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Bears Matchup Flashback: Fights, Fumbles, & Field Goals

The Bears and Niners last faced off three years ago in the Bay area. However, these two teams have taken vastly different routes to end up in a similar place in 2021. Here’s a look back at the 2018 Week 16 battle.

Photo: Erza Shaw/Getty Images

This Sunday, the Chicago Bears host the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field. The Bears sport a 3-4 record while the 49ers are not doing too hot themselves at 2-4. Both teams are coming off losses. San Francisco lost to the Colts in a rain soaked and windy game by the Bay. On the flip side, the Bears got their doors blown off by the Buccaneers down in Tampa. Nevertheless, both franchises are looking to get back into the win column in Week Eight.

History

Since playing each another back in 1950 for the first time, the Bears and 49ers have faced off 67 times. In those contests, San Francisco has the slight two-game advantage over Chicago. The all-time record sits at 34-32-1.

This rivalry has seen the Bears and 49ers square off in the playoffs three times as well. In addition, they’ve met twice in the NFC Championship game. However, San Francisco is 3-0 in those games. Regardless, when the Bears and 49ers play, there are always noteworthy memories and moments. Especially, in recent history.

  • Bears comeback in 2001; Mike Brown pick-six in OT
  • Nathan Vasher field goal return for a TD in 2005
  • Jay Cutler five interceptions in 2009
  • Colin Kaepernick debut in 2012
  • Bears comeback and the Kyle Fuller game in 2014
  • Blaine Gabbert walk-off in OT in 2015
  • Jordan Howard three TDs in 2016
  • Robbie Gould revenge game in 2017

Previous Matchup

The last time Chicago and San Francisco met on the field was three years ago. The Week 16 matchup took place on December 23, 2018. At the time, the Bears were 10-4 and the 49ers were 4-10. It was Matt Nagy’s rookie year as a head coach. Meanwhile, Kyle Shanahan was wrapping up his second year as the Niners’ HC.

Following their division clinching win over the Green Bay Packers, Chicago made the trip to San Francisco, where the 49ers were coming off an overtime win over the Seahawks up in Seattle. This game also marked the second time the Bears were playing in Levi Stadium. Before that, Chicago last played there in 2014, which was the first game played at Levi Stadium. The Bears christened that building with a win.

First Half

The first half provided most of the game’s scoring. Although, to kick things off the Bears and Niners traded punts, respectively. At that point, the Bears had the game’s first scoring opportunity. However, following an eight-play, 56-yard drive they came up empty handed as Cody Parkey missed a 37-yard field goal wide right. Once again, both teams exchanged punts. Then, the 49ers took a 3-0 lead on a Robbie Gould 33-yard chip shot. This came on a drive that went for 48 yards on twelve plays and spanned 6:26.

On the fourth play of the following drive, Mitch Trubisky fumbled the snap which was recovered by DeForest Buckner. As a result, the Niners went on a seven-play, 14-yard drive and extended their lead to 6-0 on a Gould 30-yard field goal. Next, the Bears responded with their own scoring drive. After marching 75 yards on eight plays and chewing up 3:57 off the clock, Chicago took a 7-6 lead when Trubisky connected with Anthony Miller for a 4-yard touchdown. However, San Francisco responded just before halftime. The Niners went 63 yards on eight plays in just under two minutes and regained their lead when Gould hit his third field goal of the game. This time it was from 23 yards and the 49ers sported a 9-6 lead at the break.

Second Half

Now, the second half yielded very little in terms of scoring, but it did provide some drama. The 49ers got the second half started by punting the ball after a six-play, 20-yard drive. As a result, the Bears marched 90 yards on twelve plays on a drive that went 7:43 and took a 14-9 lead. Jordan Howard capped off the scoring drive by finding the end zone on a two-yard run. After the Niners and Bears traded punts, San Francisco moved the ball on Chicago’s defense. They were knocking on the door and entered the red zone. However, their eight-play, 65-yard drive stalled as Nick Mullins tossed an interception. Danny Trevathan saved the day when the ball landed in his hands after bouncing off of Marquise Goodwin’s mitts. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time.

Photo: D. Ross Cameron/AP Photo

On the ensuing drive, the Bears marched on eleven plays over 52 yards which ultimately resulted in a fumble recovered by the 49ers. However, it was on the fourth play where all hell broke loose. Mitch Trubisky scrambled for seven yards on third-and-5 and took a nasty hit as he went out of bounds. In hilarious fashion, Charles Leno was called for holding which negated the play. That said, there were extracurricular activities that resulted in a triple ejection. Following the play, a scuffle broke out and punches were thrown. As a result, Bears wide receivers Anthony Miller and Josh Bellamy were both ejected. Likewise, Richard Sherman was also disqualified for the same reason.

Photo: FOX

The Finish

Nonetheless, the Niners took over on offense following the Allen Robinson fumble. Now, with a chance to take the lead and even win the game, they went on a six-play, 31-yard drive. Ultimately, the Bears defense buckled down and stalled the 49ers’ offense which resulted in a turnover on downs. Finally, when the Bears regained possession of the ball, they took two knees and that was all she wrote. The Chicago Bears held on for a 14-9 win over the San Francisco 49ers.

Aftermath

In conclusion, the victory pushed the Bears’ record to 11-4. It also helped them secure the third seed in the NFC playoffs. The following week, Chicago went on to defeat the Vikings and finish their season at 12-4. Ultimately, the Bears went on and lost in the Wild Card game to the Philadelphia Eagles on a kick that will forever be remembered around the city in the hearts of the fans.

As for the 49ers, they lost their Week 17 game in Los Angeles to the Rams and finished the season 4-12. The 2018 season was a learning experience for a young, upcoming Niners team. They would bounce back and take a huge step the following year and reach the Super Bowl with a 13-3 record. Their quest fell short as the Kansas City Chiefs mounted a comeback late and stole a Super Bowl win from the 49ers.

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Writer/contributor for On Tap Sports Net and Bears on Tap. Lifelong and a die-hard fan of the Bears, Cubs, Bulls, and Blackhawks. Nothing but respect the White Sox though. Enjoying life and having a good time. Interests also include eating, gaming, sometimes reading and tons of tomfoolery. Good sense of humor (although sometimes dry). Occasionally witty. Follow me on Twitter

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