Bears Report Card vs. 49ers

The grades range from a D-plus to an A-minus from the Bears 23-13 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

PASSING OFFENSE: D-plus -- Rookie Craig Krenzel started with a bang, a 49-yard TD pass to fellow rookie Bernard Berrian. But he also lost a fumble on a sack that turned into an 80-yard fumble return for a touchdown by the 49ers, and his only interceptions resulted in a San Francisco field goal.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-plus -- When Thomas Jones was injured on the first play of the game, Anthony Thomas rode to the rescue, showing little rust despite having gotten hardly any playing in the first six games of the season. Thomas ran for 98 yards and caught a team-high four passes for 46 yards, accounting for 56.7 percent of the Bears' total yardage.

PASS DEFENSE: A-minus -- Rookie CB Nathan Vasher's interception and 71-yard touchdown return with 3:52 left in the game clinched the victory for the Bears. The defense sacked Ken Dorsey three times and allowed him to complete just 16 of 36 passes for 122 yards. Brandon Lloyd was the only 49er with more than 20 receiving yards.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-plus -- The Bears set out to stop the run after having been pounded for an average of 138 yards on the ground the last three games, and they succeeded. The Niners totaled just 62 rushing yards on 23 carries for a 2.7-yard average.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus -- Paul Edinger hit 3-of-4 FGs, missing only from 53 yards while hitting from 52, 45 and 27. R.W. McQuarters on punts and Jerry Azumah on kickoffs both provided the offense with excellent field position.

COACHING: B -- Defensive coordinator Ron Rivera went back to basics with his young group, and they responded. He also went up to the coaches' box instead of the sidelines, and it worked so well he plans to stay upstairs. Terry Shea opened up the offense more, as evidenced by the 49-yard TD pass on the second play from scrimmage.


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