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Week 13 Game Recap: San Francisco 49ers 15, Chicago Bears 14


What you need to know

San Francisco 49ers

Make no mistake. Jimmy Garoppolo executed his duties at the quarterback position in Kyle Shanahan's offense better than Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard did. He also made the occasional "wow" play, whether it be completing a seemingly impossible throw or escaping from a sure sack. That said,, a caveat applies: The Bears utilized the most passive defensive game plan against San Francisco of any team they faced all season. Blitzes were rare and coverage was soft.

Chicago Bears

Twelve weeks into the season and the Chicago Bears appear to be getting worse with each passing week. Sunday’s 15-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers brings us the absolute low point of this miserable season. Coach John Fox lacks faith in his team and it’s every bit apparent in his coaching decisions.

Mitchell Trubisky looks OK, but who knows. Jordan Howard looked awful once again, like he couldn’t care less about being on the football field. Tarik Cohen still isn’t being used properly. The coaching staff gets out coached each and every week. This team remains a dumpster fire, so it’s anyone’s guess on if what you’re seeing on a week-to-week basis is what you’re going to see until the season finishes.

San Francisco 49ers

QB Jimmy Garoppolo, 75 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 37 - 293 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 8 - 0
Garoppolo badly overthrew an open Louis Murphy in the middle of the field on his first pass. After that, however, he settled down and only made two more blatantly poor passes the rest of the game, overshooting Garrett Celek on a deep corner route and throwing behind Carlos Hyde on a Texas/angle route across the middle. Otherwise, Garoppolo displayed two major improvements over his predecessors at the position this season. First, he threw to the middle of the field comfortably, and therefore repeatedly. Second, and perhaps related, he handled pressure in the pocket with ease. On the rare Bears blitz, he identified it and threw to the vacated area (i.e., hot route). Other times, he escaped the pocket and rolled out to give himself more time and a larger throwing lane. And on one play in particular, he he held his ground in the face of the rush, and delivered a perfect pass to Murphy in between three defenders despite taking a big hit.

RB Carlos Hyde, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 54 - 0, Rec: 3 - 12 - 0 (5 targets)
Despite getting subbed out for Matt Breida more than usual and not having a great game on the stat sheet, Hyde had (at least) three plays that showed off his acumen. One was an outside zone run to the left, where Akiem Hicks had him dead to right in the backfield, but made him miss; and then Lamarr Houston had him dead to rights at the line of scrimmage after a cut-back, but made him miss too, thereby turning a 2-yard loss into a 2-yard gain. Second, gained 19 yards on a counter to kickstart San Francisco's game-winning drive. Third, later in said drive, with the 49ers in field goal position and bleeding clock, Hyde made a nice catch in the right flat along the sideline and was somehow able to immediately go down to keep the clock running despite his momentum carrying him out of bounds. Not so smart, however, was a two-play sequence late in the second quarter that may have cost the 49ers a touchdown. Hyde passed up an easy first down on 2nd-and-1 inside Chicago's 10-yard line to instead bounce outside for no reason and for no gain. And then he committed a false start penalty prior to the next play.

RB Matt Breida, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 45 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets)
Although Breida got more touches than usual because San Francisco used the no huddle more than usual, he didn't do much that stood out, mostly gaining yardage in plus running situations like 3rd-and-long, 2nd-and-long, and two late-second quarter drives.

WR Marquise Goodwin, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 99 - 0 (8 targets)
Goodwin took full advantage of Chicago's decision to play soft in the secondary. He beat Kyle Fuller's off-man coverage for at least 23 total yards. He beat Prince Amakumura's off-man coverage for at least 25 more. He was covered by linebacker Sam Acho in the slot on one reception that gained 7 yards and a first down. On a handful of other plays, he essentially went uncovered for 23 total yards. The only negative of Goodwin's game was an inexcusable false start on 3rd-down in the red zone coming out of a timeout late in the second quarter.

WR Trent Taylor, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 92 - 0 (6 targets)
Taylor's big day resulted from a heaping helping of soft coverage by Chicago. He beat Chris Prosinski's off-man coverage on a slant for 17 yards. And then again for 7 yards more. He then gained 35 yards on his next three receptions by going essentially uncovered in the Bears' zone. Taylor's only success against press man also resulted in his biggest play of the day. Lined up in the slot on 3rd-and-9 with the game on the line, he easily beat cornerback Cre'Von LeBlanc off the line and gained 33 yards on a catch and run, thereby setting San Francisco up at Chicago's 16-yard line. From there, they melted two minutes off the clock and kicked the game-winning field goal.

WR Louis Murphy, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (6 targets)
Once again, Murphy started, but only played about half of San Francisco's offensive snaps. Also apparently becoming a weekly occurrence is a 49ers receiver making a catch across the middle, only to see a defender rip the ball out of his hands for an interception on his way to the ground. In addition to that play, Murphy could have made more of his 6 targets two other times; one his fault, one not. On the latter play, he dropped a deep dig route that would have resulted in a first down on 3rd-and-14. On the former, he had a catch that would have resulted in 1st-and-goal ruled incomplete on the field and then somehow not overturned on replay despite (what appeared to be) clear visual evidence to the contrary.

TE Garrett Celek, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 30 - 0 (4 targets)
Three of Celek's four targets arose out of running a route after lining up as a blocker in a three-point stance. Two were successfully completed because he beat the coverage of a Bears linebacker; Christian Jones once and Lamarr Houston once. Celek's two incomplete targets were a short pass near the goal line that was knocked down by cornerback Kyle Fuller and a deep corner route near midfield in which he beat Prince Amakumura, but the pass was overthrown.

TE George Kittle, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (3 targets)
Kittle's was wide open for both of his receptions, going uncovered on a shallow cross for an 11-yard catch and run and going uncovered again for 9 yards in the red zone via sitting down in Chicago's Cover-2 zone. His incomplete target was more spectacular than both, as it came close to replicating Dwight Clark's "The Catch." Late in the second quarter with San Francisco in the red zone, Jimmy Garoppolo rolled to his right and somehow threaded the ball between five defenders in the end zone. Kittle made a leaping catch on the high pass, but couldn't keep his feet in bounds.


Chicago Bears

QB Mitchell Trubisky, 37 offensive snaps, Pass: 12 - 15 - 102 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 19 - 0
Eight games into the Mitchell Trubisky era and we still don’t know if the kid is any good. Trubisky, statistically speaking, had his best game of the season in Sunday’s 15-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Trubisky completed 12 of 15 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown and zero turnovers.

Trubisky’s touchdown pass came on a bullet throw to Dontrelle Inman who was crossing the back of the end zone. According to the TV broadcast, Trubisky and Inman had been practicing that route/play all week long, so to see Trubisky execute gives reason for promise.

The problems he’s been having all season still are the same problems he’s been facing all season -- inconsistent footwork and an inability to feel defensive pressure.

Maybe this is why John Fox thought it was best to not let San Francisco score late in the game, on a drive that certainly was going to end in game-changing points. Instead, Fox elected to continue playing defense because he “liked the field goal block” play they had ready on the sideline. When you have a rookie quarterback on a bad football team who is in need of every possible NFL experience he can experience in year one, you let the opposing team score and challenge your No. 2 overall pick to lead his team down the field for the win. Clearly the coaching staff has little faith in Trubisky’s ability to lead his team on a game-winning drive or else Fox would have made the common-sense decision.

Trubisky is not fantasy relevant in any format that isn’t dynasty related.

RB Jordan Howard, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 38 - 0, Rec: 1 - -5 - 0 (2 targets)
Jordan Howard maybe needs to be shut down for the season, who knows. The second-year running back looks entirely disinterested on the football field, and perhaps that has something to do with his recent struggles and the team’s season-long struggles. Howard carried the ball 13 times for 38 yards in Sunday’s 15-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Howard, in the past two games, only has gained 44 yards on 20 carries. This guy is supposed to be your bell-cow back. The Bears weren’t even trailing San Francisco much during the game, so you’d think the offensive play calling would have been geared to put Howard in the best possible positions to gain chunks of yards, yet it seemed like nearly every run of his went up the middle or maybe between the guard and tackle.

Obviously, Howard is not benefited by a healthy offensive line. The best line player and run blocker, Kyle Long, has myriad injuries and might not even play another snap this season, so it appears as if the Bears run game only will get worse before this season ends.

RB Tarik Cohen, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0, Rec: 4 - 39 - 0 (4 targets)
Tarik Cohen is one more mediocre performance away from being fantasy irrelevant. Sure, he’s dynamic. Sure, he ran back a punt for a touchdown in one of the most incredible displays of athleticism you’ll see. He’s merely not consistent enough at this stage of his career; and the Chicago Bears coaching staff certainly does him no favors with trying to put him in the best possible positions for success.

Cohen ran the ball two times for five yards and caught a team-high four passes for 39 yards. Six touches a game for someone on a fantasy roster simply is not enough to warrant ownership -- even with a punt return for a TD on his mantle.

Aside from that punt return, Cohen might as well not even been on the field in Sunday’s 15-14 loss to the 49ers. His impact is significantly lessened each time he takes the field alongside the miserable group of wide receivers the Bears trot out there each and every week.

Avoid Cohen in all formats until the Bears are able to put out a respectable stable of receivers who can distract some attention away from the little guy that is Tarik Cohen.

WR Dontrelle Inman, 35 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 21 - 1 (2 targets)
Dontrelle Inman might be one of the few pieces on the Chicago Bears’ roster who might live to see a contributing role next season. Inman, since coming over in a trade from San Diego, is the 2017 version of Cameron Meredith, just not as good.

Inman, who was a No. 4/5 receiver for San Diego, serves as the Bears’ No. 1 receiver. Opportunities are there for Inman, and if the rookie quarterback could get him the ball a bit more, the offense might be able to look a touch more explosive.

Inman broke free from coverage to score the lone offensive touchdown for the Bears in Sunday’s 15-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He finished the game with two catches on two targets for 21 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. Inman possesses the size and speed required to be a top-end receiver in the NFL. He simply doesn’t possess the quarterback required at this stage of the game or season. If you’re looking to take a flyer on a young pass catcher who have some unrecognized star potential, Inman might be that guy for you.

The Trubisky-to-Inman connection needs to happen 10 times a game, not two times.