Sports

Garoppolo leads the 49ers to their second win of the season

Garoppolo leads the 49ers to their second win of the season

Fuller made the interception in the first quarter against the 49ers.

Leading up to the game, Kyle Shanahan wondered how much of his offense Garoppolo could grasp after arriving in Santa Clara a little more than a month ago.

Perhaps the most important thing entering the game was ensuring Garoppolo had time to throw. The 49ers defeated the Bears 15-14.

Alas, with right tackle Trent Brown returning from a shoulder injury, Garoppolo got solid protection for most of the day. He was under pressure on just nine of his 40 dropbacks.

Fuller's first interception since December 13, 2015 came on the 49ers' second drive of the game when the 2014 first-round pick ripped Jimmy Garoppolo's pass away from receiver Louis Murphy.

The difference Sunday was that one team was working with a starter-level quarterback. The Chicago Bears are too stubborn for that.

Long told the Tribune after the game he "jacked my shoulder up pretty good", and coach John Fox was asked Monday if the Bears would shut him down.

The Bears capitalized on the turnover as Trubisky capped an eight-play, 59-yard drive with a TD strike to Inman streaking across the back of the end zone.

A Chicago Bears fan reacts during the second half of an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers Sunday Dec. 3 2017 in Chicago. The 49ers won 15-14

Early in the game, Garoppolo threw - with a Chicago defender bearing down on him - what appeared to be an ill-advised pass into triple coverage. Of those, only 20 were blocked, which equates to to 0.82 percent of those kicks, per ESPN Stats & Info. Garoppolo passed for 172 first-half yards and his his counterpart, rookie Mitchell Trubisky accounted for 45 passing yards. Now that the team is officially eliminated from playoff contention, it could make sense for him to have his shoulder repaired soon in order to be ready when 2018 training camp rolls around.

He completed 70.3 percent of his passes, helped San Francisco convert more than half its third-down tries and engineered a late, game-winning drive that began on his team's own 7-yard line. Howard finished with an anemic 38 yards on 13 carries. That's when Fox used his final time out, meaning that all the 49ers had to do was kneel on second and third down to run out the clock and kick what was essentially a college extra point for the win.

San Francisco's defense looked better against the Seattle Seahawks, particularly against the run as they allowed just 90 rushing yards, a statistic that had to be taken with a pinch of salt given Seattle's sub-par ground game.

The good news for those offenses?

The 49ers went into the halftime locker room trailing 14-9, getting three field goals, in three trips inside the Bears' red zone.

San Francisco was 30th in the National Football League in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert 44.9 percent of their third-down attempts. He definitely moved the chains.

Shanahan and Lynch have admitted they're fully prepared to use the franchise tag in 2018 on Garoppolo to the tune of approximately $23 million for one season.