The Chicago Bears had a golden chance to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, but a long touchdown from Blaine Gabbert to Torrey Smith dashed those dreams as the San Francisco 49'ers won 26-20 in overtime.
Robbie Gould had an opportunity to win the game in regulation for the Bears, but his kick sailed wide left and allowed the 49'ers to win in the extra stanza.
The Bears elected to kick the ball away, and their reasoning was quickly apparent as the 49'ers went three and out. Mitch Unrein made a good tackle on first down to keep Shaun Draughn from making any headway, and on third down Jonathan Andersen knocked the running back out of bounds on a screen pass to force a punt.
A Bryce Callahan punt return touchdown was wiped out for the Bears on the ensuing punt, as LaRoy Reynolds was flagged for holding, but their offense was still able to put points on the board. Matt Forte picked up a couple of solid gains for Chicago, and Robbie Gould knocked through a short field goal to give the team a 3-0 lead early on.
The Bears got solid field position on their second drive of the game, but their offense once again stalled out after they crossed midfield. Jeremy Langford picked up a couple of nice gains to get them into field goal range, and Gould drilled a 51-yard field goal to put Chicago ahead 6-0.
After yet another three-and-out, it appeared that the Bears were going to have an opportunity to put a stranglehold on the proceedings, but the 49'ers had other ideas. On a screen pass, Jay Cutler's pass was intercepted by Jimmie Ward, and the former Northern Illinois standout ran it back for a touchdown to tie the game up at 6-6.
After the interception, Cutler seemed to find his comfort zone again, drilling Alshon Jeffery over the middle of the field for a long first down. After the reception, Matt Forte went to work, gaining big yards and ultimately breaking two tackles on a touchdown run to put the Bears back up by a score of 13-6.
The Bears' defense looked to be out of whack on their next possession, with the 49'ers racking up 81 yards on 16 plays to tie the game back up. Shaun Draughn went in for a short touchdown run to knot things up at 13-13.
As the second half got underway, the Bears racked up yardage, using Forte and Langford to pick up first downs. As the drive concluded, the team ended up moving away from Langford and stalled out the drive, and Gould kicked a 40-yard field goal attempt wide to leave the game tied.
The 49'ers seemed to get their first quarter offense back on the field as the third quarter wore on, failing to gain yardage in every facet of the game. Despite having several possessions, they ended up gaining a total of five yards in the frame, but the Bears couldn't take advantage as the game stayed tied after three quarters of play.
In the fourth quarter, the Bears finally were able to get their offense back on track, and they scored a go-ahead touchdown as a result. Jeffery and Marc Mariani both made big catches to move the ball down the field, and Ka'Deem Carey scored his first career NFL touchdown to put the Bears in front 20-13.
Unfortunately for Chicago, the 49'ers refused to go down without a fight. After Josh Bellamy was tagged for a penalty to give San Francisco goo field position, Gabbert ran for a long first down and then ran for a 44-yard touchdown scamper to tie the game at 20-20 with less than two minutes remaining.
The Bears got a massive kick return by Deonte Thompson to set up shop deep in 49'ers territory, and Carey converted on a long third down run to set up an easy field goal for Gould. Shockingly, the kicker missed the field goal and sent the game to overtime.
After both teams failed to score on their opening drives of overtime, it took the 49'ers just one play to finish the game off. Gabbert found a wide open Smith down the field, and Chris Prosinski could only look on in horror as the receiver coasted to the end zone to send the Bears to defeat.