The 49ers flew home for their Levi's Stadium debut full of confidence after coasting to a win over the Cowboys, but the Bears were just hoping to get their season back on track. A trendy pick to win the NFC North, Chicago slumped to an opening-day loss to the Buffalo Bills, and their offensive display in the first half made it clear why.
Here's what we saw in the first half:
San Francisco Started Hot
A blocked punt on the first series of the game set up a Michael Crabtree touchdown - the first in Levi's Stadium history - and the early score helped the 49ers set the tone quickly. A field goal soon after extended the lead to 10-0, and the 49ers looked to be coasting comfortably.
The Bears Offense Never Made It Off The Plane
Chicago's offensive stats after two quarters:
10/20 passing for 62 yards and a touchdown (3.2 average)
8 carries for 35 yards (3.2 average)
Lots of credit goes to the 49ers defense, but that's an abysmal showing no matter who you're playing against. A late touchdown drive padded the stats slightly, but not enough to fill Chicago with confidence headed into the second half.
49ers Mistakes Kept It Closer Than It Might've Been
Two first-half turnovers - a Kaepernick interception and a Kaepernick fumble - canceled out what had looked like promising drives. If the 49ers had managed to hold on to the ball, this game would be effectively over by now.
Flags, Flags, & More Flags
For long stretches in the first half, it seemed like neither team could go more than two plays without a flag being thrown. The penalties had a major effect on the momentum of the game, and the Bears were able to extend a late drive long enough for Brandon Marshall to make a stunning one-handed touchdown catch to close the gap to 17-7 at the end of two.
49ers First-Half MVP: Frank Gore
Gore ended the half with just six carries, but he made them count - he ended up with 50 yards and a TD for an 8.3 yards per carry average, and he also caught a pass and had a fantastic touchdown run called back for a questionable holding call.
Bears First-Half MVPs: Brandon Marshall, Chris Conte
In a half where Chicago looked anemic on offense (2-8 on third down conversions, 93 total yards), Marshall's stunning one-handed touchdown catch was easily the offensive highlight. Safety Chris Conte also gets some recognition for an incredibly athletic interception.Back to the San Francisco 49ers Newsfeed