This Sunday night matchup features two very different teams. The 49ers are a run first team that looks to run the football with anyone amongst their stable of capable running backs or starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick who is more than capable of making plays with his legs. The Bears are a pass first team who utilizes their star running back Matt Forte in the passing game just as much as the running game. They have two star wide receivers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey and a legitimate pass catching tight end in Martellus Bennett.
The 49ers have been hit hard with injuries as both starting corners Tramiane Brock and Chris Culliver are injured as well as 3rd corner Jimmie Ward. They played week one without suspended linebacker Aldon Smith and injured All Pro Navarro Bowman. This is not the best time for them to have to go up against a pass happy offense. However the defense showed that they have tremendous depth with four forced turnovers and 3 sacks in their week 1 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The defense was dominant against the Cowboys despite all of the injuries. Kaepernick completed nearly 70% of his passes while throwing for 201 yards and no interceptions. Tight End Vernon Davis had a big game with two touchdown grabs. Frank Gore continued to defy father time with 16 carries for 66 yards and backup Carlos Hyde had 7 carries for 50 yards.
The Bears suffered a horrible week one loss to the Buffalo Bills in which they showed how great they could be and they also showed how they continue to make mistakes at the wrong time. Quarterback Jay Cutler had 349 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. The problem is he also had two interceptions, the second of which was a throw he made across his body that went straight into the defensive line. It took a late Robbie Gould field goal to force overtime, however in the overtime the defense was unable to stop the run just like it had all game long as it gave up the last of the almost 200 yards it gave up on the ground for the game. They are facing injures to both Jeffrey and Marshall who could both be game time decisions as well as to several members of the offensive line. Regardless of who plays you can look for the Bears to get Forte involved early and often both as a runner and a pass catcher.
This should be an entertaining game to watch. Hopefully all of the injured players are able to return so that this primetime matchup has all of its components. The key will be the Bears ability to stop the run. San Francisco will continually run the football until they are stopped and it is crucial that the Bears front 7 stop the running attack early so they can gain confidence.
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