SF-CHI Grades: Despite loss, Bears' RB duo stands out
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the 49ers’ 26-20 win over the Bears.
– There are few bigger liabilities on the offensive line than 49ers C Marcus Martin (-4.4). He was dreadful against the Bears, allowing three sacks, a hit, and a hurry on 43 dropbacks. Martin’s -3.8 pass protection grade was second-worst on the team, while his -0.8 run blocking grade tied for worst. Overall, he’s our lowest-graded center this season (39th), with a -38.8 grade. Martin’s yet to record a positive grade in 2015, his best performance of the season coming in Week 11 when he recorded a -0.8. In his year and a half since becoming the starter (20 games), he has a -55.7 grade. It didn’t end up costing them in this game, but Martin’s performances are a serious issue.
– QB Blaine Gabbert (0.0) used his legs rather than his arm to steer San Francisco to the win over the Bears. He now has a +5.1 grade when he takes off on the season. Overall, he carried six times for 75 yards, and the 49ers only touchdown in regulation. Gabbert was surprisingly elusive in the open field on his touchdown run, putting a good move on the free safety and showing impressive speed. While the passing game was more of a struggle for him, Gabbert made the play that won the game in overtime. He failed to complete a single pass further than 10 yards downfield, aside from the corner route to Torrey Smith that iced the contest. Gabbert completed just four passes under pressure from eight attempts with four sacks (-1.3), but stayed in the game long enough to come away with the victory. Small steps in the right direction for San Francisco’s new signal caller.
– Second-year corner Kenneth Acker (+2.9) had his best game as a pro against Jay Cutler. Although not spectacular, he’s been solid this season, showing improvement throughout the year. In run defense he made six tackles, including a defensive stop for a team-high +0.8 grade. In coverage he allowed just two completions on six targets for 30 yards and gave nothing up after the catch. After Sunday’s game, Acker now has a positive grade on the season (+1.3). Although he’s given up some plays (four touchdowns allowed), he’s also made some (three interceptions).
CB Kenneth Acker (+2.9)
RILB Gerald Hodges (+2.4)
SCB Jimmie Ward (+2.4)
LG Alex Boone (+2.4)
RT Erik Pears (+1.0)
– Chicago’s guards are playing amongst the best football in the country at the moment. LG Matt Slauson’s excellent season continued against San Francisco. He recorded a season-high +4.3 grade. Overall, he allowed just a solitary pressure on 34 pass snaps, and finished with an impressive +4.1 run blocking grade. Slauson’s performance was overshadowed, however, by teammate Patrick Omameh (+4.8). Omameh also allowed just the solitary pressure and performed as well in the run game (+4.2) as his partner on the other side of the line. He even found a way to contribute in the screen game (+1.0) with a couple of nice blocks. Only a pair of penalties prevented his final grade from being even higher.
– The Bears have a pair of backs they can rely on now in Matt Forte (+2.5) and Jeremy Langford (+0.3). Langford actually finished with the better rushing grade (+1.3) than Forte (+1.1). Langford carried 12 times for 59 yards (35 after contact) and broke a pair of tackles. Forte, meanwhile, carried 21 times for 84 yards (60 after contact), broke six tackles, and scored a touchdown. It was in the other facets of play where Forte set himself apart, however. He caught all five targets for 39 yards while Langford caught just two of three passes for 9 yards and struggled in pass protection, giving up a pair of hurries in just five block attempts.
– One of the most impressive aspects of this Chicago defense is the depth they have in the pass rushing department. Marcus Martin’s struggles were predominantly the responsibility of Eddie Goldman, who recorded two sacks, a hit, and a pair of hurries in just 25 rushes (+3.3 grade). Goldman takes the majority of snaps, however. Others, like OLBs Lamarr Houston (+2.1) and Willie Young (+1.7), must wait for their opportunities off the bench. Houston recorded five hurries in his 25 rushes for a +1.6 pass rushing grade. Young, meanwhile, had two sacks and two hurries from his 24 attempts for a +2.2 grade. When defenses have the luxury of keeping capable pass rushers fresh off the bench, it sets them up well for the future.
RG Patrick Omameh (+4.8)
LG Matt Slauson (+4.3)
NT Eddie Goldman (+4.0)
SCB Bryce Callahan (+3.3)
CB Kyle Fuller (+2.8)