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San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears: A Prospector's Guide

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The 49ers host the Chicago Bears in the first Thursday game of the season on the NFL Network.  At some point today I'm hoping to hear from someone in the NFL's media department as to whether the game will be airing somewhere online.  NBC streams the Sunday Night Football game, so I'd certainly hope the NFL Network would do something similar.  We'll see.  Either way, the 49ers face a quick turnaround and will hopefully get their act together sooner rather than later.

The 49ers host the Chicago Bears in what will be the 62nd meeting between the two teams, dating back to 1950. The last time San Francisco played the Bears at home was in 2003, when they defeated Chicago, 49-7, at Candlestick Park. The 49ers have a 6-1-1 record when playing on Thursdays, having last defeated the Seahawks, 24-14, at Seattle
(12/14/06).

The 49ers look to snap a four-game losing streak after falling to the Tennessee Titans, 34-27, last week. In that game, TE Vernon Davis recorded career-highs with 10 receptions and 102 yards, while QB Alex Smith completed a career-high 29 passes on 45 attempts for 286 yards and two touchdowns. However, four costly turnovers (3 INTs and
1 fumble) by San Francisco proved to be the difference as the Titans scored 24 of their points following takeaways.

49ers-Bears Connections
Coaching Connections
• 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye and Bears QBs coach Pep Hamilton were both with the New York Jets in 2003. Raye then served as asst. head coach/senior offensive assistant while Hamilton served as offensive quality control coordinator.
• 49ers TE coach Pete Hoener served under Bears head coach Lovie Smith as the Bears offensive line coach in 2004.
• 49ers OL coach Chris Foerster and Bears head coach Lovie Smith coached together during their tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996-2000. Foerster served in the same capacity while Smith served as LBs coach.

Players
FORMER BEARS - 49ers head coach Mike Singletary was drafted by the Bears as the 38th overall pick in the 1981NFL Draft. Singletary spent 12 seasons with the Bears while also helping the team win a Super Bowl Championship in 1985 ... 49ers pass rush specialist coach Al Harris was the 9th overall draft pick by the Bears in 1979 and played with Chicago from 1979–84 and then again from 1986-88 ... 49ers TE coach Pete Hoener served as offensive line coach for the Bears in 2004.

FORMER 49ERS - Bears DT Anthony Adams was originally a 2nd round pick (57th overall) by the 49ers in the 2003 NFL Draft and was on the team until 2006 ... Bears QB coach Pep Hamilton served as an offensive assistant/quarterbacks with the 49ers in 2006.

ILLINOIS TIES – 49ers TE coach Pete Hoener served as an OL coach at Univ. of Illinois from 1986-88, and offensive line coach at Illinois State in1977. Hoener also played football and earned a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University in 1974 ... 49ers LB coach Vantz Singletary began his coaching career at Trinity College in Deerfield, Illinois and tenured at there from 1992-96.

CALIFORNIA CONNECTIONS – Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner was the head coach at San Jose State in 1992. Turner was also an offensive coordinator/QB coach at Stanford from 1989-91. Turner is a native of Martinez, CA ... Bears Asst. Head Coach/DL Rod Marinelli coached the defensive line at the University of California from 1983-89 and was promoted to assistant head coach from 1990-91 ... Bears Assistant DB/Safeties coach Gill Byrd played as a defensive back for San Jose State from 1978-82. Byrd was born in San Francisco, CA ... Bears LB Lance Briggs is a Sacramento, CA native ... Bears WR Rashied Davis (2000-01) and DT Jarron Gilbert (2005-08) played at San Jose State University.

HELLO AGAIN – 49ers WR Isaac Bruce was a teammate of Bears T Orlando Pace with the Rams from 1997-2007, as well as LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (2003-2007). 49ers CB Dré Bly also played with Pace from 1999-2002 while with St. Louis.

"U" KNOW ME - 49ers RB Frank Gore and Bears WR/PR Devin Hester lettered together at the university of Miami, (Fla.) for two season (2003-04). Gore also lettered with Bears TE Greg Olsen during the 2004 season.

BAYOU BROTHERS - 49ers S Curtis Taylor and Bears S Craig Steltz both were letter winners at Louisiana State from 2005-07.

WARRIORS! - 49ers DT Isaac Sopoaga and Bears LB Pisa Tinoisamoa lettered together at Hawaii during the 2002 season.38th overall pick.

Series Highlights
Matchups: 61
Series Record
: 49ers Lead Series 30-29-1
49ers Home Record vs. Bears
: 49ers Lead Series 18-12
First Meeting
: 9/24/50, 49ers lose, 32-20
Last Meeting
: 10/29/06, 49ers lose, 41-10
Current Streak
: Lost 3
Longest 49ers Win Streak
: 6 (12/6/69-11/16/75)
Longest Bears Win Streak
: 3 (Four Times)
Most 49ers Points
: 52 (9/19/65), 52-24; (12/23/91), 52-14
Most Bears Points
: 61 (12/12/65), 61-20, at Chicago
49ers Shutout
: 2; (11/19/50 & 10/22/61)
Bears Shutout
: 5 Times  (Last: 12/17/00 - 49ers win 17-0)

CHICAGO 41, SAN FRANCISCO 10
At Chicago, IL, October 29, 2006

The Chicago Bears jumped out to a 24-0 1st quarter lead and took a 41-0 lead into the half before coasting to a 41-10 victory over San Francisco. The Bears converted four 1st half turnovers into 28 points, including three turnovers in the 1st quarter. Four of Chicago’s 1st half scoring drives started inside San Francisco territory due to the three turnovers and a 42-yard punt return. Chicago recovered 49ers fumbles at the 49ers 15-yard line and 13-yard line and intercepted a pass at the 49ers 41-yard line in the 1st quarter. The Bears then returned a punt 42 yards to begin a drive at the San Francisco 24-yard line early in the 2nd quarter that led to another score.

Despite the loss, RB Frank Gore played a solid game. Gore registered his third 100-yard game of the season with 12 carries for 111 yards. He had a season-long 53-yard run in the 4th quarter to set up the 49ers first points on a 23-yard FG by PK Joe Nedney. QB Alex Smith stood strong in the pocket against the Bears 2nd-ranked defense, completing 16 of 26 pass attempts for 146 yards, including a 16-yard TD pass to WR Antonio Bryant in the 4th quarter. The Bears chalked up 289 yards in the 1st half and then were held to 113 in the 2nd half. The Bears went ahead 10-0 before the 49ers offense even had a chance to run a single play. After marching down the field for a field goal to open the game, the Bears recovered a RB Maurice Hicks fumble on the ensuing kickoff to begin at the 15-yard line. Two plays later, RB Thomas Jones scored on a seven-yard run for a 10-0 lead.

After falling behind 34-0 in the 2nd quarter, Smith tried to get the 49ers back in the game, hitting Bryant on a 16-yard pass to the Chicago 30-yard line. However, Bryant fumbled on a hard hit by SS Todd Johnson and the Bears recovered with 1:12 to play. Instead of running out the clock, Bears QB Rex Grossman executed a perfect two-minute drill down to the San Francisco 27-yard line, where he connected with TE Desmond Clark for a touchdown and a 41-0 lead.

2009 Statistics

49ERS (rank) BEARS (rank)
3-5 (T-2nd NFCW) Record 4-4 (t-2nd NFCN)
21.8 (19th) Points per game 22.5 (t-16th)
285.6 (27th) Total Offense 332.4 (19th)
101.4 (21st) Rushing Offense 90.5 (28th)
184.3 (22nd) Passing Offense 241.9 (11th)
29:41 (18th) Possession Avg 29:47 (17th)
21.8 (t-17th) Points allowed/gm 23.9 (22nd)
334.3 (19th) Total Defense 326.0 (15th)
93.3 (5th) Rushing Defense 119.5 (21st)
241.0 (24th) Passing Defense 206.5 (12th)
17 (t-18th) Sacks 16 (t-23rd)
48.5 (2nd) Punting Avg (Gross) 40.3 (30th)
-3 (t-22nd) Turnover Differential -1 (t-20th)