Torrey Smith couldn't help but feel doubt creep in as Chicago Bears wide receiver Deonte Thompson returned a kickoff 74 yards to the San Francisco 49ers 28-yard line late in the fourth quarter.
The long return came on the heels of Blaine Gabbert's 44-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 20 points apiece.
"I'm not gonna lie to you, I was thinking, 'Man, this is just the kind of year we're having right now. Please, can we have a miracle?'" Smith said in his postgame press conference.
Five plays later, Bears kicker Robbie Gould lined up for a potential 36-yard, game-winning field-goal attempt.
Bruce Ellington, who was next to Smith on the 49ers sideline, had a gut feeling the game was not yet over.
"He's like, 'He's gonna miss it,'" Smith said. "When he shanked it, I just looked at him like, 'Thank you.' It was weird. A lot of guys just knew he was gonna miss. I don't like wishing bad luck to people, but I'm glad he missed it."
The teams traded stops to begin overtime before the 49ers ended the game on the first play of their next possession.
Smith lined up in the left slot inside of Anquan Boldin, who was lined up outside. Boldin ran a deep curl and drew both corners onto his route. Smith took advantage of his defender's hesitation and torched up the left sideline uncovered.
Gabbert hit his receiver in stride for the 71-yard, walk-off touchdown to give San Francisco a 26-20 victory from Soldier Field.
"We got a great look," Smith said of the play. "Everything happened the way you want it to happen and Blaine made a great throw. I had the easy job, just making sure I didn't drop it, knowing I was open and striding in (to the end zone)."
Despite early game struggles, the 49ers came up clutch at the end of the game. Gabbert engineered a six-play, 64-yard drive that culminated in his 44-yard run with under two minutes remaining in the game.
San Francisco's patience paid off in overtime when Gabbert and Smith finally connected on the home-run ball.
"We were able to move the ball, be aggressive and make some plays when we needed to most," Smith said. "At the end of the day, that's all that matters is getting the win."
Smith finished the game with two receptions for 76 yards and the game-winning score. All three of the receiver's touchdowns this season have been longer than 70 yards. "I've learned so much this year," Smith said. "My test of patience is unreal. As a player, it's been a year of patience building for me. I'm thankful for it because it makes you appreciate when things do happen. It makes you appreciate the grind and you know nothing is promised."
Gabbert threw for 196 yards and ran for a team-high 75 yards with two total touchdowns. Smith said he is impressed with what he's seen from Gabbert through four starts, but he isn't surprised by the quarterback's success.
"Blaine can play," Smith said. "I've been saying that since Day 1. He's got his athleticism and he can run, too. I'm happy for him. He's done a great job."