Bears

Bears-49ers: And the winner is...

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Bears-49ers: And the winner is...

The San Francisco 49ers have not won on the road this season, a dramatic decline from the past four years under Jim Harbaugh and with Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator (“defense travels”) in which they were 6-2, 5-3, 6-2 and 4-4. They and the Washington Redskins, who come to Soldier Field next Sunday, are the only teams winless (0-5) on the road to this point in 2015.

That is likely to continue Sunday but it will not be as simple as just settling on a final score.

For one thing, the Bears have been so shackled by injuries on offense that they rank only tied for 24th in scoring at 21 per game and have scored more than 23 in just two games this season (Detroit, St. Louis).

[MORE BEARS: Gabbert, 49ers loom as potential trap for emerging Bears defense]

Adding to the stickiness is that the 49ers have allowed 20 or fewer points in six of their 11 games, and two of those were a win over the Minnesota Vikings (20-3) and last week’s 19-13 taffy-pull with the Arizona Cardinals, the NFL’s No. 1 scoring team.

All of which points to another Bears game that will be hanging in the balance into the fourth quarter. It behooves the Bears to have gotten in front of the 49ers after three quarters, being 2-1 when leading after three quarters vs. 3-5 when trailing after three. The Bears do not score especially well but neither do the 49ers, who were shut out in their last two fourth quarters but allowed Seattle and Arizona each just six points in the final 15 minutes.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

But the 49ers are allowing more than 400 yards of offense in road games and have, in those five games, allowed 43, 47, 30, 27 and 29 points. The Bears haven’t scored more than 23 points in any home game this season and, “This is a whole different defense, a whole different array of problems we have this week,” said quarterback Jay Cutler, “so we’ve got to worry about that.”

Look for the Bears to stifle a bad 49ers offense and convert turnovers into decisive points.

Prediction: Bears  27,  San Francisco 13

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

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USA TODAY

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.

It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.

Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.

Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.

Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.

On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.

Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

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USA Today

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

Take a look over the NFC landscape and try to find me a team that can compete with the Rams. 

Packers? Held back by Rodgers' knee and Rodgers' coach. Saints? Might not even win their own division. Washington? Does Alex Smith really scare anyone in the playoffs? 

The Rams have one of the easier paths to the Championship Round/Super Bowl that we've seen in some time. Will it likely stay that way? Probably not. But there's a difference between parity and mediocrity and right now the NFC is toeing the line HARD. 

Outside the NFC's "elite", how did your team do this week? 

You can take a look here and see where they landed.