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(Thursday, November 12th)
Final Score: San Francisco 10, Chicago 6
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Frank Gore ran for 104 yards and a touchdown, as San Francisco recorded five interceptions in a 10-6 win over the Chicago Bears at Candlestick Park.
Gore also had four receptions for 21 yards for the 49ers (4-5), who snapped a four-game losing streak in head coach Mike Singletary's first game against his former team. Singletary was a Hall of Fame linebacker for the famed Chicago defense from 1981-1992.
Alex Smith completed 16-of-23 passes for 118 yards with an interception to record his first win since September 16, 2007. He had been 0-2 since taking over the reins for Shaun Hill. Michael Crabtree caught four passes for 48 yards in the win.
"That was the biggest game up to this point," Smith said. "And next week -- that'll be the biggest game. It's kind of how the NFL goes. It's a long season, and every game is important. I think the important thing about tonight was getting back on the right track."
Jay Cutler's five interceptions marked a career-high, and he became the first Bears (4-5) quarterback to record two four-interception games in the same season since 1962, when Billy Wade accomplished the feat. Cutler still ended up with 307 yards passing on 29-of-52 throws, and Matt Forte caught eight passes for 120 yards. Forte also added 41 yards rushing on 20 carries.
"I've got to apologize to the defense," Cutler said. "I think the offense as a whole has to apologize. They kept us in there, even with the turnovers."
Cutler had a chance to win the game, with the ball inside the 49ers red zone and less than 10 seconds to play, but his fifth interception -- caught in the end zone -- ended the game. Greg Olsen added seven receptions for 75 yards for the Bears, who have lost four of five since starting the season 3-1.
Chicago's prized acquisition prior to the season, Cutler how has 14 touchdowns and a league-high 17 interceptions this season -- one off his career-high in picks. Last year's starting quarterback for the Bears, Kyle Orton, had 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2008 for Chicago. Orton and Cutler were traded for each other in the offseason.
Trailing, 7-6, to start the fourth, the Bears took the ball at midfield after a punt early in the quarter. Cutler, though, threw his fourth interception of the game on 3rd-and-7, and San Francisco took over at the Chicago 44.
"I've played on Thursday games before and been successful, so it didn't affect us," Cutler said. "We saw everything they had, they didn't have any surprises for us, we just didn't execute."
On 3rd-and-5 from the 39, Gore rumbled down to the 11-yard line before he fumbled. Luckily for the 49ers, Josh Morgan was there to fall on it at the six-yard line. The series stalled inside the five, and Joe Nedney kicked a 21- yard field goal for a 10-6 lead with about 10 minutes left.
Still down by four, the Bears got the ball back at their own 20 with 2:47 to play. After gaining zero yards on the first three plays, Chicago elected to go for it on 4th-and-10 with one timeout remaining, and the pass fell incomplete; however, a defensive illegal contact penalty was called to give the Bears a first down.
A holding penalty and personal foul pushed Chicago back to their 18, but Cutler completed a 10-yard pass to Hester, then a 20-yard pass to Forte to gain a first down at the Bears' 45. Five plays later, Knox ran a slant for nine yards and another first down to the 49ers' 22, and Cutler spiked the ball with 17 seconds left.
Cutler then found Devin Aromashodu for another 10-yard gain, and he got out of bounds with 13 seconds left. With eight seconds remaining after an incompletion, Cutler threw his fifth interception -- caught by Michael Lewis in the end zone -- to seal the game for the 49ers.
"I'm happy for this team to get (the win)," Smith said. "Obviously, the defense tonight played lights out. To do what they did out there in the fourth quarter...they really played tough down there when the game was on the line. It was great to see."
Chicago went three-and-out on its first drive, and San Francisco responded by driving deep into Bears territory. The 49ers couldn't score though, as Nedney pushed a 39-yard field goal attempt wide to the right.
The Bears didn't get their offense going until late in the first quarter, and a series that bridged into the second quarter got them to the 49ers' one-yard line. On 3rd-and-goal, Cutler attempted a pass play, but his throw floated into the waiting hands of San Francisco's Aubrayo Franklin, who kept the game scoreless with an interception.
Both teams ended their next drive with an interception. After Zack Bowman picked off Smith deep in Bears territory, Tarell Brown jumped on a Cutler pass after Devin Hester slipped and took the ball down to the Chicago 14-yard line to set up San Francisco in prime field position.
Gore took advantage, getting into the end zone from 14 yards away on the next play for a 7-0 49ers lead with two minutes until halftime.
Robbie Gould put the Bears on the board in the final moments of the half with a 50-yard field goal.
Cutler was intercepted for a third time early in the third quarter, setting up the 49ers near midfield; however, Smith was stopped short on 4th-and-1 at the Chicago 46, giving the ball back to the Bears.
Gould then ended a brief five-play drive with a 38-yard field goal to make it a 7-6 game midway through the third.
Cutler had four interceptions in the first game of the season against Green Bay. He hadn't thrown four picks in a game in his three-year stint with Denver...The home team has won 11 straight games in this series. The Bears have not won in San Francisco since 1985, when Singletary was on Chicago's 15-1 team...Chicago's only win in its last five games was against Cleveland...49ers wide receiver Isaac Bruce sat out the game with an ankle injury...Crabtree has at least three catches in each of his first four games...The Bears outgained the 49ers, 350-216...Chicago managed only 43 rushing yards...Orton, starting for the 6-2 Broncos this season, has nine touchdowns and only four interceptions.
11/13 00:36:34 ET
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