San Francisco 49ers Defeat Chicago Bears In Overtime Thriller


The San Francisco 49ers took down the Chicago Bears in an overtime thriller Sunday, winning 26-20 thanks to Blaine Gabbert connecting with Torrey Smith on a 71-yard walk-off touchdown.

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The San Francisco 49ers, in the same evening that reports broke of members within the organization being willing to keep quarterback Colin Kapernick around for next season, avoided any dismay and found a way to get the win.

Backup Blaine Gabbert succeeded in getting the 49ers the hard-fought victory by going 18-32 through the air for 196 yards, scoring on a 44-yard run that tied the game up and eventually sent it into overtime — and then throwing the game winner in the extra period.

The touchdown pass to Smith came on the 49er’s first play of of their first possession of overtime to seal the team’s first victory in three weeks, lifting their record to 4-8 on the year. Despite the win though, San Francisco is still dead last in the NFC West. For the 49ers, the victory showed glimpses of promise in terms of questions that continue to linger and fester regarding the current quarterback situation.

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This is a 49ers team that has experienced a downfall this year after completely cleaning house with the “mutual parting” with former head coach Jim Harbaugh, as well as numerous playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. Players like Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Perrish Cox, Chris Culliver, and Chris Borland left big holes for the team to fill.

The once-stingy 49ers defense that ranked amongst the best in the league just two years ago, now ranks 29th in the league in total defense, allowing almost 400 yards per game. Regarding the team’s plans for Kaepernick, the way that Gabbert has played lately certainly isn’t doing him any real favors. If the team did keep him, there is some doubt that he’d win back the starting gig next season.

Three years removed from the NFC Championship game against Seattle and this 49ers team appears to have a completely different identity — one that isn’t flattering in the least. Despite the talk of San Francisco’s front office’s desire to keep Kaepernick for 2016, many predict that the young quarterback will be a trade commodity during the off-season.

Midway through 2012, Kaepernick replaced Alex Smith as the team’s starting QB, leading the team to a Super Bowl berth that season where they lost to the Ravens 34-31. The following season brought them back to the NFC championship game the following year where they lost a tight game to the Seattle Seahawks.

Kaepernick’s success with the 49ers would later reward him with a six-year contract worth $114 million — with $61 million guaranteed. The following season would see things go south for Kaepernick and the 49ers, leading to the eventual overhaul of the team from top to bottom — as well as raising questions concerning Kapernick’s leadership and ability to be the franchise quarterback that his contract would indicate that he is.

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With many questions regarding the future of Kaepernick and the 49ers still lingering, the play of Blaine Gabbert has been a good sign for the team’s quarterback questions going forward. Even as a temporary solution.

The 49ers look to improve their record and continue their success, as they travel to Cleveland next Sunday to take on the Browns.