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    San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears: Prediction, matchups, how to watch, and more

    Here's a preview of Sunday's Week 1 San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears matchup, including predictions, key injuries, and how to watch.

    Trey Lance and Justin Fields were both chosen in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but the two second-year quarterbacks are leading franchises in very different places. While Lance and the San Francisco 49ers are contending for a playoff spot in the NFC, Fields and the Chicago Bears are just trying to stay above water. Here’s our breakdown of the 49ers vs. Bears matchup, the key injuries, and predictions from our NFL staff.

    San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears preview

    Lance, the former No. 3 overall pick, is the guy in San Francisco — for now. After failing to find a trade partner for Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers opted to hold onto the veteran quarterback, who’s posted a 31-14 record in five seasons with the team, on a reworked contract.

    Lance’s upside is higher than Jimmy G’s, but the North Dakota State product could have a shorter leash now that there’s an improved backup QB situation behind him. His dynamic ability on the ground should cement his floor, but Lance’s performance throwing to pass-catching weapons Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle in a Kyle Shanahan-designed offense will decide his ceiling.

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    First-year head coach Matt Eberflus has some work to do to remake the Bears’ defense in his image, but all eyes will be on Fields and Chicago’s offense. Former Green Bay Packers QBs coach Luke Getsy is the Bears’ new play-caller, and he’ll be tasked with guiding Fields in an offense where the weapons after Darnell Mooney aren’t pretty.

    Chicago’s offensive line has been patched together with gum, and San Francisco’s defensive front — led by EDGE Nick Bosa and LB Fred Warner — should terrorize the Bears’ subpar front five. The 49ers’ secondary won’t have key defensive back Jimmie Ward on Sunday, but free agent addition Charvarius Ward boosts the cornerback depth chart.

    How to watch

    • Date/Time
      Sunday, Sept. 11, 1 p.m. ET
    • Channel
      FOX
    • Live Stream
      Vidgo, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV (some markets), fuboTV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream, FOX Now

    Matchup and stats

    These two teams last met in Week 8 of last season, when the 49ers scored 18 fourth-quarter points to secure a 33-22 victory. San Francisco and Chicago have met 68 times in total, dating all the way back to 1950. The 49ers lead the all-time series 35-32-1.

    San Francisco’s season ended just shy of the Super Bowl. Holding a 10-point lead against the Rams with two minutes left in the NFC Championship Game, the 49ers gave up 13 unanswered points to LA and got sent packing. Meanwhile, the Andy Dalton-led Bears fell to the Vikings, 31-17, in Week 18.

    San Francisco 49ers 2021 stats/rankings

    • Scoring: 25.1 (13th)
    • Yards: 375.7 (seventh)
    • Yards per play: 6.1 (second)
    • Passing: 248.3 (12th)
    • Rushing: 127.4 (seventh)
    • Defensive scoring: 21.5 (10th)
    • Yards allowed: 310 (third)
    • Yards per play allowed: 5.1 (fifth)
    • Pass defense: 206.5 (sixth)
    • Rush defense: 103.5 (seventh)

    Chicago Bears 2021 stats/rankings

    • Scoring: 18.3 (27th)
    • Yards: 307.4 (24th)
    • Yards per play: 5.7 (14th)
    • Passing: 188.6 (30th)
    • Rushing: 118.7 (14th)
    • Defensive scoring: 23.9 (22nd)
    • Yards allowed: 316.7 (sixth)
    • Yards per play allowed: 5.3 (14th)
    • Pass defense: 191.6 (third)
    • Rush defense: 125.1 (23rd)

    Injuries to know

    San Francisco 49ers:
    OL Daniel Brunskill
    (hamstring, out)
    TE George Kittle (groin, questionable)
    S Jimmie Ward (injured reserve)
    CB Jason Verrett (injured reserve)
    DT Maurice Hurst (injured reserve)
    WR Jordan Matthews (injured reserve)
    LB Curtis Robinson (injured reserve)
    DT Kalia Davis (injured reserve)

    Chicago Bears:
    WR Velus Jones Jr. (hamstring, doubtful)
    DE Dominique Robinson (knee, questionable)
    WR N’Keal Harry (injured reserve)
    WR Tajae Sharpe (injured reserve)
    CB Tavon Young (injured reserve)
    LB David Moore (injured reserve)
    LB Javin White (injured reserve)
    CB Michael Joseph (injured reserve)
    C Doug Kramer (injured reserve)
    G Dakota Dozier (injured reserve)

    Prediction

    Betting line (courtesy of Caesars)
    49ers -6.5; 49ers -305, Bears +240; O/U 40.5

    Adam Beasley’s Prediction
    1-0 straight-up, 1-0 against the spread in 2022
    49ers 23, Bears 20

    Dalton Miller’s Prediction
    1-0 straight-up, 1-0 against the spread in 2022
    49ers 24, Bears 14

    Dallas Robinson’s Prediction
    1-0 straight-up, 0-1 against the spread in 2022
    49ers 24, Bears 10

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