Well there have been only two fewer penalties than there have been first downs, so you know we got a quality game on our hands.
The Bears were very quick about their opening three and out. They almost appeared to be in a hurry for the Niners to block the ensuing the punt and start their first drive inside the 10. Three plays later, Colin Kaepernick hit an open Michael Crabtree for the game’s first score, though the snap came a second after the play clock expired, which the refs didn’t notice. New home cookin’!
Bears respond with another three and out. Kaep has a pass intercepted by Peanut Tillman that’s overturned on review. San Francisco seems to have its drive stopped on a 3rd and 20, but a Bears offside penalty followed by a defensive holding penalty gave San Francisco a fresh set out downs near midfield. The Niners ended up with a field goal on a drive that took up about 15 plays and seemed twice as plodding.
Chicago finally got some offense going at the start of the second quarter. From the Niners 41, Jay Cutler hit Martellus Bennett for 22 along the sideline to the 19 for what initially appeared to be a first down, but the catch was overturned on one of the stricter reviews of a catch you will see.
Chris Conte made an amazing interception to stop a 49ers drive that seemed bound to add more points. Really, that happened. Chris Conte was useful. Naturally, the Bears proceeded to go three and out again.
Jared Allen forced a fumble on the following drive, giving the Bears another fleeting glimmer of hope. But then Jay Cutler fumbled a snap, nearly giving the 49ers a defensive touchdown. Chicago recovered just outside of their end zone, enabling Cutler to try a Rex Grossman-trademarked throwgasm on 3rd and forever that was broken up. San Francisco got the ball back and added a Frank Gore touchdown to go up 17-0.
At long last, the Bears moved into scoring range just before half, thanks to a roughing the passer penalty when Quinton Dial buried his helmet into Cutler’s chest. That kept it going long enough for Cutty to chuck it into the end zone and Brandon Marshall to come down with an awesome touchdown catch to get Chicago on the board just before half.
So Chicago is up by two in the turnover battle and down by multiple scores on the scoreboard. But really the battle here is who can have the more ridiculous penalty total.