SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Bears defense has seemingly produced takeaways in clutch situations all season, and that was the case again Sunday against the 49ers.
With the Bears leading 14-9 midway through the fourth quarter, the 49ers had a first down at the Chicago 20 when Nick Mullens’ pass deflected off the hands of receiver Marquise Goodwin and was intercepted by Danny Trevathan at the 14.
It was Trevathan’s second pick of the season and the eighth of his career. The Bears lead the NFL with 27 interceptions, their most since 1990 when they had 31.
Mixing it up: Bears receivers Anthony Miller and Joshua Bellamy and 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman were all ejected from Sunday’s game following a melee with just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The scrum came after Mitchell Trubisky slid to give himself up after a 7-yard scramble and was drilled in the head by safety Marcell Harris near the Bears sideline.
“I saw Mitch’s head hit the ground real hard,” Miller said. “I knew it was an unnecessary hit. Nobody had to tell me anything. That’s my quarterback. He already missed a couple games because of a late hit [by Vikings safety Harrison Smith], so when I see that, that’s dirty football and I don’t support that.”
Coach Matt Nagy didn’t think that Harris tried to hurt Trubisky on purpose.
“The guys were flying around, and I really believe that none of it was intentional,” Nagy said. “Guys are just playing hard, and then guys want to defend each other. They always want to defend their quarterback and then those guys are going to want to defend their teammates, and it’s a bunch of big grown men going at it. You just want to be able to let it shut down and move on to the next play.”
On target: Trubisky completed 25 of 29 passes for 246 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and a 113.5 passer rating. His 86.2 completion percentage was the best by a Bears quarterback since at least 1960.
On the Bears’ 90-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter, the second-year quarterback connected on 7 of 7 throws for 49 yards.
After the Bears took over following Trevathan’s interception with 7:37 left in the game, Trubisky sustained a lengthy drive with a 1-yard dive on fourth-and-1 and passes to Robinson of 6 yards on third-and-four and 10 yards on third-and-three—though the veteran receiver lost a fumble on the second of those receptions.
“It felt like in the game [Trubisky] had a bunch of completions in a row,” Nagy said. “When you do that in this league, good things happen, and he made some big-time throws there at the end of the game.”
Team identity: Nagy was proud of how the Bears reacted on both sides of the ball after Robinson’s lost fumble late in the game.
“We’ve got guys on offense who are going over there [to Robinson],” Nagy said. “He’s laying on the ground crushed and they’re picking him up. That’s just who we are, and that speaks to what this team is all about. And then the defense comes out and does what they’re supposed to do and what they do. I love that about our guys.”
News and notes: The Bears did not allow the 49ers to score a touchdown for the second straight season. But San Francisco won last year’s game 15-14 at Soldier Field on five Robbie Gould field goals. … Roquan Smith recorded the Bears’ only sack and led the defense with nine tackles. … Akiem Hicks batted down a career-high three passes. … The Bears improved to 11-0 this season when holding opponents under 24 points. … The Bears remained the only NFL team to hold a second-half lead in every game this year.