The San Francisco 49ers travel to face the Chicago Bears this weekend, and they are currently a touchdown underdog. The Bears are 5-6 on the season, but have won three of their last four. All three wins were on the road, beating San Diego, St. Louis, and Green Bay. They are currently three back of the division-leading Minnesota Vikings, but only a game out of the second NFC wild card berth.
The Bears defense still ranks pretty low due to some ugly early season performances, but Vic Fangio seems to have that defense coming together. They have not given up more than 19 points in their last four games, and they put together a strong effort against the Packers on Thanksgiving. On the offensive side of the ball, Adam Gase has Jay Cutler looking fairly sharp through 11 games. He is on pace for his lowest number of interceptions, and is currently at a career high in adjusted yards gained per pass attempt. He has been far from perfect, but this offense has been making plays over the last month.
There are plenty of reasons to watch this game, but the Vic Fangio/Adam Gase storyline is a big one. Both were involved in the drama surrounding the 49ers coaching search back in January. After Jim Harbaugh departed, Vic Fangio and Adam Gase both interviewed for the vacant head coach position. Gase appeared to be on the verge of getting the job before things abruptly changed. The main rumor has been that Gase wanted Fangio as his defensive coordinator, but the 49ers wanted Gase to name Jim Tomsula his defensive coordinator.
Whatever the reasoning, Gase ended up joining the Bears as their offensive coordinator, and Fangio joined as defensive coordinator after being released from his 49ers contract. Ten months later, the Bears are showing improvement, and the 49ers are stumbling along.
The 49ers have struggled on the road, so it is already tempting to take the Bears at -7. Add in the possible revenge factor for Fangio and Gase, and it makes it all the more tempting. When it comes to wager decisions, I generally stay away from the emotional aspects of a game, but this seems like kind of a thing. Of course, Fangio has never seemed like an overly emotional type, so who knows what happens with it.