49ers, Bears played in shocking conditions as rain flooded Soldier Field

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Sep. 11, 2022Updated: Sep. 11, 2022 1:48 p.m.

Chicago Bears' Trenton Gill punts in the rain during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Chicago Bears' Trenton Gill punts in the rain during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Rainy conditions wreaked havoc with the new turf at Soldier Field in the San Francisco 49ers' road opener in Chicago Sunday.

The field was soaked with puddles and standing water, producing an ugly game that ultimately ended in a 19-10 Bears win. Trey Lance could hardly be blamed for an inaccurate Week 1 as the undisputed starter, as both teams struggled in brutal conditions. Lance was 13-of-28 for 164 yards and an interception, roughly matching his counterpart, Justin Fields, who also failed to complete 50% of his passes. 

The rain was so heavy that the game was often difficult to make out on the Fox broadcast, which resorted to a graphic overlay of the yard markers that had been wiped out by heavy rain. Nick Bosa and other players referred to it as a "monsoon."

Justin Fields and the Bears celebrated their win on the Soldier Field Slip ‘N Slide. pic.twitter.com/Zk9DDWL3hm

— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) September 11, 2022

New turf at Soldier Field getting a good soaking today pic.twitter.com/4DL4eZziPr

— Michele Steele (@MicheleSteele) September 11, 2022

Bears punter Trenton Gill even attempted to use a towel to wipe off the ground before a field goal, breaking a little-known NFL rule and knocking his team out of field goal territory.

NFL Network's Stacey Dales did a live report from the Bears' homefield Sunday morning four hours before kickoff — which looked miserable — noting the Chicago Bears' new turf was installed to hopefully hold up to this kind of weather.

Chicago Bears' Sterling Weatherford celebrates by sliding in a puddle after an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in Chicago. The Bears won 19-10. 

Chicago Bears' Sterling Weatherford celebrates by sliding in a puddle after an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in Chicago. The Bears won 19-10. 

Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

"You can kinda get a look down here on the field of the tarp which is covering the new field, the new sod per the request of Matt Eberflus, the new head coach with these Bears," she said. "It is a hybrid Bermuda grass. It is thicker, it is expected to be a faster grass and surface to play on. Chicago wants to be a fast team, but we'll see if it holds up this year, expected to be more durable and ready to roll Week 1."

It seems it didn't hold up, at least in the immediate aftermath of downpours. Water pooled badly on the turf, leaving behind huge puddles of standing water as players went through pregame warm-ups. The tarp came off about two and a half hours before kickoff. 

This is absolutely crazy, not sure how you’re supposed to play on this field, the water isn’t even draining properly pic.twitter.com/pm0VFQj5Hh

— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) September 11, 2022

Squeegees have gotten rid of a lot of the puddles https://t.co/vELnFbHhwA pic.twitter.com/IhESWV39WL

— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) September 11, 2022
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