49ers beat Bears despite defensive struggles vs. Justin Fields
By Peter Panacy
49ers defensive problems continue vs. Justin Fields
Fields and the Bears offense statistically ranked at or near the bottom in nearly every meaningful category entering Week 8, which was hopefully going to be a sign for Ryans and the Niners defense they could get back on track after having difficulty with quarterback Carson Wentz and the Indianapolis Colts the previous week.
Perhaps Chicago not having head coach Matt Nagy (COVID) on the field actually helped here, as the Bears regularly got Fields outside on easy bootleg throws frequently featuring his tight ends.
And when those weren’t there, Fields was able to pick up extra yards with his legs, rushing for a total of 103 yards, a touchdown and averaging 10.3 yards per attempt.
More penalties, too, including a team-worst sixth penalty on cornerback Josh Norman for defensive holding.
But perhaps the most impressive play of the game was Fields’ 4th-and-1, 22-yard scramble for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, which made the entire Niners defense look as if it was on skates:
By the time the final whistle blew, Fields had gone 19-of-27 through the air for 175 yards, a pass touchdowns against a last-second interception with a 84.6X passer rating.
San Francisco had trouble engineering an effective pass rush early yet finished with X sacks against Fields, who had taken a league-high 22 sacks entering Week 8. There was a lack of contain on the outside, too, often allowing Fields to escape the pocket beyond the tackles. And tackling wasn’t exactly a proud point for Ryans’ unit either. If anything, it was downright bad.
As a related result, the Bears didn’t have to punt until almost the two-minute mark of the third quarter.