Frank Gore ran for 104 yards and a
touchdown, Cutler threw a career-high five interceptions with his last
coming in the end zone on the game's final play and San Francisco
snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Chicago Bears 10-6 on
Niners quarterback Alex Smith won for
the first time in eight starts since Week 2 in 2007 — when he won 17-16 against St.
Louis — but it was interesting until the end.
After Singletary elected to punt
against his former team on fourth-and-six from the Chicago 34 with 2:53
left, Cutler drove the Bears to the San Francisco 12 with 13 seconds
remaining. After an incompletion on first down, Michael Lewis picked
off Cutler's next attempt in the end zone as time expired. That sealed
San Francisco's first win since a 35-0 rout of the Rams back on Oct. 4.
The game was far from a pretty display by two struggling teams still hoping to make the playoffs.
Four days after the 49ers (4-5)
committed four turnovers that led to 24 points in a 34-27 loss to
Tennessee, they were penalized nine times and Smith threw an
interception and was sacked twice. San Francisco did just enough right
Cutler took chances away all game
from Chicago (4-5), which had 10 penalties and lost its second straight
and fourth in five. Patrick Willis wreaked havoc on the Bears with 11
tackles, one of few bright spots for the 49ers.
Cutler threw four or more
interceptions for the second time this season and has an NFL-worst 17
in all. He became the first Bears quarterback since Billy Wade in 1962
to have two four-interception games in a season.
The Bears got field goals of 50 and
38 yards from Robbie Gould in a game that quickly became about who
could keep possession of the ball and make the fewest mistakes.
It marked the first time Singletary
faced his former team as a head coach. The Hall of Fame linebacker
spent all 12 of his NFL seasons with the Bears, capturing two Defensive
Player of the Year awards, being selected to 10 Pro Bowls and winning
the Super Bowl following 1985 season.
Singletary wanted little to do with
the hype of him facing the Bears, insisting he couldn't think about
anything but coaching the 49ers to victory to save the season.
San Francisco won its seventh
straight home game against the Bears, including one in the playoffs.
Chicago's last victory at Candlestick Park came during the Bears' '85
Super Bowl season with Singletary leading the defense. The Bears had
won the last three in the series.
Gore ran for a 14-yard touchdown run
one play after Cutler's second interception late in the second quarter
as the Niners took a 7-3 halftime lead. Joe Nedney added a 21-yard
field goal early in the fourth quarter after missing a 39-yarder wide
right on San Francisco's opening drive — his first miss of the season
from inside 40 yards.
Neither quarterback had impressive
numbers. Smith was 16 of 23 for 118 yards and Cutler 29 of 52 for 307.
Chicago outgained San Francisco 350-216.
Niners tight end Vernon Davis fired
up the Bears with his trash talk Tuesday, saying: "I think we can
destroy their front." Davis and Bears defensive lineman Adewale
Ogunleye got into a pregame jawing session and some of the Chicago
captains intentionally avoided shaking Davis' hand before the coin
Davis dealt out his own punishment
when he bowled over Bears linebacker Nick Roach, sending him to the
sideline briefly on his only catch of the half. Davis committed two
false start penalties.
San Francisco punted with 2:53 left to give the Bears a final chance.
The Bears lost tight end Desmond
Clark to a neck injury and cornerback Zackary Bowman to an abdominal
injury. Niners linebacker Takeo Spikes left the game in the second
quarter with a strained hamstring and didn't return.
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