Week 11: San Francisco 49ers Vs. Chicago Bears

San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
Divisional Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v Chicago Bears
Winner Alex Smith also took a head shot and was forced out of the Rams game with a concussion. He may be able to start against the Bears, but if he can’t go athletic Colin Kaepernick will get the start. While Kaepernick can run and has been effective in the Wildcat role, he looked somewhat shaky when he had to take over for the accurate Smith.
Jay Cutler took a shot to the head against the Houston Texans in Week 10 and was forced out of the game with a concussion. It seems likely that Jason Campbell will get the start for him. Campbell did not look comfortable against the Texans, but with a week of practice he should be able to throw accurate short- and medium-range passes.
Winner Frank Gore is a difference-making running back. Like the Minnesota Vikings with Adrian Peterson, the Niners want to feature their running attack and use the passing game to relieve some of Gore’s burden. Wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Marion Manningham along with tight end Vernon Davis are solid targets for the Niners quarterbacks.
Matt Forte is the Bears’ best all-around offensive player, but he has not been getting the ball enough this year. Forte is an effective runner and receiver and he needs to be featured more by Chicago if the Bears are going to improve their overall offensive play. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall has been a very effective go-to receiver, but the Bears miss rookie wideout Alshon Jeffery (hand) who has missed four games.
The Niners are also a sensational defensive team. Patrick Willis is a brutal hitter from the middle linebacker spot while outside linebacker NaVorro Bowman has a team-high 81 tackles. Speedy outside linebacker Aldon Smith is one of the best pass rushers in the league. He has 9.5 sacks heading into Week 11.
Winner The Bears’ defense has been superb this season. They rank fifth overall in yards allowed, but the Bears have scored seven defensive touchdowns and they are a threat to break any game open with their ability to return interceptions. Cornerback Charles Tillman and outside linebacker Lance Briggs have both scored two touchdowns. Defensive end Julius Peppers is double-teamed on every play.
Special Teams
The Niners are ordinary on special teams. David Akers may have one of the strongest legs in the league, but he has been erratic this season. He has made just 15-of-21 FG attempts. Andy Lee is a good directional punter who has dropped 20 of 37 punts inside the 20.
Winner Robbie Gould is one of the best field goal kickers in the league. He has made 18-of-21 field goal attempts this season, including 2-of-2 from 50 yards and beyond. The Bears are waiting for Devin Hester to break free and give them a touchdown return or two.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals Divisional Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v Chicago Bears

The Niners have dropped a home game to the Giants and were forced to settle for a tie at home by the Rams. Head coach Jim Harbaugh wants dominance at home and he wants to show the Monday night audience that his team is Super Bowl worthy. With Cutler likely on the sidelines, the Bears will not be at their best for this game and could be in trouble unless the defense overwhelms the Niners.


  1. OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Matt Schaub #8 of the Baltimore Ravens takes practice throws during pregame against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 20, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Johnny Manziel (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
    Week 12 Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens At Cleveland Browns

    The Ravens have been enduring a most difficult season, and circumstances got even harder last Sunday in the win over the Rams when Joe Flacco’s season came to an end late in the game with an ACL tear.

  2. FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 8:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown by LeGarrette Blount #29 in the first half against the Washington Redskins at Gillette Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 15:  Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Denver Broncos looks on from the bench Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 15, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 29-13.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Week 12 Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Denver Broncos

    Tom Brady has had MVP-type numbers and consistently excellent production through the first 10 games of the season.

  3. Ben Roethlisberger Russell Wilson (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Week 12 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Seattle Seahawks

    Ben Roethlisberger appears to be indomitable at the quarterback position, and he is the key to the Steelers’ season.

See All Tales of the Tape
The Taz Show
LIVE: Monday through Friday from 6am – 6pm ET

Listen Live