The Chicago Bears have been blown out on several occasions this season, but on Sunday the shoe was on the other foot as they defeated the San Francisco 49'ers 26-6 at Soldier Field.
After not completing a pass in the first 28 minutes of the game, Matt Barkley earned his first career NFL victory in convincing fashion, completing 11 passes for 192 yards. Jordan Howard had a monster game for the Bears, rushing for 117 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.
After a completely uneventful first quarter (aside from a history-making display of passing ineptitude by Colin Kaepernick and Matt Barkley), the 49'ers finally got a break in the second quarter. Shaun Draughn blocked a Pat O'Donnell punt near the goal line, and the Niners set up shop deep in Bears territory.
Fortunately for the Bears, their defense continued to play well even as their special teams let them down, and the 49'ers were forced to settle for a 31-yard Phil Dawson field goal to take a 3-0 lead with about seven minutes to go in the first half.
Deonte Thompson fumbled the ball away on the ensuing kick-off, giving the 49'ers another short field. Once again the Bears' defense played well when it needed to, and Dawson was called upon for a second straight field goal and a 6-0 lead for his team.
After the two-minute warning, the Bears' dormant offense suddenly came to life as Barkley completed three straight passes, including a long one to Cameron Meredith. After a pass interference penalty in the end zone, the Bears found paydirt as Jordan Howard punched the ball in from the one-yard line to give Chicago a 7-6 halftime lead.
The Bears' offense continued to find its sea legs in the early stages of the third quarter, and they extended their lead as a result. Barkley completed passes to Meredith and Josh Bellamy, and Howard finished the drive with his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon to extend Chicago's lead to 14-6.
Bellamy continued to make up for his drop a week ago as he hauled in two long catches on the Bears' next drive, and Howard naturally got to finish the drive off with another touchdown scamper as Chicago's lead ballooned out to 21-6.
The 49'ers pulled Kaepernick in the fourth quarter in favor of Blaine Gabbert, but nothing could slow down the Bears' aggressive attack. For good measure, Leonard Floyd sacked Gabbert late in the game for a safety, and the Bears cruised from their as they got their third win of the season.
The Bears will look to keep up their winning ways next week when they travel to Detroit to take on the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions at Ford Field.