Final

49ers 10

(2-5, 0-3 away)

Bears 41

(7-0, 4-0 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, October 29, 2006

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL 

1 2 3 4 T
SF 0 0 0 1010
CHI 24 17 0 041

Top Performers

Passing: R. Grossman (CHI) - 252 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: T. Jones (CHI) - 23 CAR, 111 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Clark (CHI) - 6 REC, 86 YDS, 2 TD

Bears' 41-point first half stands in rout of 49ers

CHICAGO (AP) -- Brian Urlacher's one-handed interception was headed to the highlight reel as soon as he tumbled to the ground after somehow batting the ball to himself.

Scouts Inc.'s take ...
The Bears were able to establish themselves in dominant fashion against the 49ers at home at Soldier Field. Bears quarterback Rex Grossman (right) bounced back from a disappointing outing two weeks ago by completing his passes with efficiency and good decisions. The Bears' run game was the key to keeping the 49ers off balance and helping to control the clock.

The 49ers again struggled with tackling, which gave the Bears plenty of opportunities to control the clock with long offensive drives that kept a very tired 49ers defense on the field. Linebacker Brian Urlacher was again outstanding in his playmaking ability, keeping QB Alex Smith rattled and under constant pressure.

Urlacher's stellar play symbolized what kind of afternoon it was for the refreshed and still-unbeaten Chicago Bears -- and how frustrating the day was for the San Francisco 49ers.

Wearing bright orange uniforms and showing their speed on defense and special teams, the Bears overwhelmed the 49ers from the outset. They jumped to a 24-0 first-quarter lead and 41-0 halftime cushion before coasting to a 41-10 victory Sunday.

At 7-0, Chicago is off to its best start since the 1985 Super Bowl champions won their first 12 games.

"It was amazing. Twenty-four points in the first quarter? That's pretty impressive, especially in this league. It doesn't happen a lot," said Rex Grossman, who rebounded from his poorest performance to throw three TD passes.

Urlacher's acrobatic interception, in which he batted Alex Smith's pass and then caught it with one hand as he was being knocked down by the 49ers Justin Smiley, was one of four turnovers the Bears generated in the first half. All four led to touchdowns.

Urlacher's play came on the heels of a national sports magazine survey of NFL players in which he was rated the second-most overrated player to Terrell Owens.

Asked if he had any reaction to the poll, last year's NFL Defensive Player of the Year said: "No, I don't. Watch the film. I don't know what people are saying. All I can do is go out there and play hard and try to help my team win."

Grossman rebounded from a four-interception, two-fumble performance in a narrow 24-23 win at Arizona before a bye week to complete 23 of 29 passes for 252 yards against the 49ers' woeful pass defense.

"I'm just glad I went out and did what the coaches asked me to do, respond from having a poor game and learn from some of the mistakes I made and continue to get better," Grossman said.

The 24 first-quarter points set a franchise record for the opening period and the 41 in the first half tied a mark set in 1948 against Washington.

"At halftime you just think to yourself, 'How did it get out of control so fast?" said 49ers defensive lineman Bryant Young. "It happened so fast we were just trying to find a way to get it resolved. ... We have to give ourselves a chance."

San Francisco averted a shutout in the fourth quarter on a 23-yard field goal by Joe Nedney and a 16-yard TD pass from Smith to Antonio Bryant.

Six plays after Urlacher's interception, Grossman's 5-yard TD pass to Muhsin Muhammad made it 17-0 and the Bears were on their way.

How good are they?

"No one expects us to do what we do. No one wants to give us any credit," Urlacher said. "Everyone wants to say they didn't play well. There's a reason they didn't play well."

Smith was stripped of the ball in the 49ers' next series, and Tommie Harris picked it up and ran to San Francisco's 13. That set up a 1-yard TD by Cedric Benson and a 24-0 lead with a minute to go in the opening quarter.

"Hopefully I will never have to deal with a halftime coming in 41-0 like that," Smith said. "We talked about it all week. This is a team that feeds off turnovers, a team that strives off turnovers."

The Defense Rests
Most points allowed in the first half by a San Francisco 49ers defense in team history:
41 at Chicago, Oct. 29, 2006
38 at Dallas, Oct. 12, 1980
35 at Wash., Oct. 23, 2005
35 at L.A. Rams, Nov. 9, 1958
34 at L.A. Rams, Oct. 5, 1980

The Bears had such a comfortable lead they went on fourth down from the San Francisco 1 early in the second quarter. Grossman lofted a TD pass to Desmond Clark.

After the Bears took an early 3-0 lead, the 49ers Maurice Hicks fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Cameron Worrell recovered at the 15, leading to a 7-yard TD run by Thomas Jones.

San Francisco entered giving up 32 points a game, but the defense wasn't to fault early on because turnovers allowed the Bears to work from short fields. Drives started at the 15, 41 and 13, and they turned all three into touchdowns to take the big opening-quarter lead.

The 49ers coughed up the ball a fourth time late in the half when Bryant caught a pass and fumbled, with Ricky Manning Jr. recovering.

Instead of running out the clock, the Bears capitalized again. Grossman's 27-yard TD pass to a wide-open Clark with 10 seconds left, which completed a quick four-play, 70-yard drive in just 62 seconds.

Game notes


The Bears' previous high in points for the first quarter was 21 on four occasions, the most recent in 1986. .. After gaining just 43 yards on 11 carries in the previous game, Jones finished with 111 on 23 carries. He was stopped at the 1 in the third quarter on a fourth down at the end of a nine-minute drive. ... Smith finished 16 of 26 for 146 yards. Frank Gore rushed for 111 yards on 12 carries, thanks to a 53-yard run. ... Bears DT Tank Johnson was forced out in the second half with a shoulder sprain.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SF
CHI
1st Downs1224
Passing 1st downs
615
Rushing 1st downs
57
1st downs from penalties
12
3rd down efficiency
3-107-14
4th down efficiency
0-11-2
Total Plays4668
Total Yards248402
Yards per play5.45.9
Total Drives1112
Passing121257
Comp-Att
14-2525-32
Yards per pass
4.57.8
Interceptions thrown
20
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-141-6
Rushing127145
Rushing Attempts
1935
Yards per rush
6.74.1
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-24-7
Penalties5-385-49
Turnovers50
Fumbles lost
30
Interceptions thrown
20
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession22:5537:05

Passing Leaders

SFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Smith14/251355.4122-14
CHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Grossman23/292528.7300-0
Griese2/3113.7001-6

Rushing Leaders

SFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Gore121119.3053
Smith5234.609
CHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones231114.8112
Benson8263.3111

Receiving Leaders

SFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bryant44411.0116
Johnson34013.3025
CHIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Clark68614.3227
Muhammad56513.0127

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSFCHI
chiFG12:10Robbie Gould 43 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 41 yds, 2:55
03
chiTD10:46Thomas Jones, 7 yd run (Robbie Gould kick is good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 15 yds, 1:18
010
chiTD2:01Muhsin Muhammad, 5 yd pass from Rex Grossman (Robbie Gould kick is good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 41 yds, 2:50
017
chiTD1:06Cedric Benson, 1 yd run (Robbie Gould kick is good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 13 yds, 0:38
024
SECOND QUARTERSFCHI
chiTD10:37Desmond Clark, 1 yd pass from Rex Grossman (Robbie Gould kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 24 yds, 3:54
031
chiFG3:20Robbie Gould 36 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 54 yds, 5:16
034
chiTD0:16Desmond Clark, 27 yd pass from Rex Grossman (Robbie Gould kick is good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 70 yds, 1:02
041
FOURTH QUARTERSFCHI
sfFG11:40Joe Nedney 23 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 94 yds, 4:53
341
sfTD6:54Antonio Bryant, 16 yd pass from Alex Smith (Joe Nedney kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 63 yds, 3:08
1041