The mood at Halas Hall this week was largely gloomy, bordering on uncomfortable at times, as the Bears moved on from an embarrassing 28-point loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The heated argument between Josh Bellamy and Tre McBride — and McBride’s subsequent release — was the most significant flare-up of frustration for a team that’s now lost four straight games.
While the 1-10 San Francisco 49ers are, record-wise, in worse spot than the 3-8 Bears, they do have this going for them: Jimmy Garoppolo’s first start after being acquired from the New England Patriots in October for a second-round pick. Perhaps that will give the team a little extra juice on Sunday, especially given Garoppolo should have some extra motivation. The Rolling Meadows native grew up a Bears fan, after all.
The Bears defense should have Danny Trevathan available for the first time since he suffered a calf injury Oct. 29 against the New Orleans Saints, which will help in muting the production of 49ers running back Carlos Hyde. But what this game will come down to is which franchise quarterback plays better: Garoppolo or Mitchell Trubisky.
Trubisky needs a bounce-back game after struggling with his footwork and accuracy (and not having much help around him) against the Eagles. Chances are he’ll do that against a defense that ranks 27th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. But the Bears’ defense has slipped a bit since the bye week, especially against the pass. The Bears likely will be without safety Adrian Amos (hamstring, doubtful) and potentially both nickel corners (Cre’Von LeBlanc and Bryce Callahan are both questionable), and if the pass rush can’t generate pressure on Garoppolo, he very well could out-play Trubisky on Sunday.
Prediction: 49ers 23, Bears 21