San Francisco 49ers

49ers report card: Was San Francisco able to penetrate the Bears’ talented defense?

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) looks for room to run as Chicago Bears inside linebacker Danny Trevathan (59) chases on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers lost 14-9.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) looks for room to run as Chicago Bears inside linebacker Danny Trevathan (59) chases on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers lost 14-9. AP

Here’s our report card from the 49ers’ 14-9 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday that snapped a three-game winning streak and included a fight along the sideline that resulted in the ejection of 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman.

Passing offense: D

The 49ers couldn’t muster much against the Bears’ talented defense after falling behind 14-9 in the third quarter. They had a promising drive to Chicago’s 20-yard line in the fourth quarter, but Marquise Goodwin short-armed a pass from Nick Mullens that deflected right to linebacker Danny Trevathan for an interception. Mullens completed 22 of 38 passes (57.9 percent) for 241 yards and had a quarterback rating of 65.8, his worst since the loss in Tampa Bay in late November.

Rushing offense: F

The running game wasn’t efficient enough to help balance San Francisco’s offense. Matt Breida exited the game after he aggravated his nagging ankle injury early in the second quarter. That meant more time for undrafted rookie Jeff Wilson Jr., who managed just 27 yards on 11 carries. The Bears’ second-ranked run defense held up its end of the bargain.

Passing defense: C

Mitchell Trubisky completed all nine of his throws in the third quarter, which included a decisive nine-play, 90-yard touchdown drive to give Chicago the lead. Trubisky was efficient throughout, completing 25 of 29 passes (86.2 percent) for 246 yards. The 49ers had three sacks and did reasonably well overall in allowing 14 points, tied for the second fewest this season.

Rushing defense: B+

The Bears gave seven players carries and finished with 90 yards and a 3.2 average. The running game wasn’t why the 49ers lost.

Special teams: B-

Robbie Gould hit all three of his field goals while punter Bradley Pinion averaged 45.3 yards. The 49ers got nothing out of the return game - 33 yards on kickoffs and zero on punts. It proved the value of returning a kickoff for a touchdown, as Richie James did last week against the Seahawks.

Coaching: B-

Sunday’s game was similar to previous contests in which the 49ers were forced to deal with several injuries on offense. Breida’s exit had a clear impact on the running game. Dante Pettis has been the team’s most productive receiver over the past month, but he left in the second quarter with a knee injury. And Goodwin, replacing Pettis, made the team’s biggest mistake in the game when his dropped pass deflected to Trevathan. The 49ers lost and didn’t get in the end zone, but it’s hard to blame the coaching staff in a game where the Bears had the clear advantage in talent.

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