By Marshall Harris

CHICAGO (CBS) — Two teams each on a struggle bus and on a collision course at Soldier Field. Here are three things to watch when the Bears host the 49ers Sunday.

Bears Running Game

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First thing to watch is the Bears run game as we’ll see if Khalil Herbert can continue to get loose after 272 yards rushing the last three weeks. That total is third over that span behind only Tennessee’s Derrick Henry and the Colts’ Jonathan Taylor. The Bears may have to stay with the run. That’s because the Niners, they don’t give free passes… or many passes at all.

Justin Fields

That is a segue into our second thing to watch… Justin Fields, and more specifically his arm. The Bears are going up against the 5th-ranked passing defense in the league. San Francisco gives up just 205 yards passing a contest. The Bears are dead last in passing with a bullet. It’s not that they’re the worst. It’s that they’re averaging under 125 yards through the air. And their rookie QB believes his team is “very close” to a breakout game.

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Close won’t cut it against the Niners. The Bears are the first team not to make it to 200 net passing yards in any of their first seven games since the 2008 Titans.

Sack Totals

And the third thing to watch is the sack totals. It’s actually a two-way street for the Bears. No team has more sacks than the Bears defense’s 21. But no quarterback has been sacked more than Justin Fields 22 times.

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Between Fields and Chicago’s own Jimmy Garoppolo, who can stay upright will have a large impact on who can get back up in the win column.

Marshall Harris