In a game filled with sub-par offensive play, awful conditions, and altering leads, The Chicago Bears managed to top out The San Francisco 49ers 19-10 in their week one matchup. The Bears were major underdogs coming into the season-opener, yet they managed to best The 49ers, for whom many have believed had a Superbowl-caliber roster. But what gave The Bears the edge they needed to win against The 49ers? Was it the weather, 49ers quarterback Trey Lance, or coaching? This article will break down how The Bears were able to beat the more superior 49ers.
A key factor that played a role in The Bear’s week one win was the weather. An advantage The Bears have always had over opponents is Illinois weather. Often when The Bears play at home, they’ll either play in frigid temperatures, high-speed wind, or, like week one, monsoons. The Bears can use these conditions to their advantage, especially against teams who play in warmer weather areas, such as San Francisco. That’s what they did in week one, as they were able to cause turnovers and force Trey Lance to throw the ball in terrible conditions. As the rain picked up in the second half of the game, The Bears adjusted their offense and defense, which gave them the boost they needed against The 49ers.
Another thing The Bears were able to use to their advantage was 49ers QB, Trey Lance. Lance enters this season in his second year, but this is his first year as a starter. The Bears knew coming into the game that Lance was more comfortable running the ball, as opposed to passing. The Bears exploited this, forcing him to pass the ball in the second half of the game. This allowed The Bears to capitalize on crucial third downs, late in the fourth quarter. Even though Lance was backed by a Kyle Shannahan-run offense, The Bears forced Lance to throw, and that made all the difference.
A game-changing factor The Bears used to defeat The 49ers was the coaching. Straight out of the gate, The Bears played terribly. In the first half, they struggled to get the ball past midfield and scored zero points. As The Bears ran into the locker room, coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy drew up the perfect plan heading into the second half. The staff realized that they needed to get quarterback Justin Fields scrambling more. As soon as they made this change, they were able to score three touchdowns against The 49er defense. The defense made adjustments as well, as they didn’t allow a single score during the second half. The Bears were also able to only commit three penalties the whole game, with one of those being punter Trenton Gill wiping the grass with a towel. The 49ers committed twelve penalties which totaled 99 yards. Discipline is key to a team like The Bears, and will help them win games later in the season.
As The Bears now head into week two against The Green Bay Packers, they can build off their win in week one. If The Bears want a chance at defeating Green Bay, they will have to perform just like they did against The 49ers in their upset win.