The San Francisco 49ers are in the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bears – this is your place to talk about the game and all things 49ers football!
If ever there was a game tailor made for the San Francisco 49ers to snap a ten game losing streak, this would be the one. This is a Bears team that is banged up and is missing a host of key players – starting quarterback Jay Cutler and leading receiver Alshon Jeffery among them. San Francisco is going to be squaring off with a skeleton crew in Chicago.
Seriously, if they can’t beat a Matt Barkley-led Chicago squad, the prospects of a 1-15 season are all too real.
This game matters for nothing more than draft position, in all truthfulness. The Bears are currently sitting at 2-9 on the season – one game behind the 1-10 49ers. If the season were to end today, the winless Browns would have the top pick in next year’s draft and would be followed by San Francisco and then Chicago or Jacksonville (both 2-9). The 3-8 Jets are also in the mix for a high draft pick as well.
Which, in a way, gives the game some small level of importance. HC Chip Kelly and the 49ers brass have to decide which is more important – draft positioning or getting a second win in a lost season?
No, San Francisco isn’t likely to intentionally tank a game. Probably.
But the possibility does exist that Kelly won’t be at the helm at the start of next season. No, he’s more than likely not going back to Oregon, but there is a chance that Jed York and/or Trent Baalke (should Baalke survive the Purge), decide that the team has regressed too far under Kelly and a new vision and change of direction is required.
It’s entirely possible – York doesn’t exactly seem to understand the value of continuity, stability, or retaining good coaches.
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On the field, the 49ers should have a puncher’s chance of beating this Bears team. They roll in with the leagues fourth ranked running attack and should be able to move the ball on a running defense that ranks in the lower half of the league. A defense that also suffered a big blow with the loss of Danny Trevathan to injury and Jerrell Freeman to suspension.
San Francisco’s pass defense is going to be tested. Chicago coach John Fox let Barkley cut loose last week against Tennessee. Barkley responded with a fairly decent 28 of 54 afternoon for 316 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. Not a great afternoon, but solid enough – well, it would have been if the defense had been able to do something.
But the 49ers must be ready for Barkley to throw early and throw often. With the league’s worst passing defense, they’ll likely be chasing his passes all game long.
So, what do you think? Should the 49ers tank this game to help solidify draft position? Should that not even be a consideration and they should go all out to win this one? Will Chip Kelly be back next year? Does he deserve to be?
There is no shortage of storylines or things to talk about, that is for sure. So, let’s hear what you think about this game, Kelly’s future, the future of the franchise, or anything else 49ers football. This is your place to step up, speak out, and be heard!