The San Francisco 49ers fought a tough battle against the Chicago Bears in adverse weather conditions, but ultimately fell short, dropping Game 1 of the regular season 19-10.
"We expect to go into games and win, no matter what game it is," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "We usually always feel that way throughout the week preparing, but we got to play a lot better and do things right a lot longer than we did today."
Here are seven takeaways from Sunday's 49ers vs. Bears game:
Trey Lance Shows Off His Dual-Threat Quarterback Abilities
Adverse weather conditions had Shanahan and the 49ers leaning heavily on the rushing attack in the regular season opener. Deebo Samuel accounted for about a third of the team's total rushing yards and Lance was responsible for another third. The 49ers QB1 rushed for 54 yards on 13 carries, averaging 4.2 yards per attempt. Through the air, the second-year quarterback went 13-of-28 for 164 yards and an interception.
"I thought he did some good things coming out," Shanahan said when asked to assess Lance's performance. "I thought he did some good things, but the way it got there at the end, everything kind of fell apart."
Samuel Contributes to the Ground Game
On a day when heavy rain played a factor and RB Elijah Mitchell exited early, having Samuel contributing to the ground game gave the offense a chance. San Francisco got on the board in the second quarter by way of a six-yard rushing touchdown by Samuel. No. 19 rushed for 52 of San Francisco's 176 yards and caught an additional two passes for 14 yards.
"That was something we practice a lot," Samuel said when asked about the lane created for the touchdown. "It was blocked perfectly, and everything else was left in my hands with it being blocked perfectly. I just went out there and made a play."
Penalty Problems Continue into the Regular Season
Costly penalties on both sides of the ball and low third-down conversion rates followed San Francisco into the regular season. In the opener, the 49ers racked up a total of 12 penalties for 99 yards versus the Bears. There was a big penalty pile up for San Francisco's defense late in the third quarter. Three third down penalties by the 49ers defensive unit in back-to-back drives allowed Chicago to go on and score its first two touchdowns, erasing the 49ers 10-0 lead.
"We did what we were supposed to do in the first half," Bosa said. "We were stopping the run all day, but then just killed ourselves with penalties. We continued to let them drive the ball, and that monsoon, it's going to be penalties and turnovers."
The D-Line Stacks the Sacks
The 49ers recorded their first multi-sack game of the 2022 season. It took 49ers defensive lineman Samson Ebukam exactly three snaps to get to Bears quarterback Justin Fields for the first sack of the game, forcing a quick three-and-out on Chicago's opening drive. Later that same quarter, Nick Bosa notched a sack of his own, also on a third down play, for a loss of six yards, ending the Bears third offensive series.
Talanoa Hufanga is an Early Defensive Standout
The second-year safety did a little bit of everything for the 49ers defense on Sunday. Hufanga locked down the defensive unit's only interception, picking off Fields in the first quarter and returning the ball for three yards. No. 29 had 11 total tackles—two of which were tackles-for-loss—and a pass defended against the Bears.
Mitchell Exits Sunday's Contest Early
San Francisco's top running back was ruled out of the game in the second quarter with a knee injury. He rushed for 41 yards on six carries versus the Bears and provided a key block for Samuel on the play that resulted in the 49ers only touchdown.
Robbie Gould is Good at Scoring Points in Chicago
From extra points to field goals, Gould gets it done against his former team. Since joining San Francisco in 2017, the veteran kicker is perfect against the Bears. With his extra point and 25-yard field goal in Sunday's regular season opener, Gould improves to 10-of-10 versus the Bears.