounded.
The Niners played the CBs WAY off the WRs early presumably to avoid the slew of PI calls that they have been suffering. it sure allowed for a lot of easy throws for Fields, and it was infuriating to watch, but as the game moved along, the coverage got a little tighter, and the line got more and more pressure. Fields ended up going 17/27 but only 175 yards. Jimmy G for comparison was 17/28 for a much better 328. Running, Herbert and Fields ended up with 175 yards between them but, man we are down to third string linebackers and 2nd string D linemen all across the line. Along with the injuries to our secondary.
Anyhow, this isn’t a huge deal, but hey, it sure feels better to win a game like this rather than lose. Can they build on this? Maybe. But Shanahan needs to put together a game plan that works for an entire game to be able to beat teams like the Cards and the Rams. Our next two opponents. If we want to reel in the teams above us, winning the next 2 games will go a long way in getting there. It’s a long fucking season and we aren’t even halfway done.