Cutler's 5 picks sink Bears in San Fran
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) San Francisco's defenders figure the short week worked to their advantage: Jay Cutler couldn't change much in four days, and the 49ers knew what to expect from Chicago's quarterback.
San Francisco coach Mike Singletary didn't exactly hand it to his old team. Instead, Cutler handed the desperate 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 snapped a four-game losing streak with a 10-6 victory Thursday night.
"I wouldn't say he was trying to force the issue," 49ers safety Mark Roman said of Cutler. "He was trying to make plays at a time when they needed a play to be made. We knew the ball was going to be in the air and we knew if we would be sound in our coverages we'd have opportunities."
Niners quarterback Alex Smith won for the first time in eight starts since Week 2 in 2007, 17-16 against St. Louis - but it was interesting until the end.
After Singletary elected 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 next attempt in the end zone as time expired. That sealed San Francisco's first win since a 35-0 rout of the Rams back on Oct. 4.
Cutler showed up for his postgame news conference still dressed in his uniform, minus his pads and jersey.
"It was tough. I have to apologize to the defense," he said. "I think the offense as a whole has to apologize. They played a great game and kept us in there even through all the turnovers."
The game was far from a pretty display by two struggling teams still hoping to make the playoffs.