The Chicago Bears are a bad football team, though they have managed to win three games, two more than the San Francisco 49ers have won. A bad team is as good as any for Jimmy Garoppolo’s first start for the 49ers, but the Bears don’t have a hapless pass defense, or a hapless defense in general, as it happens.
Chicago ranks 12th in the league in passing yards allowed this season with 2,374, and 11th in the league in passing touchdowns allowed with 14. Their pass rush is fairly successful, with 30 sacks on the year, ranking them ninth in the league tied with three other teams.
Where they are bad: they aren’t particularly good at securing interceptions, with just four of them on the season, ranking 29th in the league.
The running game is where they drop a little bit, ranking 16th in the league with 1,236 rushing yards. They have eight touchdowns on the ground, also 16th in the league. Chicago’s defense allows 4.0 yards per carry. The Bears have out-gained their opponents on the ground by about 100 yards, while they are far less efficient in the passing game.
There aren’t many intimidating numbers when it comes to the Bears. They have a slightly above-average pass defense and a strictly average run defense. Garoppolo probably isn’t going to throw a bunch of interceptions, but given the poor state of the San Francisco offensive line, he really should work on getting the ball out very quickly in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Once again, the 49ers’ offensive line is the biggest concern on Sunday. Nothing else is nearly as concerning. Carlos Hyde will probably be fine and I imagine Shanahan will be running a fairly conservative passing offense given Garoppolo’s limited knowledge of the playbook at this stage in his 49ers career.