49ers end loss string

NFL Notes

Mangini's practices wearing Browns out, J. Lewis says

November 13, 2009|By From Sun news services

Mike Singletary didn't exactly hand it to his old team. That didn't matter: Jay Cutler handed the desperate San Francisco 49ers a much-needed win.

Frank Gore ran for 104 yards and a touchdown, Cutler threw a career-high five interceptions, with his last coming in the end zone on the game's final play, and San Francisco ended a four-game losing streak by beating the Chicago Bears, 10-6, on Thursday night.

Niners quarterback Alex Smith won for the first time in eight starts since Week 2 in 2007, 17-16 against the St. Louis Rams - but it was interesting until the end.

After Singletary decided to punt against his former team on fourth-and-6 from the Chicago 34 with 2:53 left, Cutler drove the Bears to the San Francisco 12 with 13 seconds remaining. After an incompletion on first down, Michael Lewis picked off Cutler's attempt in the end zone as time expired. That sealed San Francisco's first win since a 35-0 rout of the Rams on Oct. 4.

Four days after the 49ers (4-5) committed four turnovers that led to 24 points in a 34-27 loss to the Tennessee Titans, they were penalized nine times and Smith threw an interception and was sacked twice.

Cutler took chances away all game from Chicago (4-5), which had 10 penalties and lost its second straight and fourth in five. Patrick Willis wreaked havoc on the Bears with 11 tackles, one of a few bright spots for the 49ers.

Cutler threw four or more interceptions for the second time this season and has an NFL-worst 17 in all. He became the first Bears quarterback since Billy Wade in 1962 to have two four-interception games in a season.

The Bears got field goals of 50 and 38 yards from Robbie Gould in a game that quickly became about who could keep possession of the ball.

It marked the first time Singletary faced his former team as a head coach. The Hall of Fame linebacker spent all 12 of his NFL seasons with the Bears, capturing two Defensive Player of the Year awards, being selected to 10 Pro Bowls and winning the Super Bowl after the 1985 season.

Singletary wanted little to do with the hype of his facing the Bears, insisting he couldn't think about anything but coaching the 49ers to victory to save the season.

San Francisco won its seventh straight home game against the Bears, including one in the playoffs.

Off the field
BROWNS: Cleveland is being beaten and beaten down by coach Eric Mangini.

That's Jamal Lewis' take.

Frustrated by another losing season, the veteran running back, a former Raven, blasted the Browns' first-year coach Thursday, saying Mangini is pushing his players too hard in practice.

But Lewis, who is one of Cleveland's six captains and intends to retire after the season, has not taken his complaints to Mangini.

"Hey, this is his show, it's not mine," Lewis said. "It's his show, it's not my show. Not anybody else around here's show. We're just the crop. You've got to take care of your crop. If you don't take care of your crop, when it comes time to harvest, you're not going to make no money because the crop ain't no good."

Lewis believes Mangini's rugged, lengthy practices of up to three hours have hurt the Browns (1-7), who have been outscored 209-78 and have lost four games by at least 21 points. By the time they get to kickoff, Lewis says, the Browns are tired and worn out.

Earlier, Mangini said he has changed his approach and adjusted his practices this season.

Lewis was asked to comment on the coach's stance.

"Next question," he said.

Lewis laughed when he was asked whether he had been in pads more than usual.

"I've been in more pads in half this season probably than I have been in three or four seasons in Baltimore," he said.

REDSKINS: Running back Clinton Portis' concussion will keep him out of Sunday's game against Denver.

Ladell Betts will get his first start since 2006, assuming Betts is able to play. The backup is nursing a sprained ankle and did not practice Thursday.

BRONCOS: Russ Hochstein will start at left guard at Washington in place of longtime veteran Ben Hamilton as Denver tries to ignite its stagnant offense.

49ERS 10, BEARS 6

Chi.

0 3 3 0- 6

San Francisco

0 7 0 3-10Second quarterSF-Gore 14 run (Nedney kick), 2:03. Chi-FG Gould 50, :02. Third quarterChi-FG Gould 38, 7:27. Fourth quarterSF-FG Nedney 21, 10:11. A-69,732.

ChiSFFirst downs1912Total net yards350216Rushes-Yards21-4328-110Passing307106Punt returns2-41-4Kickoff returns3-423-54Int.-Ret.1-05-90Cmp.-Att.-Int.29-52-516-23-1Sckd-Yds. lost0-02-12Punts4-44.05-38.2Fumbles-Lost1-01-0Penalties-Yds.10-759-77Time of poss.28:2731:33Rushing-Chicago, Forte 20-41, Cutler 1-2. San Francisco, Gore 25-104, Robinson 1-4, A.Smith 2-2. Passing-Chicago, Cutler 29-52-5-307. San Francisco, A.Smith 16-23-1-118. Receiving-Chicago, Forte 8-120, Olsen 7-75, Hester 7-48, Bennett 3-27, Knox 2-20, Aromashodu 1-10, Clark 1-7. San Francisco, Crabtree 4-48, Gore 4-21, Morgan 3-24, V.Davis 3-16, J.Hill 1-5, Robinson 1-4. Missed field goals-San Francisco, Nedney 39 (WR).

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