The snow brings out Bears football as they dominate San Francisco

The snow brings out Bears football as they dominate San Francisco
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 04: Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears walks toward the locker room at the conclusion of the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field on December 4, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Bears defeat the San Francisco 49ers 26-6. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Trailing the 49ers 6-0 with under two minutes left in the second quarter, the Bears finally let quarterback Matt Barkley loose in the snow. Prior to that drive, he had yet to complete a pass. However, Barkley completed 4-of-5 passes for 64 yards as Jordan Howard powered in for a one-yard score.

The Bears scored 19 unanswered points in the second half with Howard adding two more on the ground, Connor Barth connecting on a 45-yard field goal and Leonard Floyd causing a safety on his second sack of the game.

You have to wonder what took offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains so long to unleash Barkley. The Bears won the game 26-6 and improved to 3-9 which won’t do them any good when the draft rolls around in April.

However, you saw what the Bears could be when they get rolling. Yes, the highest season scoring performance and first win since Halloween night came against an awful San Francisco bunch, but there’s more to this.

Howard totaled 117 yards and three touchdowns on a whopping 32 carries. He needs 355 rushing yards over the final four games to tie Matt Forte’s team rookie single-season record set in 2008. Howard is also just one rushing touchdown away from tying Walter Payton’s rookie mark of seven total touchdowns and six away from Forte’s.

We saw the receivers get in sync with Barkley including Josh Bellamy who led the way with four grabs for 93 yards. He had some ugly drops once again, but he came up with some big plays including a 12-yard run late in the game.

Cameron Meredith bounced back after last week’s ugly performance with three catches for 67 yards.

After that, Deonte Thompson and Daniel Brown combined for 32 yards on four catches. Ka’Deem Carey, Marquess Wilson and Howard each dropped their lone targets on the day. Wilson left after his drop in the first quarter and never returned due to a groin injury reported by John Fox after the game.

Daniel Braverman didn’t play much even with Eddie Royal inactive, but it will take for him to get his feet wet.

The important takeaways from this game offensively is that Howard continues to shine, Barkley (11-of-18 for 192 yards) is looking like a respectable quarterback and Meredith and Bellamy are tough players.

Defensively, the defensive line brought pressure all day long with Akiem Hicks and Leonard Floyd each recording two sacks. Willie Young and Eddie Goldman had a sack apiece.

The return of Goldman to full health really played an integral part in this game opening up lanes for Hicks and Floyd to get after either Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert. Speaking of the 49ers’ quarterbacks, the two completed 5-of-15 pass attempts for a net gain of six yards.

Rookie linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski took a step forward after an up and down game last week. He posted nine tackles and two pass breakups. Although the inside linebacker spot is not the same without Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman, Kwiatkoski and John Timu held their own.

Kwiatkoski, Goldman, Deon Bush, Bryce Callahan and Floyd are all youngsters to build around on defense.

Jonathan Bullard was a healthy scratch which doesn’t bode well for his future plans. The Bears could really use him at defensive end and they had high hopes for him as a third round pick.

Overall, the Bears held San Francisco to 147 yards on 55 plays (12 drives) for an average of just 2.7 yards per play.

The final four weeks will be tough starting with a road meeting with first place Detroit next Sunday. Then, the Bears host Green Bay and Washington in back-to-back before wrapping up the regular season in Minnesota.

Say what you want about how bad San Francisco is, but the Bears did their part and played a complete game. With the exception of the two mishaps on special teams (a blocked punt and a fumbled kickoff), which led to the only six points allowed and the Bears played a great game.

Wins won’t help their draft status, but confidence is important going into next season especially with these young guys.

A winning culture is needed no matter what their record ends up as here this season. When healthy, the Bears have a nice mix of veterans and upcoming players.

Also add in the fact that Jay Cutler, Lamarr Houston and Eddie Royal could all be released this off-season, that would free up even more cap space for Ryan Pace and company.

Thoughts on the Bears’ 26-6 win over the 49ers?

Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Chicago Bears.

Comments

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  • I thought Akeem Hicks, Jordan Howard, and Barkley played fantastic.
    It was also really funny when they blocked the punt but the guy stepped out of bounds and started doing snow angels. He got flagged and I was laughing so hard...

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    Yea that shows you how undisciplined the 49ers are. That penalty cost them a TD and a ton of momentum.

  • In reply to Jake Perper:

    That's when you know that the 49ers a really a 1-10 team...

  • In reply to Ahan Jain:

    Absolutely.

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