The San Francisco 49ers travel to Chicago to take on the Bears to open the 2022 regular season. The 49ers were able to top the Bears 33-22 when the two teams met in Week 8 last season, also in Chicago.
The most significant change on the Bears side is former Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus taking over the head coaching job for Matt Nagy. The 49ers did face off once against Eberflus in 2021, their 30-18 loss against the Colts in the rain. It's supposed to rain Sunday in Chicago as well. Here are three matchups that could decide the game on Sunday:
LT Trent Williams vs. EDGE Robert Quinn
This is a matchup that oozes talent on both sides of the ball. The 49ers' first-team All-Pro tackle is lining up against the Bears' second-team All-Pro pass rusher. Williams allowed 16 pressures on 479 opportunities in 2021, while Quinn created 47 pressures from the right side of the defensive line collecting 18 sacks on 371 pass rushes last season.
Quinn's 51 snaps against the 49ers in Week 8 last season came across from Williams. The 49ers left tackle held Quinn to just one pressure on 27 pass rush attempts, one of only three times last season Quinn was held to just one or fewer pressures in a game.
CB Samuel Womack vs. WR Darnell Mooney
The 49ers' fifth-round pick will have a tough test on Sunday as he will likely see some snaps against the Bears' most targeted receiver in 2021. Mooney played 43.6 percent of his snaps out of the slot in 2021, a 20 percent increase from his rookie 2020 season. The third-year receiver also played 58.6 percent of his snaps in the preseason, but that was a small sample size of 29 pass snaps.
Mooney had six receptions on nine targets for 64 yards last season against the 49ers, but Womack wasn't on the team. Instead, Womack played his way into the nickel back role after his impressive preseason performance with two interceptions and a pass breakup on just five targets. Mooney will likely see fewer snaps from the slot with Allen Robinson now in Los Angeles, but those snaps will be a good barometer for Womack.
EDGE Nick Bosa vs. RT Larry Borom
Borom saw a heavy dose of Bosa last season in Chicago, with Bosa taking 50 of his 56 snaps that game on the left side of the 49ers defense. Bosa finished with two sacks, one of his five games with multiple sacks, with Borom allowing one.
One aspect of this matchup to watch is if Bosa can beat Borom, how well will he be able to contain Justin Fields? Fields' legs kept the Bears in the game with a season-high ten carries for 103 yards. The 49ers have traditionally struggled against mobile quarterbacks, and Fields was no exception. Don't just watch Bosa for his ability to get to the quarterback on Sunday but also for his ability to contain.