Bears, 49ers looking to stop skids, get back to winning

·4 min read

SAN FRANCISCO (2-4) at CHICAGO (3-4)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, Fox

OPENING LINE: 49ers by 3 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: San Francisco 1-5, Chicago 3-4.

SERIES RECORD: San Francisco leads 34-32-1.

LAST MEETING: Bears beat 49ers 14-9 on Dec. 23, 2018, in Santa Clara, California

LAST WEEK: 49ers lost to Indianapolis 30-18; Bears lost at Tampa Bay 38-3.

49ERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (18), RUSH (12), PASS (20), SCORING (19t).

49ERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (6), RUSH (20), PASS (5), SCORING (21).

BEARS OFFENSE: OVERALL (32), RUSH (6), PASS (32), SCORING (30).

BEARS DEFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (23), PASS (8), SCORING (14t).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: 49ers minus-7; Bears minus-2.

49ERS PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Elijah Mitchell. The rookie ran for 107 yards on 18 carries, joining Derrick Henry as the only players with a 100-yard game against Indianapolis in the past four regular seasons. Mitchell has two 100-yard games already this season, becoming the first Niners rookie with multiple 100-yard rushing games since Billy Kilmer did it three times in 1961.

BEARS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Justin Fields. The No. 11 overall draft pick will try to bounce back after throwing three interceptions and losing two fumbles against Tampa Bay. He was also sacked four times for the second straight game, giving him 22 for 179 yards — both league highs. The Bears are 2-3 with Fields as their starter. In two years at Ohio State following his transfer from Georgia, the Buckeyes were a combined 20-2. Their only losses were to Clemson in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl and Alabama in the national championship game in January.

KEY MATCHUP: 49ers WR Deebo Samuel vs. Chicago's eighth-ranked pass defense. Samuel is the major threat in the passing game with TE George Kittle sidelined. He will test the Bears short and deep.

KEY INJURIES: San Francisco rookie QB Trey Lance could return from a knee injury this week and be used in a situational role behind starter Jimmy Garoppolo. ... S Jaquiski Tartt (knee) will miss a few weeks. ... LT Trent Williams (ankle) could return after missing one game. ... DE Dee Ford and LB Aziz Al-Shaair began the week in concussion protocol. ... The Bears were without DT Akiem Hicks (groin) and S Tashaun Gipson Sr. (hip) last week. ... RB David Montgomery (sprained knee) has missed the past three games. ... The Bears have been dealing with COVID-19 issues. They had four players on the COVID-19 list for last week's game, including star LB Robert Quinn and veteran TE Jimmy Graham. RB Damien Wilkinson was removed from it the previous day. And coach Matt Nagy announced Monday he tested positive. ... LB Khalil Mack (foot) and WR Allen Robinson (ankle) have been banged up lately.

SERIES NOTES: The Bears were on their way to the NFC championship game in Nagy's first season when they beat San Francisco in 2018. Jordan Howard ran for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, and the defense made several stops in the closing minutes, including an interception by Danny Trevathan deep in Chicago territory.

STATS AND STUFF: San Francisco has lost four straight following a 2-0 start. ... The Niners have been flagged for a league-worst 14 pass interference calls this season with the 11 accepted penalties giving the opponent 250 yards. ... San Francisco was 1 for 11 on third downs last week and is converting a league-low 16.7% of third downs over the past three games. ... The Niners turned over the ball four times last week and are fourth worst in the league with 1.8 turnovers per game. ... San Francisco’s 120 turnovers in four-plus seasons under coach Kyle Shanahan are second worst in the NFL and the 397 points allowed off turnovers are the worst. ... Samuel has three 100-yard receiving games this season. ... Chicago is coming off back-to-back losses to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers and Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. ... Chicago is the only team averaging more yards rushing (131) than passing (124.4). ... The Bears are scoring 14.4 points per game. Only Houston and the New York Jets are averaging fewer. ... The Bears and Minnesota are tied for the league lead with 21 sacks. ... The loss to Tampa Bay was the Bears’ most lopsided since a 55-14 thumping at Green Bay on Nov. 9, 2014. ... Rookie RB Khalil Herbert set a season-high 100 yards on 18 carries last week facing the NFL’s stingiest run defense. The sixth-round draft pick from Virginia Tech has 272 yards the past three games and 279 on the season.

FANTASY TIP: Herbert continues to deliver in Montgomery's absence, and the run game is about the only thing the Bears have going for them on offense.

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The Associated Press

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