Monday night football at Candlestick Park turned out to be a very one-sided event in favor of the home team San Francisco 49ers. They had welcomed the Chicago Bears to town for what was to be a defining game for both teams. It was to be a show of arms and a warning to the rest of the league that these two teams were in fact favorites to make a deep run in the playoffs. Unfortunately for Bears fans, the outcome was far less dramatic than they had hoped. The 49ers demoralized the Bears 32-7, while staking their claim as one of the better teams in the league. While the Bears do have the luxury of knowing that they did have to employ the services of their back up quarterback, and that their offense is very reliant on the talents of their starting quarterback. So did the 49ers though, just so happens that the 49ers back up quarterback is very in tuned with the 49ers offense, and has worked with the starting unit on many occasion. What the game really came down to was defense, and how well the back up quarterback for each team was familiar with the offensive system.
49ers back up quarterback Colin Kaepernick played a phenomenal game in place of an injured Alex Smith. Kaepernick threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns on 16 of 23 passing attempts. In his first start of his career, he made some very precise throws that are usually reserved for the veteran stable of quarterbacks, nor did he throw an interception in the game. He definitely proved himself on the big stage; he was poised and confident every time he took the field. With Smith looking like he is poised to return to the field after his concussion, it remains a mystery if the 49ers will utilize Kaepernick again in the starter role. But he most certainly earned a huge consideration by his efforts against the Bears.
Frank Gore, who although did not score a touchdown, carried the ball 17 times for 78 yards, again led the 49ers offensive rushing attack. His back up Kendall Hunter scored the only rushing touchdown on one of his five carries. Superstar tight end Vernon Davis also got back into the offensive game plan, recording six receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown. And wide receiver Michael Crabtree, although quite most of the evening, score a touchdown reception on one of his three catches.
The most glaring difference in the game had to be the 49ers brick wall defense. They dominated the game from start to finish, never letting the Bears get comfortable in anything they attempted on offense. The 49ers limited the Bears to only 143 yards of total offense, and they only let the Bears cross mid field twice during the whole game. The 49ers recorded six sacks on the day, with five and a half going to linebacker Aldon Smith. The 49ers also chalked up two more interceptions in the game against the Bears, as well as a safety and three forced fumbles. Although the Bears were without their starting quarterback, it is fair to say that even with him in the game, the 49ers defense would still have dominated the game. The 49ers front seven completely manhandled the Bears offensive line, making it near impossible for any quarterback to get real comfortable.
The 49ers next look to take on the resurgent New Orleans Saints at the Superdome in New Orleans. The 49ers will again have to bring a massive defensive effort against the high powered Saints offense led by Drew Brees. If that isn’t bad enough, the 49ers may now be involved in a quarterback controversy.
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