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Blaine Gabbert's 71-yard TD pass lifts 49ers to OT win

Blaine Gabbert hit Torrey Smith on a 71-yard touchdown pass to give the San Francisco 49ers (4-8) a 26-20 overtime win over the Chicago Bears (5-7) at Soldier Field. Here is what you need to know:

  1. The San Francisco 49ers dinked and dunked their way to overtime. On the first play of their second overtime drive, Blaine Gabbert launched a 71-yard bomb to Torrey Smith for the win. Despite the win, the quarterback reverted to the Gabbert-zone for most of the day. The big play gave him an average of 6.1 yards per pass, but he averaged 4.0 YPP the other four-plus quarters. Gabbert's best attribute is his mobility. He scampered for a 44-yard touchdown to help force overtime. Gabbert displays the ability to maneuver the pocket and excels on rollouts, but his accuracy is lacking and rarely threatens down field. Gabbert still looks better in the pocket than Colin Kaepernick, who NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday remains in the team's plans for 2016.

Gabbert didn't have much help until Smith got loose to end the game (291 total yards of offense). Earning two wins in four starts will give Gabbert a boost heading into next season. Sunday marked his first career outdoor road win.

  1. Chicago gave the game away. Afforded great field position all game, the Bears' offense couldn't move the ball for long stretches. Jay Cutler played his worst game of the season, throwing a pick-six -- and should have been intercepted on several others. Receivers couldn't get separation. The Chicago offense was as stagnant as it's been all season with Cutler under center. Robbie Gould missed two field goals, including a potential 36-yard game-winner. The Bears lost a punt-fest (14 combined) and neither team really deserved to win. Bad teams lose these games.
  1. Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford were the most productive offensive players on the field. Forte was the workhorse, carrying 21 times for 84 yards and adding five catches for 39. Sharing carries, it's evident that Langford has more burst between the tackles than Forte. However, the rookie missed a few blitz picks and dropped a pass. Chicago trusts Forte more, but we're likely to see a hot-hand approach down the stretch of the season. Ka'Deem Carey added a touchdown run and got key carries late in the fourth quarter. The Bears' backfield is in good hands.
  1. Eddie Goldman was the Bears' best player Sunday. The rookie nose tackle was consistently in the backfield, crushing the 49ers' pocket. Goldman clobbered Gabbert for two sacks, added several other pressures, a blocked extra point and clogged the middle against the run. Goldman has grown into a brilliant piece for Vic Fangio's defense.
  1. The 49ers' defense discombobulated the Bears' offense, and NaVorro Bowman led the way with 14 tackles on the day. The linebacker left in the second quarter to get checked for a concussion before returning. He was one of three Niners players to go through concussion protocol Sunday. Cutler also was checked and cleared after getting slammed to the turf on a sack.
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