It was a tied 20-20 ball game at the half, but the 49ers went on to pull out a 37-30 road win over the Chicago Bears, notching their second straight win in the preseason.
1st QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS, 49ERS 6 - BEARS 10
The 49ers won the toss and elected to receive.
J.T. O'Sullivan and team started off at their own 25-yardline. Frank Gore rolled off an 11-yard carry and then a 28 yard run. Gore started off out to his right and then cut it back across the field for the explosive run.
Gore followed that one up with a 4-yard run, followed by a 16-yard run by Zak Keasey to set the 49ers up at the 16-yardline. Then on the 5th play of the drive, O'Sullivan threw his first pass, a short 5-yarder to Isaac Bruce. The drive stalled there and Joe Nedney hit on a 28-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
After a 12-yard return on the following kickoff, Devin Hester handed it off to Daniel Manning on a reverse. Keith Lewis and Donald Strickland were right there to make the tackle, but Manning got away for another 60 yards, setting Chicago up at the 33-yardline.
Quarterback Kyle Orton used five plays to get into the end zone on a 21-yard pass to Rashied Davis and a Bears 7-3 lead. Mark Roman, Nate Clements and Joe Staley were in the vicinity but Orton dropped it right over their heads.
The next 49ers offensive series began with a Gore 4-yard carry, followed by a well-timed screen pass to the back. Gore followed the block by center Eric Heitmann, going 15 yards for a first down. The 49ers allowed a goal line opportunity to slip away after Bruce had been interfered with in the end zone. Gore was stopped twice for a net loss of a yard, and then O'Sullivan was sacked. Bruce also accounted for an 18-yard catch on the drive. The 49ers still came out of it with a field goal after a 24 yarder by Nedney to close within one.
Manning busted loose for another 75-yard return on the following kickoff. He slipped thru a Donald Strickland tackle and then warded off an attempted tackle by Nedney. Reggie Smith stripped the ball out at the end of the run but Chicago recovered at the 14-yardline.
LB Takeo Spikes entered the game with the first-team defense.
Orton took a shot at the end zone but Walt Harris tipped a touchdown pass away with safety Mark Roman and Patrick Willis almost picking it off. The defense held but Robbie Gould hit a 21-yard field goal as the first quarter expired.
2nd QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS, 49ERS 20 - BEARS 20
The 49ers started off the quarter with an O'Sullivan pass to Vernon Davis for 40-yards along the 49ers sidelines. Chicago challenged the catch, and lost. On the next play, O'Sullivan rolled out to his right and gunned a 37-yard touchdown pass to Jason Hill to take a 13-10 lead. That was the end of the night for O'Sullivan, who finished 7 of 8 for 126 yards and a touchdown.
On the following kickoff, the 49ers special teams did something right, forcing a Garrett Wolfe fumble on the return. Safety Dashon Goldson tackled him and according to stats sheet caused the fumble, but the re-play showed that Marcus Hudson's leg might have actually knocked the ball out. Keith Lewis recovered at the 16.
A note from our PR staff, LB Jeff Ulbrich is out with a lower back strain.
Alex Smith came in and was able to get the unit on the board again, using 6 plays to move the 16 yards for the score by Moran Norris on a 1-yard run, his second in two weeks. The offense caught a break on a 3rd and 2 pass play when the Bears were called for defensive holding. On 1st and goal, Norris punched it in, 49ers 20- Bears 10.
Chicago burnt the 49ers starting defense for a 55-yard completion to Mark Bradley. Manny Lawson had tight coverage on him, but then appeared to release the receiver to Nate Clements. But Clements broke inside and Bradley got a big play. Chicago continued to march, and had a 3-yard touchdown was negated due to an illegal formation but Chicago eventually got it anyhow on a 7-yard Orton pass to Davis, their second touchdown hookup of the night. The Bears scoring drive covered 81 yards in 9 plays.
As of 5:53 to go in the half and neither defense has yet to make a stop and force a punt.
Spoke to soon, the 49ers were stopped after a three and out series.
Hester caught Andy Lee's punt at about the 2-yardline and then had his momentum take him into the end zone. Keasey tripped him up in the end zone for what most folks in the press box believed was a safety, but officials ruled it as a touchback.
The Bears went on and covered 74 yards in 11 plays and scored again with a 24-yard Gould field goal to tie the game with 41 seconds left in the half. A 23-yard pass to Davis accounted for the longest play so far on the drive.
The Bears kickoff rolled out of bounds, giving Smith excellent starting field position at his 40. Smith found J. Hill for a 41-yard completion at the Bears 24-yardline and then spiked the ball to stop the clock with 12 seconds. An incomplete throw to Robert Ortiz took one second off the clock and set up Ricky Schmitt for a 42-yard field goal that was blocked by Chicago, ending the first half.
3RD QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS, 49ERS 27 - BEARS 23
Orton remained in the game at the start of the third quarter, but he handed off to Kevin Jones on the first offensive snap of the game, and Jones enjoyed a 34-yard run. Here's what happened on the play. Justin Smith got sealed on the edge, Roman missed the tackle near the line of scrimmage and then Jones warded off Michael Lewis and continued plowing his way downfield. M. Lewis stopped the Bears from marching on when he ran a safety blitz and batted down a 3rd and 9 pass, leading to a Bears 48-yard field goal try that Gould missed, giving the offense the ball at their 38-yardline.
Smith took a shot deep over the middle to Josh Morgan, who was drilled before the ball arrived, but he went on to command an 11-play, 62 yard scoring drive that ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Dominique Zeigler. Thomas Clayton looked very good on the drive, making a couple of nice cuts for long runs. Smith threw five incompletions on the drive, but he did find J. Hill for a 19-yard completion to overcome a false start penalty and got some points on the board with the TD pass.
Rex Grossman came in at quarterback for the Bears, with mostly the second team defense in to work against him for the 49ers. Shawntae Spencer got called for a suspect pass interference on the series. The penalty cost the 49ers 33 yards, but it seemed to fire up the defense. Tully Banta-Cain and Ron Fields tagged up for a 5-yard stop in the backfield, followed by an almost leaping interception by Keith Lewis. On 3rd and 15, the 49ers held and forced a Brad Maynard punt, his first of the night.
Smith aired one up deep for V. Davis, but the tight end let the ball get away from him as he fell to the ground. The 49ers went three and out with Smith finishing the night after the drive. Smith was 6 of 17 for 83 yards and 1 touchdown.
Formers 49ers receiver Brandon Lloyd blocked Andy Lee's punt after the offensive series. Lloyd beat K. Lewis on the play, giving his offense the ball at the 49ers 18-yardline. The defense kept Chicago out of the end zone, but Gould's 28-yard field goal trimmed it to within four with about five and a half minutes left in the quarter.
Shaun Hill took over at quarterback, starting at the 48-yardline after a nice 51-yard kickoff return by Allen Rossum. Hill completed a 12-yard pass to earn a first down, but the 49ers then stalled and had to punt.
A three and out series quickly brought on the Bears punter. Rossum picked up 19 yards on his return to set the 49ers up in Bears territory at the 46-yardline. Rossum suffered a back contusion on the play.
A couple of nice Thomas Clayton runs, plus a 15-yard penalty against Chicago, and a 9-yard pass from Hill to Zeigler ended the third quarter with the 49ers driving to the Bears 17-yardline.
4th QUARTER, 49ERS 37 – BEARS 30
Clayton picked up 2 yards on the ground on the first play of the final quarter, and then broke free for a 15-yard touchdown to take a 34-23 lead with 14:14 left in the game. Clayton accounted for all of the production on the drive, minus the catch by Zeigler. There was also a 15-yard penalty against Chicago, and a 10-yard holding call against the 49ers on the drive.
Caleb Hanie came in at quarterback for Chicago and had a three and out. Safety Dashon Goldson received medical attention during the drive, but apparently he only cramped up.
With Hill still in command, the 49ers drove 56 yards in 12 plays and scored again with a 31-yard Ricky Schmitt field goal. This eight-minute plus drive was again mostly Clayton, who had 7 carries and a catch on the series. The field goal put the 49ers up 37-23 with 4:38 left in the game.
Chicago and the 49ers traded three and out series, before the Bears final drive of the game that began at their 37 with 1:01 remaining. On a 2nd and 10 from the Bears 49-yardline with seven ticks left, Haine lofted up one to Brandon Rideau for a 51-yard touchdown as time expired. The Bears came on to kick the extra point with no time remaining on the clock, bringing the final score 37-30 in favor of San Francisco.
Hill finished 6 of 7 for 60 yards.