View images from the Week 13 game between San Francisco and Chicago.
CHICAGO – On the 10th day of their Florida-to-Illinois road trip, the San Francisco 49ers dropped their 11th consecutive game.
Jordan Howard's three touchdown runs and an ineffective day from the 49ers pass offense led to a 26-6 result in favor of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
San Francisco fell to 1-11 on the year. Chicago improved to 3-9.
Here's what we learned from Sunday's Week 13 matchup.
Kap Pulled in Favor of Gabbert
Colin Kaepernick made his seventh start of 2016, but he did not finish the game. Early struggles in the passing game were the culprit. Neither team completed a pass in the first quarter, and according to ESPN, that's the first time it's happened in a game since 2009. Matt Barkely and the Bears, however, figured things out late in the first half. The 49ers were unable to make it happen.
Kaepernick's struggles were due to the slick on-field conditions.
The 49ers quaerterback attempted two passes in the first half of a snowy afternoon game in Chicago. His lone completion on Sunday was a 4-yard pass to tight end Garrett Celek. Kaepernick was pulled in the fourth quarter for Blaine Gabbert, who completed his first throw for an 18-yard gain to Jeremy Kerley.
Kaepernick finished the day 1-of-5 passing for four yards and a quarterback rating of 39.6. He credited Chicago for defending the perimeter of the field. Kaepernick was sacked five times and added 20 rushing yards on six carries.
San Francisco's starting signal-caller said he was surprised by the move. Chip Kelly explained the decision in a matter-of-fact way.
"I thought we needed a spark on offense," the coach said. "We gave Blaine a shot. That was it, nothing more."
Kelly said he hadn't decided on the team's Week 14 starter for a home game against the New York Jets.
Gabbert was 4-of-10 passing for 35 yards. He was sacked in the end zone for a safety when the game was out of reach. Defense Gives up Three Rushing Scores, 26 Unanswered Points The Bears put together an 8-play, 81-yard scoring drive to close out the first half on a 1-yard Howard touchdown run. The scoring play enabled Chicago to pick up its first lead, 7-6. The Bears finished first half with 115 net yards, 81 of which were supplied in a two-minute drill scenario.
The momentum carried over into the second half. Seven unanswered points quickly snowballed.
Chicago put together a 75-yard scoring drive and Howard scored again on a 2-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. It gave the home team a 14-6 advantage.
Howard added his third score on a 5-yard run midway through the third quarter.
Following its safety in the fourth quarter, Chicago had mounted 26 unasnwered in the decisive home victory.
Howard finished the game with 32 carries for 117 rushing yards. Barkely added 192 passing yards and no turnovers.
Special Teams Supply Six Early Points
Running back Shaun Draughn blocked a Bears punt, which was fielded by Donate Johnson and returned to Chicago's 4-yard line. San Francisco, however, was flagged for unsportsmanlike penalty for excessive celebrating in the end zone.
With the ball at Chicago's 19-yard line, the 49ers had to settle for a field goal. Phil Dawson connected on a 31-yard field goal to give the road team an early 3-0 lead. It was San Francisco's first blocked punt since 2014 when Aaron Lynch recorded one against Chicago at home.
Jimmie Ward forced a fumble and recovered the loose ball on Chicago's ensuing kick return.
With the ball at Chicago's 37, the 49ers settled for another Dawson field goal, this time from 28 yards out, giving him 14 consecutive makes on the year and a perfect 6-for-6 mark at Soldier Field.Niner Nuggets
-- Chris Jones started in place for Quinton Dial for a second consecutive week. Dial was active after missing Week 12 due to injury.
-- Ahmad Brooks recorded his team-leading fifth sack of the year in the fourth quarter.