Bears quarterback, Jay Cutler, had one of the worst games of his career, throwing five interceptions on Thursday night, single-handedly gift-wrapping a win for the San Francisco 49ers (4-5).
Cutler's last interception came with the game on the line: down by four at the San Francisco 12 with 13 seconds left, Cutler's strike toward the end zone was picked off by 49ers safety Michael Lewis as time expired.
The Bears (4-5) drove 68 yards down the field in the final three minutes with the help of a Dre Bly illegal contact penalty on 4th and 10 to put themselves in a position to win, until Cutler's interception, which is also his fifth interception in the red zone, a statistic that leads the NFL.
The Bears couldn't overcome Cutler's costly interceptions, which were all in San Francisco territory, and lowly 33.6 passer rating, his worst since a December 24, 2007 game against the Chargers, losing 10-6 despite a solid defensive showing.
In a game dominated by defense, no points were scored until Frank Gore's 14-yard run into the end zone two minutes before halftime. Gore's run was set up by Cutler's third interception, a pass intended for wideout Devin Hester but nabbed by 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown and returned for 51 yards.
The 49ers had an auspicious scoring opportunity in their opening possession, driving to the edge of Chicago's red zone, but Joe Nedney's shanked a 39-yard field goal try wide right.
Before the game, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis openly blasted the Bears defensive line, saying the San Francisco offense would "destroy" them. The Bears front seven recording two sacks on Alex Smith, but struggled in stopping the run, giving up 104 yards rushing to Frank Gore. Davis himself had only 16 yards receiving on three catches.
San Francisco's defensive line was stingier. Bears halfback Matt Forte was limited to 41 yards on 20 rushes for 2.1 yards per carry. But Forte was most effective as a receiver, exploding for 120 yards in the air, including screen passes from Cutler for 37 and 31 yards.
The Bears defense had given up 40 points in two of its previous three games, but this time, Jay Cutler's arm was the team's worst enemy. The 49ers scored all 10 points on possessions immediately following a Cutler turnover, specifically Gore's 14-yard run in the second quarter and Nedney's 21-yard field goal in the third quarter.
The Bears scored their six points on two field goals by Robbie Gould. The first, a 50-yarder that Gould had to kick twice due to a delay of game penalty, put Chicago on the board seconds before halftime.
Despite only scoring two field goals, the Bears outgained the 49ers 350 to 216, including 307 to 106 yards through the air. Chicago had more than 200 yards of offense in the first half alone – their most all season, but their effort was plagued by Cutler's shortcomings and 10 team penalties.