The outcome of this game is anybody’s guess. It really is that simple. Will two dominant defenses capitalize on inexperienced offenses? Will these new offenses shock everybody with stellar play? There isn’t a strong underdog or clear team with an advantage in this match up, both of the teams are fielding very brand new elements and are actually quite similar – take a look:
Offensive and Defensive Lines
For starters, both offensive lines represent the weaker ones in the league – or at least the most untested. The Chicago Bears boast veteran offensive guard Cody Whitehair, and that is it. The rest of the offensive line is made up of inexperienced or unproven players, with rookie Braxton Jones having to face defensive end Nick Bosa, a strong candidate for defensive player of the year. This is quite a welcome to the league for Jones, and will be a good measure of just what the rookie is capable of. The San Francisco 49ers have the exact same story. Veteran left-tackle Trent Williams is the star of the OL, surrounded by rookies and players who have only played a handful of snaps. How will they hold up against the star studded Chicago Bears defense hosting the likes of defensive end Robert Quinn and All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith?
The next confounding issue is that second year 49ers QB Trey Lance has nearly no indicators to judge him with. He has seen very little time on the field in both college and the NFL, so everyone is eagerly waiting to see what he can do. With such an unproven O-line, can he stand tall against the aforementioned Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith? What about the Bears young, yet stellar, backfield? On top of all of this, one of the 49ers best players in the form of tight end George Kittle is questionable to play. If he is absent, the 49ers will certainly miss his uncanny receiving ability and blocking help on the line. Many of these same questions then surround the Bears’ own second year QB Justin Fields. He had a rocky rookie year, but much of this has been blamed on the inconsistency of then head coach Matt Nagy. Working with an entirely new coaching staff, many wonder just what Fields is able to accomplish. Again, just like Lance, he too is being protected by a less-than-stellar O-line against a formidable defensive foe.
Looking at Their Previous Game
The teams last met in October of 2021, resulting in a 33 – 22 victory for the 49ers. Superstar wide receiver Deebo Samuels torched the Bears, netting six receptions for 171 yards. Then QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw for an impressive 322 yards, but actually put up scores on his feet, netting two rushing touchdowns. On the other side of the field, Bears QB Justin Fields did it all, posting not only 175 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception, but also being the Bears’ top rusher, rushing for an extremely impressive 103 yards and another touchdown. The problem is, what does this all mean for Sunday? Very little. In relation to the previous point, we have no idea if Trey Lance and his O-line can be productive, allowing the 49ers wide receivers to shine. On top of this, the Bears typically do not struggle against the rush. Bears fans and the organization itself will be hoping to see no rushing touchdowns slip through this time. For the Bears, Fields is now playing in a whole new system, and being a franchise QB hopeful, he should not be running anywhere close to what he did last year. The Bears were miserable at keeping him safe last season – it can’t happen again.
So, will this game be defensively dominant as two new offensive schemes struggle to materialize? Will one team click more than the other and steal the show? Or maybe, just maybe, will we see two young quarterbacks rise to the occasion, putting on an offensive shootout? The only way to find out is to wait and see on Sunday!
Final Score Prediction: 27 – 21, Bears Win