CHICAGO -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 15-14 victory over the Chicago Bears in Week 13 on Sunday:
1, JIMMY EATS WORLD
The way he bounced confidently and calmly in the pocket. The way he flicked the ball down the field into tight windows. The way he looked completely unflappable on the 49ers’ final-chance drive.
Of course, he is nowhere near to the level of the next name to appear in this sentence, but his mannerisms did look a little Tom Brady-ish.
For a quarterback who did not lead a touchdown drive in any of his team’s eight offensive possessions, Jimmy Garoppolo had about as impressive of a game as one could imagine. Garoppolo grew up approximately 25 miles from Soldier Field in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
“I tried to say all week that it’s just a normal game,” Garoppolo said. “Obviously, I’ve never come back to Chicago like this, so it’s exciting. I had a ton of people here today. It was one of the more fun games I’ve been a part of.”
Garoppolo was comfortable with enough of the 49ers’ offense for coach Kyle Shanahan to craft a game plan that rolled up 388 yards of total offense. Garoppolo threw for 293 yards, the most yards in franchise history from a quarterback in his first start with the club. He helped the 49ers convert 10 of 18 (56 percent) of their third-down opportunities.
“I thought it was a real good first start,” Shanahan said. “He handled the offense well, definitely moved the chains and moved the ball well for us. It will be fun to get back and to watch the tape. When you go through this stuff, it’s nice to be able to coach off of it.”
2. GOOD AS GOULD
Kicker Robbie Gould spent his first 11 seasons with the Chicago Bears. He was released two seasons ago. On Sunday, he returned to Soldier Field and accounted for all 15 points, including his game-winning 24-yard field goal in the final seconds.
Gould spoke to his teammates on Saturday night. Left tackle Joe Staley said it was the first time he can remember that a kicker spoke to his teammates on the night before a game.
Gould showed a lot of emotion after booting the game-winner to cap an impressive 14-play, 86-yard drive, as he appeared to yell toward the Bears' sideline.
“I was pretty excited,” said Gould, 34, who was seen looking and yelling toward the Bears sideline after his final kick. “I have a lot of respect for the people here. To come in here and get a win like that and kick the game-winner, I don’t think I could have written it any better, to be honest with you.”
3. A TEAM VICTORY
The 49ers’ defense held the Chicago Bears to just 147 yards of total offense on just 36 offensive plays -- the fewest plays against a 49ers defense since Oct. 20, 1991, against the Detroit Lions (35 plays).
Wide receiver Trent Taylor spent most of the past 24 hours sick after a case of food poisoning but rallied and provided the 49ers with some clutch plays on third downs with all five of his third-down receptions moving the chains.
The 49ers’ pass protection enabled Garoppolo to look calm and unaffected by the Chicago pass rush.
“(It’s) not just the quarterback but the whole team,” Shanahan said. “We gave it back to them, and our defense got off the field and we had a chance to go down the field.
“Jimmy made a bunch of plays on that drive and I thought we ran the ball well, and I thought we blocked well. Our receivers made some plays, and we were able to finish it running and to take the clock down. I thought it was a huge team win and I thought everyone contributed.”
Garoppolo was 14-for-14 for 191 yards while targeting Marquise Goodwin (eight catches, 99 yards) and Taylor (six catches, 92 yards). Taylor made a 33-yard reception on a third-and-9 play on the winning drive to get the 49ers into field-goal range.
“Great protection up front,” Garoppolo said. “I thought all day those guys gave me a lot of time. You know, it’s a good pass rush they went against. I was clean for the most part today, so that plays a huge role in all third downs and big plays like that.”