For the first 25 minutes of today's Week 13 contest, both the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers struggled.
The two teams combined for zero completions during the game's first 28 minutes at a snowy Soldier Field on Sunday, with the only points coming on a Phil Dawson field goal.
Quarterback Matt Barkley completed his first pass with 1:27 left in the second quarter and then marched the Bears right down the field. Rookie running back Jordan Howard finished off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run to give the Bears a 7-3 lead at the half.
The Bears wouldn’t look back, as they scored 26-unanswered points to earn the 26-6 win.
Howard would continue to run wild on the 49ers, scoring a touchdown from two-yards out on the Bears opening possession of the second half.
He then added another touchdown run on the next Bears drive, giving him three scores on the game, and a 21-6 lead for the home team.
It was Howard’s first career football game in the snow and the conditions didn’t stop him. Howard finished the game with 117 yards on 32 attempts and three touchdowns. If he continues like this, the future likely holds more snowy Sundays at Soldier Field for the rookie running back.
“It was kinda fun,” Howard said. “Pretty cold but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was just kinda annoying, like rain basically.”
In those less-than-ideal conditions, Chicago’s defense rose to the challenge against a 49ers team that entered the game with just one win.
The Bears got after quarterback Colin Kaepernick early and often, finishing the game with six sacks. Kaepernick was replaced by Blaine Gabbert in the fourth quarter, as the 49ers struggled to move the ball offensively all game.
Akiem Hicks and Leonard Floyd finished the game with 2.0 sacks, leading the charge for the Bears defense. Floyd’s last sack resulted in a safety, putting the final stamp on the Bears victory.
Nose tackle Eddie Goldman finished with one sack in the game and two total tackles.
Barkley got going in the second half, completing 11-of-15 attempts, after starting the game 0-for-3. He finished with 192 yards and no touchdowns but played well for the second straight week as the starter
“I thought he improved,” John Fox said. “He eliminated any interceptions. Both teams were pretty cautious early in that game as far as pass attempts. I thought the way he handled the two-minute drive before the half, we had to open it up some and throw the ball. I thought he executed outstanding."
The Bears will now prepare for a divisional game against the Detroit Lions in Week 14. They are seeking to win back-to-back games for the first time under John Fox.
Chicago beat Detroit at Soldier Field in Week 4 to earn their first win of the season.null