The rainy conditions played a factor, but after Week 1, it looks like the Chicago Bears gave the NFL a blueprint for stopping Trey Lance.
Going into Week 1, the talk centered around two topics when it came to the 49ers visiting the Bears. First, Chicago was supposed to be bad, and second, the matchup of Justin Fields vs. fellow draft mate Trey Lance.
By the end of the day, Chicago got the last laugh against San Francisco with a 19-10 victory, and Matt Eberflus’ defense may have provided an answer on how to neutralize the young 49ers signal-caller.
No blitzing. Just pressure from the front line. In this case, the front four. The Bears’ 4-3 system relies heavily on pressure from the defensive line. Moreover, this current rendition has Robert Quinn and others who aren’t as well known. And this is their first game together as a unit. Also, there was something else that the Bears picked up from the game.
The fact that a rookie could pick that up from a future Hall of Fame Left Tackle is quite impressive. Moreover, it contributed heavily to how the Bears could attack San Francisco defensively and make life for Trey Lance uncomfortable, even with the rainy weather conditions.
Bears may have found the blueprint to stop Trey Lance and the 49ers
San Francisco prides itself on being a strong team up front, both offensively and defensively. The defense showed up, but the offensive line failed to get physical with the Bears front. That’s not a good recipe for success when the system of the 49ers is heavily predicated on offensive line play.
Though the west-coast system that Kyle Shanahan runs requires more agile offensive linemen, they still need a large amount of upper and lower body strength to combat physical defensive fronts, similar to what Chicago currently employs. Moreover, it is about pressure and timing, and against the Bears, Lance seemed rattled multiple times, this while facing simple yet effective pressure.
It doesn’t get any easier for the 49ers. They are a team expected to make a run at the Super Bowl after reaching the NFC Championship game last season. Moreover, the heavy investment they have in Lance only increases expectations. The Bears? Not much of an expectation, yet they seemed to have given a blueprint on how to rattle the 49ers. That could go a long way toward determining how this season plays out.