The San Francisco 49ers will square off against the Chicago Bears in a matchup of two first-place teams on a national stage. The 49ers are coming off a disappointing 24-24 tie against the St. Louis Rams and will be ready to re-assert themselves as one of the best teams in the NFC vs. the Bears.
Here are five keys to the 49ers prevailing:
1. 49ers O-Line vs. Chicago D
The offensive line has been solid so far this season. However, they are facing their toughest defense yet in the Chicago Bears. San Francisco is first in the league in rushing yards averaging 170.2 per game. While Chicago is fourth best in opposing rushing yards holding opponents to 92.3 yards per game. San Francisco must open up the holes for Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter for a victory. The O-Line must also be able to protect Alex Smith. In San Francisco’s two losses they have allowed a combine 9 sacks for a total loss of 61 yards.
2. David Akers
We all know that San Francisco has relied on its special teams a lot in recent years, however, it is not working this year. In San Francisco’s victories this year, Akers is 11 for 13 kicking field goals. In San Francisco’s losses he is a dismal 4 for 8. David Akers must make his field goals Monday Night as points won’t come by easily.
3. San Francisco’s Cornerbacks
San Francisco must contain Chicago’s receiving corps to win. The cornerbacks, especially Carlos Rogers have seemed to be a step behind in some games this year and have definitely taken a fall from last year. San Francisco cannot allow Chicago to have big plays in the air on Monday.
4. Protecting the Ball
The Chicago Bears lead the league with 36 turnovers. Not only do they force the most turnovers but they also score off of them. The Chicago Bears’ defense has a league leading seven touchdowns. San Francisco must hold on to the football on Monday for even a chance to win.
5. Pressure Jason Campbell
With Jay Cutler looking doubtful for Monday’s game with a concussion it looks like Jason Campbell will get the start on Monday. San Francisco has to force Campbell to make mistakes. Chicago is ranked 28th this year in sacks allowed. If San Francisco can pressure Campbell into bad decisions, they will have a good chance to win on Monday.
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