The San Francisco 49ers were in dire need of a win on Sunday against the Bears, and according to coach Kyle Shanahan, the team arrived in Chicago ready for a fight.
The 49ers battled to overcome an early deficit and beat the Bears and their rookie quarterback, Justin Fields, 33-22, breaking a four-game losing streak that stretched all the way back to Sept. 19. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a triumphant return to the area he was raised in with 322 passing yards and two big rushing touchdowns, and wide reciever Deebo Samuel had another monster day, gaining 171 yards on six receptions.
Shanahan said postgame that the 49ers go-ahead score, a touchdown run by running back Elijah Mitchell, represented the 49ers’ effort the most, however. (Mitchell gained 137 yards on 18 carries.) First, here’s the rugby-type play that put San Francisco ahead for good.
That’s a hungry group of football players right there. Even Garoppolo tried to pile onto the scrum.
Here’s what Shanahan said about the play.
“You could see on one play what our team is feeling right now. We knew we had to hunker down. We knew we had to battle this week. We knew it would be a fight. … And you could just see how important it was to all 11 guys out there. And we needed all 11 to get into the end zone.”San Francisco Chronicle
Shanahan was clearly elated his players responded so well in such a tough road environment.
Besides breaking a long losing streak, this win cools the seat of Shanahan, which has gotten warm recently, at least in the press. Plus, the win further delays talk of Shanahan’s need to insert his own rookie quarterback, Trey Lance.
This was an early-season must-win for the 49ers, however, and they got it done. With a 3-4 record, they need to start another streak, this one of the winning variety. A win next week against the Cardinals — one of two 7-1 teams in the 49ers’ division, including the Rams — would really get the momentum going. Ideally for Shanahan, they bring the same amount of fight they had in Chicago.