49ers Film Review: Key plays from loss to Chicago

The 49ers opened their 2022 season with a 19-10 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The defeat was the result of missed opportunities and mistakes throughout the team.

Let’s take a look at what the coaches film shows for the key plays from the loss.

Trey Lance: The Good

1st Quarter, 1st and 10 at Bears 47

After a play fake to Elijah Mitchell, Lance steps up into the pocket and puts the ball on the money to Brandon Aiyuk who is running an over route.

This is a play Lance ran often during his time in college at North Dakota State.

2nd Quarter, 2nd and 4 at Bears 46

This play is pretty much a carbon copy of the one above to Aiyuk. Lance with pinpoint accuracy on the throw to Ray Ray McCloud for a gain of 20 yards.

2nd Quarter, 3rd and 3 at 49ers 31

Lance shows terrific anticipation on the out route to Brandon Aiyuk. Lance can be seen beginning his throwing motion well before Aiyuk gets into his break. The play if nullified by an offensive pass interference call on Aiyuk but is so good from Lance that it needs to be included.

3rd Quarter, 3rd and 6 at 49ers 40

Lance hits Jauan Jennings with a terrific deep ball down the left sideline. The ability to make a deep throw such as this is one of the reasons the 49ers are moving to Lance.

Missed opportunities

1st Quarter, 1st and 10 at Bears 32

First possession of the game. Deebo Samuel takes a sweep around the left side for a gain of four but loses the ball when he is hit. Chicago recovers the ball wiping at least three 49ers points off the scoreboard.

1st Quarter, 1st and 10 at Bears 32

After a long run from Elijah Mitchell to open the 49ers second possession of the game, Kyle Shanahan dials up a shot play.

Trey Lance executes the play fake, does a quarter roll to his right and has Tyler Kroft open down the left sideline on a leak route. Lance tries to be too perfect with the throw and it sails over the tight ends head.

Lance would be sacked two plays later and the 49ers would come away with no points.

3rd Quarter, 3rd and Goal at Bears 4

Lance has Jauan Jennings open on the quick out to his left. Lance appears to be looking right at him when he hits the top of his drop, but he holds on to the ball and is sacked.

The 49ers need to settle for a field goal. At this point mistakes have taken at least 17 points off the scoreboard. Instead of being up 24-0, the 49ers lead by ten.

3rd Quarter, 1st and 10 at Bears 49

Safety Tashaun Gipson does a good job of running the route for the receiver and appears to have an interception. The ball falls to the ground for an incompletion. Two plays later the Bears score their first points of the game closing the score to 10-7.

Justin Fields makes plays

2nd Quarter, 2nd and 8 at 49ers 45

Justin Fields breaks containment and takes off for a gain of 12.

This play comes just after the two-minute warning. After struggling through the first half, Fields starts to get comfortable with moving around. During this possession Fields picked up 26 yards on the ground. Chicago ends up having to punt after an unsportsmanlike conduct on the punter for wiping the field with a towel pushes them out of field goal range.

3rd Quarter, 3rd and 10 at Bears 49

Two plays after the dropped interception by Gipson, Fields make the 49ers pay.

Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa run a stunt putting Armstead on the outside. He is unable to contain Fields who breaks free to the left. The 49ers defenders, specifically Talanoa Hufanga are so focused on the threat of Fields running they lose track of Dante Pettis. Fields sees this and heaves a pass across the field to the former 49ers wide receiver for a 51-yard touchdown. The game is now on.

3rd Quarter, 1st and 10 at Bears 16

On the first play of their next offensive possession, Chicago catches the 49ers in zone coverage and Charvarius Ward blows his deep third coverage leaving Byron Pringle wide open on a wheel route up the right sideline for a gain of 22.

4th Quarter, 3rd and 1 at 49ers 42

Justin Fields runs the ball around the right side for a gain of one. Just as Fields is about to be hit, he slides to the ground. San Francisco linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair is unable to hold up and hits Fields for a 15-yard personal foul penalty.

This is the second time the 49ers defense was called for this during the game. Fields’ ability to get down so quickly puts defenders in a tough spot. If the defender lets up, Fields can go right by. If the defender keeps going it’s nearly impossible to stop without making contact.

4th Quarter, 3rd and 2 at 49ers 18

Chicago catches the 49ers defense in man coverage. The short motion changes up coverage assignments and four defenders end up covering two Bears receivers leaving Equanimeous St. Brown and Byron Pringle wide open. Fields chooses the easy throw to St. Brown for the go-ahead score.

Interior Offensive Line

1st Quarter, 1st and 10 at Bears 32

The interior of the 49ers offensive line had been a discussion point all offseason. Making their first NFL starts, Aaron Banks and Spencer Burford allowed only two pressures in pass protection for the game.

Although the defensive tackle beats Banks to the inside, Banks recovers and runs him past the quarterback just as he’s taught.

The issue with this play is the quarterback. Lance sees the pressure and jumps up into the pocket instead of sliding slightly to his left. As a result of this sudden movement Lance is no longer in a throwing position causing the pass to come out late and inaccurate on what should have been an easy completion to Jauan Jennings.

This article has 7 Comments

  1. Nice stuff.
    You have to love Dewelly’s whiff block on the Deebo fumble. Imagine if he just managed to get in the way. Can’t stand his angles in blocking.

  2. Do a few good throws compensate for bonehead decisions?
    That’s what we ‘re gonna get this year.
    TL didn’t finish school and we picked him up to teach him how to play QB.
    Only time will tell how long he needs to develop.

  3. Look at the film: 3rd Quarter, 1st and 10 at Bears 49
    He’s set on throwing, steps up, makes a dash to the inside.
    If he had a better feel for the field he would have run to the right and run it in for a TD! #74 Burford even comes back to clear the lane!
    Stop the vid at the 9 sec mark to see what I mean.

  4. Jack,
    After looking at the film, what is your opinion of Banks performance? I believe both Williams and McGlincey played worse than their usual performance. Agree or disagree?

  5. I listen to several 49ers podcasts when I can. Read all the sites. I would say the relative consensus is the O-line played better than expected in Pass Pro and worse than expected in the run game. I like to hear experts who break down film after the games to hear what they have to say. I initially thought Banks played better than expected. I no longer think that can be said. IMO Banks is a terrible football player so he played better than I expected. Having said that, Banks routinely missed 2nd level blocks. He couldn’t get to his spot because he’s slow with zero lateral movement. You don’t get counted off on blocks you never make by places like PFF so his grade is absolutely inflated. Every guy on the interior O-line had the same issue. They missed assignments a significant number of times during the game. This is a sign of real trouble if it isn’t fixed immediately but I’m not sure how you fix it during the season. Roster malpractice to go into a season with this o-Line to protect your franchise QB. To me Ben Solak said it best on Twitter when he said,

    “Finished the Niners film. 49ers absolutely, clearly, 100% DO NOT have a Lance problem. He had some rough plays, some great ones. Fine debut.

    They DO have an iOL problem. Constant interior pressure. Missed blocks in running game. Lance’s legs saved them from an even worse day.”

  6. Well, what I have seen and have been seeing from Trey, is that he is indecisive when to run or pass. ….’Better cure that quick, the other teams have pros on their roster also….


  7. I really enjoyed this review, Jack. From these clips, the blame for the loss goes mostly to our secondary. De Meco will get this straightened out, I expect.

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