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Lions’ next opponent: Bears hand 49ers 11th loss in row

Andrew Seligman
Associated Press

Chicago — The Chicago Bears were struggling to complete a pass, let alone find the end zone.

Good thing for them, they were playing the 49ers.

Jordan Howard ran for 117 yards and a career-high three touchdowns and the Bears handed San Francisco its 11th straight loss, 26-6 on a snowy Sunday.

The 49ers (1-11) extended their franchise-record losing streak and set a club low with 6 yards net passing on a day Colin Kaepernick got lifted for Blaine Gabbert.

The Bears (3-9) finished with a season high in points and picked up a rare win in a matchup between two of the NFL’s worst teams.

“It does feel good,” coach John Fox said. “Hats off to those guys in that locker room. … Different guys had to step in and did a very nice job.”

Matt Barkley, making his second start with Jay Cutler sidelined by a season-ending shoulder injury, went nearly the entire first half without a completion.

But he adjusted his arm angle because of the conditions, led a touchdown drive near the end of the second quarter and finished 11 of 18 for 192 yards. By the end of the game, his confidence was soaring.

“Probably at an all-time high in this league,” said Barkley, drafted by Philadelphia in 2013 when Chip Kelly was coaching the Eagles. “Just knowing that I can play, that we can make plays as an offense.”

Howard, who came in with two rushing touchdowns, scored on a 1-yard run near the end of the first half.

A fifth-round draft pick from Indiana, he added a 2-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the third and a 5-yard run midway through the quarter.

Howard’s three rushing TDs are tied for the second-most by a Bears rookie in a game. Willie Galimore (1957) and Rashaan Salaam (1995) also did it. The only Bears rookie to rush for more in a game was Hall of Famer Gale Sayers in 1965.

Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks each had two sacks to help Chicago stop a three-game slide.