San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears Matchup Preview (10/31/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears Matchup Preview (10/31/21)
The San Francisco 49ers travel to Chicago to play the Bears at Soldier Field in an NFC inter-conference matchup. The 49ers are coming off a tough loss at home to the Colts in a heavy downpour; they’ve now lost four games in a row. With the loss, San Francisco has now started .500 or worse through six games for the fourth time in the Kyle Shanahan era. In week 7, Chicago was manhandled on the road by the Tampa Buccaneers 38-3. The Bears have scored seven points or less in a game seven times since 2019. They are the only team in the NFL averaging more yards per game rushing than passing this season.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago BearsBetting Odds
The 49ers are listed as of this writing as a 3.5-point road favorite. The Bears are 3-4 overall against the spread, but 2-1 at home in 2021. During their four-game losing streak the 49ers have been outscored 105-77. San Francisco has four takeaways; Chicago is a minus two in turnover differential this season. In their last two games, Chicago is allowing 31 points per game.
Questions for both teams exist, can this 49ers team make a run for a playoff berth despite limited play at the quarterback position, lack of identity and an undisciplined defense? Currently they are only one game back in the playoff race and 4 ½ games behind the Cardinals for the NFC West lead.
Can the Bears put together a creative game plan that does more than run the ball and throw short passes? To complicate matters, Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy tested positive for COVID-19 and his status for Sunday’s game is unknown.
My prediction: In the words of Chicago’s own Mr. T in Rocky III, “pain.”
49ers 19-17, 49ers do not cover and under 39.5 points.
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Date: October 31st, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Soldier Field – Chicago, IL
TV Coverage: FOX
San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears Live Stream
Where can you watch 49ers vs. Bears online? You can stream this game, and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch 49ers vs. Bears Free Online Now.
San Francisco 49ers: Dee Ford (O), Maurice Hurst (D)
Chicago Bears: Akiem Hicks (Q), Kahlil Mack (O)
San Francisco 49ers Analysis
After missing one game with a calf injury, Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo struggled in the driving rainstorm on Sunday evening versus Indianapolis. After engineering a 10-play 78-yard drive to start the game against the Colts then subsequently two more drives ending in field goals, Garoppolo looked like he never found his groove after the first quarter. He simply struggled to push the ball downfield. In the loss to the Colts, the 49ers #10 threw for 181 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and lost a fumble.
On the season, the eight-year veteran has thrown only six touchdown passes and completed 64.8% of his passes. In his post-game press conference after the Colts loss, Shanahan commented on his quarterback situation, “I’m not just thinking about the quarterback situation right now. I’ll evaluate everything, see where our team’s at, see who gives us the best chance to beat Chicago and see what our options are … But we’ve got a lot of things to figure out.” With the position in flux, a quarterback change could be imminent if Trey Lance, out week 7 due to a left knee injury is healthy and ready to go this week. The third pick in the 2021 NFL draft gives the 49ers a more dynamic option at quarterback.
A bright spot for the San Francisco offense is Deebo Samuel, who with George Kittle out is the only reliable pass catcher the 49ers have in their lineup. Samuel is fourth in the league as of this writing in receiving yards with 648 yards with 38 catches. The former Gamecock has four receiving touchdowns this season; he had four receiving touchdowns in his first two career seasons combined.
San Francisco fans keep wondering when wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk will once again show the potential he flashed as a rookie in 2020 catching 60 passes for 748 yards and five touchdowns. Aiyuk has been target 16 times this season, it’s time for Coach Shanahan to find ways to get the young playmaker the ball. This season, the former Arizona State Sun Devil has an anemic nine catches for 96 yards: in the loss to Indianapolis on Sunday Night Football he had one catch for six yards.
Despite giving up 107 yards rushing to the Colts Jonathan Taylor this past Sunday, the 49ers have only allowed a rusher to go over 100 yards once since week 9 of the 2019 season. Last season San Francisco was one of three teams who did not allow a 100-yard rusher.
The San Francisco defense will need star pass rusher Nick Bosa (five sacks) and Dee Ford (three sacks) need to continue trying to impose their will on their opponent’s offensive line. Ford’s status for Sunday’s game against the Bears is questionable as he left last week’s game with a head injury.
San Francisco 49ers Depth Chart
Chicago Bears Analysis
On offense, the Bears are ranked last in the NFL averaging 255.4 yards per game. This is due to a truly dreadful offensive line who can’t seem to protect the quarterback and consistently open enough holes for their running backs to gain positive yardage.
This past Sunday, rookie QB Justin Fields was sacked four times, forcing two fumbles and while throwing three interceptions vs. Tampa Bay. The 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft finished the day going 22 of 32 for 184 yards and three interceptions. He also lost two fumbles and has been sacked a league-leading 22 times. The former Ohio State Buckeye had five giveaways in the loss to Tampa Bay, the most by a Bears quarterback in a game since week 16 of the 2016 season.
The frustrating part when watching Fields is he can make plays outside the pocket and run with the ball; he’s rushed for 140 yards on the season averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Fields must be wondering if his former head coach at Ohio State, Ryan Day could be the one to unlock his potential in Chicago.
One a positive note, Khalil Herbert, a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft took advantage of the times his offensive lineman won their battle in the trenches against Tamp Bay: rushing for 100 yards on 18 carries. Herbert has run for at least 75 yards in each of Chicago’s last three games; averaging 90.6 yards per game during that time
Allen Robinson continues to be the “invisible man” in Matt Nagy’s offense. Against the Buccaneers, he had two receptions for 16 yards while being targeted only four times. The former Penn State Nittany Lion was the team’s leading receiver the last two years going over 1,100 yards in both 2019 and 2020. This season, Robinson has fewer than 70 receiving yards in all seven games: last season he went over 70 yards receiving in 12 games.
Like the offense, the Bears defense was awful in the embarrassing 38-3 loss at Tampa Bay in week 7. Entering the game with 21 sacks as a defensive unit, the Monsters of the Midway were absolutely dominated by Tampa Bay’s offensive line, barely getting a hand on Tom Brady. To make matters worse defensive star, Khalil Mack will be out for the game against the 49ers with a foot injury; a trip to injured reserve might be in his immediate future. This unit will need to step up and get pressure on the quarterback if they expect to win.
Chicago Bears Depth Chart
San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears Daily Fantasy Picks
If you have Deebo Samuel, he’s a player who should be in your lineup despite the up and down nature of San Francisco’s passing attack. He’s been targeted 68 times this season and will continue to be the player Garoppolo or Lance will look for; he’s averaging 17.1 yards per reception this season. Samuel has joined Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and the late great Dwight Clark as the only San Francisco players since 1970 with at least 50 receiving yards in each of the team’s first 6 games.
Officials flagged San Francisco five times for defensive pass interference penalties against the Colts on Sunday Night Football, leading to three touchdowns. The 49ers lead the league with 11 such penalties. If I was the Bears offensive play caller, I would try and push the ball downfield, looking for wide receiver Darnell Mooney to make a big play. Mooney is averaging 12.8 yards per reception in 2021.
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