Chicago 14, San Francisco 9
When: 4:05 PM ET, Sunday, December 23, 2018
Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
Jordan Howard scored on a 2-yard run in the third quarter and the Chicago defense pitched a shutout in the second half on Sunday, allowing the Bears to outlast the San Francisco 49ers 14-9 in Santa Clara, Calif., and keep their hopes alive for a first-round playoff bye.
The win allowed the Bears (11-4), who have clinched the NFC North, to stay within one game of the Los Angeles Rams (12-3) in the battle for the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
A Chicago win next week at Minnesota coupled with a Los Angeles home loss to San Francisco would give the Bears the second seed and a first-round bye.
The 49ers (4-11) had a two-game winning streak snapped.
After Robbie Gould's three field goals had given the 49ers a 9-7 halftime lead, the Bears went on their longest drive of the season -- 90 yards on 12 plays that took 7:43 off the clock -- en route to Howard's difference-making score.
The Chicago defense did the rest, with Danny Trevathan providing the biggest play when he intercepted a Nick Mullens pass at the Chicago 14-yard line with 7:43 remaining in the game.
The Bears held the 49ers to 279 total yards, including just 47 yards on the ground, and kept an opponent below 10 points for the third time this season.
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completed 25 of 29 passes for 246 yards and a 4-yard score to Anthony Miller in the second quarter that gave Chicago a brief 7-6 lead.
Miller was one of three players ejected, along with teammate Josh Bellamy and 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, as the result of a fight on the Chicago sideline in the fourth quarter.
The Bears won despite accumulating just 325 yards of total offense and committing a pair of turnovers, including a fumble by Allen Robinson inside the final two minutes that gave the 49ers one last chance.
The Chicago defense held on downs, however, preserving the club's third straight win.
Howard was the game's leading rusher with 53 yards on 13 carries.
Mullens finished 22 of 38 for 241 yards and the one interception.
San Francisco tight end George Kittle was the game leader in receptions with seven, good for 74 yards.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Team Stats Summary
San Francisco will play their next game on the road against L.A. Rams. The 49ers have a W/L % of .250 after a win and .273 after a loss.
Chicago will play their next game on the road against Minnesota. The Bears have a W/L % of .800 after a win and .600 after a loss.