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B/R Consensus: 49ers (7-4)
The 49ers have lost a lot of good will by failing to beat the Rams, and against a much-better defense in Chicago, things could be tough sledding. However, the same is true for the Bears, who will find yards hard to come by against the Niners' tough front.
Game of the Week...if the starting quarterbacks are in. So much in this one depends on who is under center for both clubs. As of Monday night, the 49ers have the upper hand, but if Jay Cutler is in and Alex Smith is not, this game could swing the other way.
Both teams are coming off tough games, and both are looking at this matchup while dealing with the possibility they may need to start their backup quarterback. While the Bears and Niners will both struggle to move the ball—the Bears will almost certainly force a turnover or two—the 49ers are simply a more complete team and will be able to move the ball via play-action once Frank Gore wears the Bears down, much like Arian Foster and the Texans did.
As of today, it sounds like this game will be the backup quarterback battle. Jay Cutler and Alex Smith both left Sunday's games with a concussion, so it's hard to tell who will be under center come Monday Night. Right now, I'm picking the 49ers because they have the better backup quarterback.
This could be the battle of the backups, in which case it will still be more exciting than the last few MNF games. The Bears will have a week to plan for Colin Kaepernick (of whom I am a big fan) and counter his mobility and arm, and if Alex Smith plays, the Niners lack the ability to come from behind against a any defense, much less a defense like this.
I know everyone likes to say Jason Campbell didn't play well Sunday night, but considering how bad Cutler and Schaub were and that Campbell came off the bench with little prep work during the week, he looked fine for the most part. A week's worth of practice and he'll be fine. It'll be a bloody fight, but the Bears win this one.
Also Picking the Bears: Hansen, Dunlevy, Gagnon.
Michael Schottey is the NFL National Lead Writer for Bleacher Report and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Find more of his stuff alongside other great writers at "The Go Route."