49ers coach Kyle Shanahan had a lot of bouquets in the way.
His offense covered 467 yards and averaged 8.6 yards per game in a 33–22 win over the Chicago Bears Sunday at Soldier Field. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said Shanahan was “on fire” with his play-calling and called it a perfect storm.
A few of them were to be sure, but more than that, it was a game that the 49ers took it upon themselves to prove a point. At 3-4 o’clock, they are not done yet.
For all the X’s and O’s and strategy involved in the game, sometimes it’s the players who take matters into their own hands that make the difference between victory and defeat.
There were three plays in the second half that were symbolic and helped the 49ers get back on track after a questionable start:
1. Debo Screen
Chicago started the second half with a 25-yard field goal by Cairo Santos to lead 16-9 and then courtesy an illegal block above the waist penalty by Kyle Juszyk, a third of their own 16 and – There were 49 players in 19. .
Shanahan dialed a simple quick screen to his left, which meant nothing more than to give Mitch Wishnowski a better chance of giving the 49ers defense good field position on his first punt of the day. A classic pre-punt play. Nothing bold or daring about it.
Instead, Deebo Samuel took the pass, found a crease and ran for 83 yards to the Chicago 1-yard line. It was originally called a touchdown, but was reversed on replay as he was pushed out of the goal line.
Debo Samuel. 83 yards. #fttb
: #SFVSCHI on fox
: NFL App pic.twitter.com/JRNKGLsXqK
— NFL (@nfl) 31 October 2021
Shanahan said, “You give it to Deebo, just trying to flip the ground and get it closer to fourth place, but for him to hit like that, everyone picks up his blocks, giving him a clean. Got the street.” “Dibo, he was battling his calf all week, it was awesome for him to finish and get close to the end zone.”
Samuel credits the offensive line and his fellow receivers – Mohammad Sanu and Brandon Ayuk – for helping block and screen potential tacklers.
“It starts with the O-line,” said Samuel. “It was a quick little pop screen and the whole left side of the offensive line had to get out and be the lead blockers. I was just chasing them. It opened and I took over the rest.”
Garoppolo said: “DiBo really gave us that spark at Third Down. It was a huge game in the game.”
2. Jimmy G. Improvisation
Samuel’s big game wouldn’t have made sense if the 49ers hadn’t finished the drive in the end zone. Guard Laken Tomlinson was penalized five yards for a false start and pushed the 49ers back to 6, and Elijah Mitchell hit 2. Third goal scored.
Drama Shanahan calls Samuel to take the ball to the shotgun with Garoppolo. Samuel did not receive the message. So Garoppolo himself took the ball to the left and dived for a touchdown. Joy Sly missed the extra point, but the 49ers were within a point.
Hometown kid drives it to the end field for a touchdown
I #SFVSCHI on fox pic.twitter.com/mVGAbkcilV
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) 31 October 2021
Shanahan said that in the event of a missed assignment by the ball carrier, as was the case with Samuel, the quarterback is then taught to run exactly where the play was designed. That’s exactly what Garoppolo did for the first of his two rushing touchdowns.
“We were late to play clock, there was some momentum, the O-line couldn’t really hear right,” Garopolo said. “There was a lot going on. I knew where the drama was made to go. I tried to give it to Deebo. I said, ‘Go, go, go.’ We both froze for a second. Sometimes it’s drama like this, they’re not perfect, but whatever it takes to do that.”
3. Mitchell pushes the pile. Touchdown
On the next possession, the 49ers defense forced its first punt of the day and Ayuk made it back to the 49ers’ 48-yard line for 21 yards.
The 49ers headed to the Chicago 16-yard line, and Mitchell, who finished with 137 yards on 18 carries, ran for 11 yards to 5. of more.
keep on pushing!
I #SFVSCHI on fox pic.twitter.com/ZA1oYE9oZO
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) 31 October 2021
Mitchell quickly disappeared into a bunch of 49ers and Bears jerseys. But somewhere within that mass of humanity, Mitchell was still moving, as were his linemen. There was also pushing from behind. Mitchell kept his feet running with great help until he crossed the goal line. Touchdowns and a two-point conversion pass from Garopolo to Ayuk put the 49ers up 23-16 to play with 14:11. They won’t back down again.
Kendra Alex Mack described how it was in the middle of things.
“Just keep driving your feet, wait for the whistle,” said Mack. “I lost track of which way we were headed. I didn’t know if we were turning sideways and going diagonally. You’re just hoping we’re on the right track and driving Stay tuned and let’s hope for the best. It’s a big moment for us to achieve this in that play.”
A moment that Shanahan thought about what his team was up to when they faced an obstacle after a four-game loss.
“I think you can see a lot in a play that our team is feeling right now,” Shanahan said. “We knew we had to bow down. We knew we had to battle this week. We knew it was going to be a fight against a really good team and you can see how important it was for all 11 guys Because we needed all 11 to get him into the last zone.