No, the Bears did not beat the 49ers because of the rain


In the aftermath of Sunday’s Bears upset win over the 49ers, it seemed many people wanted to talk more about the rain than the football game. In some circles, the Bears win was explained away by the weather. That’s just an excuse for Niners apologists, since each team played in the same elements, but the Bears did make extra preparations for the weather throughout the week.

“We talked about it a lot,” Eberflus said. “We talked about it with gloves. We talked about it with shoes. And then when we saw the field condition— because it changed in the second half— you started to get a little wind at our back to start there, and then obviously you saw the deluge come down in the fourth. It all changed.”

“Earlier in the week I was practicing throwing the wet ball drills with the gloves,” said Justin Fields. “I just kind of liked how it felt with the gloves. I tried to go no gloves the first or second series, something like that, but the ground was just so wet. It wasn’t even the rain, the ground was just so wet from the rain earlier that it was safer to go with the gloves.”

Of course the rain didn’t really start to pick up until the last few minutes of the game, like Eberflus mentioned. By then the Bears had already built their two-score lead, and they had already prevented the 49ers from scoring more than 10 points. The Niners had plenty of opportunities to score in better conditions, and couldn’t capitalize for a variety of reasons.

It’s not like rain is a huge benefit for teams trying to defend an offense like the 49ers’, either. In conditions like those, the wet field typically helps ball carriers and rushing attacks like the Niners deploy, because the offense knows which way they want to go, and defenders have harder times cutting and catching up in pursuit.

One could argue that the Bears were hurt by the weather, too. They were knocked out of field goal range on one occasion due to Cairo Santos and Trenton Gill not knowing that they couldn’t dry the ground with a towel. Santos also uncharacteristically missed two point-after tries. Those moments alone cost the Bears five points, and in a sloppy game like Sunday, every point matters.

Again, both teams played in the same conditions. Apparently the Bears just liked those conditions more. After the game, Nick Bosa told reporters that Sunday’s loss was “annoying” and that he was looking forward to getting back to California. Meanwhile the Bears couldn’t stop talking about how much fun they had.

“It was a lot of fun, for sure,” said Roquan Smith. “It just felt like being back in, I had said after the game, as a kid growing up in a little small town, just being able to go out, play in the rain and dream of playing on Sunday. So it was pretty sweet.”

The pure joy from the win was perfectly encapsulated by the team’s synchronized slip ‘n’ slide in the endzone as the clock hit zeros. The moment was so fun, even the NFL made it the header photo for their official Twitter page.

“That was awesome,” said Fields. “That was awesome. We talked about it right before we took the last knee. All the guys were excited to run to the end zone and do that. That was a snapshot moment, for sure.”

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