Imrem: For one game, the Bears' formula worked to perfection
The blueprint for the Bears' future was on display Sunday in Soldier Field.
Do nothing until the final couple minutes of the first half.
Then discover the forward pass for two or three possessions.
Then let Jordan Howard complete a powerful rushing day in the snow.
Oh, there's one more element above all others: Make sure to be playing the 49ers.
The formula worked to perfection as the Bears beat San Francisco 26-6.
The only thing better would be to play Cleveland, which is 0-12 this season.
Vegas has the Browns as 17-point favorites to beat Alabama, the smallest spread ever for the NFL's worst team against college football's best team.
Think about this College Football Playoff final four: The Browns, 49ers, Jaguars and Bears.
If the Big Ten and SEC alone can't gather four teams to beat those pros, maybe college players shouldn't be paid after all.
Back to the 1-11 49ers, who might be the worst professional team ever to play in the old or new Soldier Field, which takes in some really bad Bears teams.
The Bears won this game because the 49ers stink more than they stink.
Consider this one sequence: The Bears lined up to punt, they took a delay-of-game penalty and Pat O'Donnell's kick went 15 yards. The 49ers returned it to the 4-yard line, took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and had to settle for a field goal.
Putting these two teams on the same field was good for both yuks and yucks, while perhaps being an example of why NFL television ratings are down.
For some reason, Bears head coach John Fox was eager to point out that his 3-9 team has finished each of the season's first three quarters with a victory to go 1-3.
The Bears' excuse for their record is myriad injuries. What the 49ers' excuse is anyone's guess.
"It does feel good (to win a game)," Fox said.
Never mind that many Bears fans -- maybe most -- preferred their team lose to plunge toward a better draft choice.
As someone lamented, the Bears couldn't even get that right. Of course, history indicates they wouldn't get the pick right either.
The 49ers looked like the team that was tanking by throwing only 15 passes all day, completing only 5 and calling a late first-half timeout that inspired the Bears' to actually try to score.
"That went about as well as it could," Fox said. "And capping it off with a touchdown to take the lead into halftime … "
Well, that worked out just dandy. Those were the only points the Bears needed but they added on in the second half like the good teams do to good teams.
It would be nice to say the game resembled the 1985 Bears' snowy 24-0 victory over the Rams to win the NFC title.
Sorry, though, Matt Barkley played well but still isn't Jim McMahon, Leonard Floyd sacked Blaine Gabbert for a late safety but still isn't Wilber Marshall and Howard ran for 117 yards but still isn't Walter Payton.
No, this game was more like the 1969 Bears pounding the Steelers 38-7 with each team destined to finish with a 1-13 record.
Sunday's outcome was like one of the world's worst golfers breaking par on one of the world's easiest miniature-golf courses.
Hold the victory parade and championship rally until the Bears' formula can beat an opponent with a pulse.