This game featured two new signal callers for each team, both former first round picks: Alex Smith and Rex Grossman not getting the starting nod. J.T. O’Sullivan started for the 49ers and Kyle Orton Started for the Bears.
The game started with a strong rushing performance from Frank Gore and the San Fransisco 49ers. The 49ers went went 8 plays for 65 yards on the first possession (60 yards rushing), Frank Gore had 4 carries for 44yards. That drive ended in a Joe Nedney Field Goal.
The Chicago Bears started out with great field possession on their first drive after a lateral to Danieal Manning went 60 yards to the 49ers 33. Kyle Orton looked good in his first drive hitting Rashied Davis with a 21 TD yard strike to cap off a 5 play 33 yard drive to get Chicago on the board.
This was a high scoring affair with plenty of missed tackles and missed defensive assignments. Both offenses moved the ball well trading scoring drives in the first half. This all from two offenses who were in the bottom of the league last year.
J.T. O’Sullivan a former Bear was near perfect with only one incompletion and finished 7 for 8 for 126 yards with 1 TD and a 158.3 Q.B. rating. Kyle Orton looked good as well finishing 10 for 17 for 142 yards and 2 TDS. Rookie Matt Forte showed promise for the Bears with 11 Carries for 44 yards and a 7 yard reception.
Both defenses struggled at times especially in pass coverage. Most surprising was the Bears offense outperforming their defense.
Some of the biggest plays came on Special Teams. The Bears gaining 60 yards with the lateral and a total of 240 yards on kickoff returns. But the Bears also blocked a field goal and a punt. But the Bears Garrett Wolfe coughed up a fumble on a kick off, to give the 49ers the ball on the Chicago 16. The 49ers turned that into 7 Points 6 plays later after a series of Chicago penalties kept the drive alive.
Both of these offenses seem to have found a rhythm, but is that an indicator of where they are offensively or how much work on defenses they both have to do?
San Fransisco 49ers head coach Mike Nolan said they would be “close to naming a starter after the game.” Well the short look that O’Sullivan got coupled with his performance it would appear he has the edge over Alex Smith. Head to head O ‘ Sullivan was 7 for 8 for 126 1 TD, Alex Smith 6 for 17 for 83 yards and 1 TD. The real surprise at quarterback was the short look that Rex Grossman got on offense, could this mean he is falling even farther down the depth chart? Grossman was 1 for 4 for 6 yards, and one of his incompletions should have been an interception. Caleb Hanie had another good effort, he was 3 for 7 for 59 yards including a 51 yard Hail Mary touchdown to Brandon Rideau to end the game.
The Bears offensive line did not give up a sack which is promising given the absence of first Round pick left tackle Chris Williams sidelined after back surgery.
Rookie Thomas Clayton also looked very Solid for the 49ers he finished with 18 rushes 81 yards and a TD.
All in all both teams seemed evenly matched through the first half, playing to a 20-20 tie. The edge though goes to the 49ers second team and back-ups. Take away the Hail Mary By the Bears at the end of the game and it is a 37-24 final.
Both teams have a lot to talk about on defense and special teams this week. The 49ers end the season at home against the San Diego Chargers and the Bears go to Cleveland to face the Browns August 28.
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