UPDATE: Alex Smith was cleared, and participated in, non-contact drills, so the likelihood is that he’ll be ready to go Monday night. No further word on Jay Cutlet.
So, here we sit after the near debacle of a home loss to the lowly Rams (or the rowly Lambs), set to face the Chicago Bears, their vaunted defense and their 7-2 record. Both teams come into the game with QBs on the shelf as of now due to concussions in their last games. Culter got whacked pretty hard against the Texans, and Smith took a couple big shots in the Ram game. This game will likely do something to determine the playoff seeding, as the Niners are 1/2 a game behind the Bears as it stands now. A Niner win puts us 1/2 a game over them, and would settle any tiebreaker should Chicago tie someone else this season. Hey, it could happen.
As it is, the Niners are riding their 2 1/2 game win streak, while Chicago is coming off an ugly loss in the rain in Chi-town after reeling off 6 straight wins. Are the Bears for real? I’m not really convinced, but then again, who expected us to tie with the Rams? The Bears are not very special on offense, but Brandon Marshall is having a huge year as he’s already over 900 yards this season. Matt Forte is also doing well with with Michael Bush and they have combined for 855 yards on the ground.
The Niners? Man, they are all over the place. They stop the run until they can’t. They keep teams from scoring until they give up 460 yards and 24 points to the Rams. I’d like to think the Niners can stop the Bears at will, and with Campbell going, they should lean on the run a little more than they would with Cutlet in there, but Chicago’s porous line may work to their advantage, as Campbell throws pretty well on the run, and he should be running for his life this game. Remember the last time the Bears played here, Cutlet threw 5 ints, and the Niners barely won 10-6 under the wonderfully stagnant Mike Singletary offense.
I think the Niners should shake off the rust for a win, but it’ll be close.