Be honest, did you expect San Francisco to lose?
If you didn’t, you’re not alone. But the Bears starred 0-2 directly in its eyes and found a way to escape it. After facing a 17-0 deficit, the Bears offense outscored the 49ers 28-3.
This was led by QB Jay Cutler. After starting off awful, Cutler took a nasty QB hit by 49ers DE Quinton Dial. Before the hit, Cutler was 8/18 for 36 yards. After? 15/16, and 4 TD. He finished 23/34 for 176 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT, and a 119.2 passer rating. 3 of his TD passes went 48 yards to Brandon Marshall, who also had a hell of a game (the other went to TE Martellus Bennett).
Cutler showed excellent pocket presence in the 2nd half, very Steve Young-esque on one play where he scrambled for 25 yards. This was a highlight for an otherwise terrible run game (2.7 yards per carry). While Cutler benefitted from the Bears defense stepping up and forcing Kaepernick to throw 3 interceptions in the 2nd, half, it was Cutler who played supreme in the red-zone when it mattered.
On the flipside, Colin Kaepernick started out well for the 49ers, showing off his athletic abilities and scrambling. But it ended poorly, with Kap throwing 21/34, 248 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT, and a 57.0 passer rating. Frank Gore played nice (63 yards and 1 TD for 4.8 yards per carry), and Kap distributed the ball well enough to Michael Crabtree, Derek Carrier, Vernon Davis, etc. It just wasn’t enough, as the offense turned the ball over too many times to count in the 2nd half, and the defense collapsed.
The Bears defense did an excellent job of stopping Kaepernick from extending plays in the 2nd half, though it should be noted Crabtree dropped a potential game tying TD pass from Kaepernick on the final play of the game for San Francisco.
There’s no denying it was extremely ugly, but if the Bears can start out games the way they finished on Sunday Night, then this is a dangerous team we’re dealing with. From the brink of 0-2 to an impressive comeback victory for the Monsters of the Midway.
MVP: Jay Cutler