The Bears won beat the visiting 49ers by the score of 17-9 yesterday. The winds were the big story of the day as gusts of over 50mph were causing havoc on the passing and kicking game all day. The other big story was an NFL record 108 yard TD return of a missed FG by Nathan Vasher. It looked like he ran out of gas twice during the run back but the blocking was incredible and he somehow made it to the endzone, where he promptly collapsed.
Playing without RT Fred Miller, whose jaw was reportedly broken by teammate Olin Kreutz during an altercation, the Bears didn't miss a beat pounding the football down the 49ers throat. Benon left the game, and is probably out the rest of the season with a knee injury, after rushing 12 times for 50 yards. Adrian Peterson stepped in and went on a terror en route to a 24 for a 120 yards day.
There wasn't goign to be much throwing on such a windy day, but Kyle Orton went 8/13 for 67 yards and a costly interception in the red zone where he missed a wide open Moose on an out pattern. He is very fortunate that mistake didn't cost us the game, but I think the bigger question mark is why throw the ball in that situation at all? They were running the ball at will and Lovie decides to call a pass on 2nd and goal in the middle of a wind storm?
With the outstanding performance yesterday, the Bears are now the number 1 ranked defense in the league. They are first in yards and points allowed. SF could not get anything going all game and their points were all the result of three Bobby Wade fumbles on punt returns. The 49ers completed only one pass the whole game, also setting an NFL record for passing yards in a half. It's tough to pick a standout player since they all played well, but Brian Urlacher was making plays all day. He even made two key blocks on the Vasher TD return.
On Special Teams:
Bobby Wade needs stick'em in a serious way. He could easily have been the goat for coughing the ball up three times. He actually fumbled four times, but recovered one himself. I think the coaches need to sit him a game and get him some work holding onto the damn ball. Robbie Gould did pretty well considering the conditions. He missed one FG wide right by about 50 yards, but it's clear the wind gusted terribly on that kick. He later made one from 37 yards that gave the bears a key 8 point lead late in the game.
It was a tough day to play football and the 49ers are a very weak team, but the Bears got the job done and overcame their mistakes to earn the win. Next week is the start of a tough schedule stretch that will likely determine their fate for the post season. With Minnesota and Detroit showing signs of life, it's important the Bears don't fade against this part of the schedule. Carolina visits next week and they are a very dangerous team. I don't predict the Bears winning that game, but if they do it will be six wins in a row and generate some massive momentum.