49ers Don't Deserve Victory, Don't Get It
October 29, 2001
The San Francisco 49ers blew a 15 lead deep into the fourth quarter, Sunday night allowing the Bears to comeback and win in overtime.
With the ultra conservative Shane Matthews at QB and running their totally risk free short passing game, Chicago wideout David Terrell scored two touchdowns deep into the fourth quarter. Mike Brown then picked off Jeff Garcia on the first play in overtime and returned it 32 yards for the victory.
Without a first quarter point all year, San Francisco raced to an early 14 point lead on the back of Julian Peterson's fumble return for a TD and Jeff Garcia's 1 yarder to Justin Swift. The latter capped a 10 play, 85 yard drive.
Struggling Bears quarterback Jim MIller was then knocked out of the game with a hip injury on a hit by Derek Smith.
The Bears were handed an opportunity to get back in the game when a punt attempt resulted in long snapper Brian Jennings sending the ball sailing over punter Jon Baker's head and through the back of the end zone for a safety. The Bears then received the resulting kick and marched the ball 55 yards in 7 plays, with Matthews hitting Daimon Shelton for the score.
The Niners quickly re-established themselves in the second half though.
With the ball on their 40 yard line, Garcia found Garrison Hearst isolated on a linebacker, and with safety Tony Parrish being late to come across to help, Hearst was open for a sixty yard touchdown. It was Hearst's first TD since December 1998.
The Bears then drove down to the 49ers goal line, but Zack Bronson picked off Matthews throw and ran it back 97 yards for a 28-9 lead.
A touchdown run by Anthony Thomas made it 28-16 before a 15 play drive lasting 7 minutes resulted in a Jose Cortez field goal, and a 31-16 advantage.
Unable to further run down the clock due to strong defensive play and an ankle injury to Garcia, the 49ers had to hold out with only one of their top three corners healthy. Needless to say, that they didn't manage it, with their weakest defensive showing all year as the Bears vanilla version of their own West Coast system moved the ball virtually at will in the closing stages.
Terrell's second touchdown, a 4 yarder from Matthews made it 31-29 before Thomas' run on the conversion tied the game.
The 49ers won the toss, and elected to receive the ball to begin overtime.
Alas, Garcia's pass intended for Terrell Owens was intercepted by Brown and the game was over.
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