Here are key facts you need to know when the 49ers (1-10) visit the Chicago Bears (3-8) on Sunday:
SITE: Soldier Field
KICKOFF: 10 a.m. PT (noon CT)
TV: Fox Ch. 2 (Andrew Catalon, James Lofton)
RADIO: 680 AM & 107.7 FM (Ted Robinson, Tim Ryan)
1. Garoppolo Time: As Jimmy Garoppolo makes his 49ers starting debut and does so 30 miles from his hometown (Arlington Heights, Illinois), coach Kyle Shanahan’s simplified game plan must put the supporting cast in a successful position to, well, support his QB. It should help if right tackle Trent Brown plays through a shoulder injury. But running back Carlos Hyde needs a dominant day, and Garoppolo’s targets can’t drop passes the way they have all season from previous QBs Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard. Note: Beathard is healthy enough to serve as the No. 2 QB.
Bears and former Patirots cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc gave this scouting report on Garoppolo to the Chicago Sun-Times: "Good quarterback. Smart quarterback. Real precise with his throws. Doesn’t have the arm strength [like] Tom, so he tries to get closer throws, digs, shorter routes. He’s a nice accurate quarterback. Not as mobile, and he goes through all his checks."
2. Rattle Trubisky: Whereas Garoppolo has three-plus seasons of NFL learning under his belt, Bears counterpart Mitchell Trubisky is 2-5 as a rookie starter who has as many interceptions as touchdowns (4) along with 19 sacks. He is completing only 52.8 percent of his passes. Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon turned an ankle before Thursday’s practice, and Antone Exum might have to start at free safety again for Adrian Colbert, so the secondary will be targeted.
3. Dueling backs: Running back Carlos Hyde’s 92 rushing yards helped the 49ers to a 2015 win at Soldier Field, and he missed last season’s 26-6 rout by the Bears. Basically, Hyde needs to outduel his counterpart, Jordan Howard, who ranks fourth in the NFL with 847 rushing yards. Of Howard’s five touchdown runs, three came in Bears victories, and he has just one in the past seven games.
49ers – Questionable: CB Ahkello Witherspon (ankle), FS Adrian Colbert (thumb), RT Trent Brown (shoulder).
Bears – Out: LB Isaiah Irving (knee); Doubtful: S Adrian Amos (hamstring); Questionable: S Deon Bush (ankle), CB Bryce Callahan (knee), S DeAndre Houston-Carson (ankle), CB Cre’von LeBlanc (illness), G Josh Sitton (concussion).
REFEREE: Ed Hochuli
SERIES: 49ers lead 33-31-1 (including 3-0 in playoffs)
LAST GAME: Bears 26-6, Soldier Field, Dec. 4, 2016