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How the Chicago Bears Can Win on the Road vs. San Francisco 49ers

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 4:  Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans fumbles the ball after being hit by Charles Tillman #33 of the Chicago Bears at LP Field on November 4, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Dean SiemonAnalyst IINovember 19, 2012

Despite both teams' loss of their starting quarterbacks to concussions last week, the Chicago Bears are in San Francisco for tonight's Monday Night Football matchup with the 49ers.

Both teams are very similar when you look at how the run is a big part of their offense. San Francisco ranks first in rushing offense, while Chicago ranks 10th.

Both are top-tier defenses, with each having established themselves against the run. So how will the Bears gain the advantage on the road?

Considering that backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick will get his first NFL start for San Francisco, the Bears defense has to get to him early and often.

What is one thing we've learned about young quarterbacks? If they can make plays early, then their confidence grows. But you prevent them from getting comfortable, they have a hard time getting into a groove the rest of the game.

And with cornerback Tim Jennings leading the league with eight interceptions and cornerback Charles Tillman's seven forced fumbles, this Bears defense has become even more dangerous.

As for the offensive side of the ball, Chicago doesn't have Jay Cutler. But with backup Jason Campbell, the team can't be as bad as last year with Caleb Hanie, right?

Campbell has established himself as a good backup option after having played as a starter in Oakland and Washington.

The return of rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery gives Campbell another option to throw to other than Brandon Marshall, who can expect to be double-covered a lot by the 49ers' secondary.

Running backs Matt Forte and Michael Bush are going to have to carry the load (literally) and help sustain long offensive drives to control the clock and tire out San Francisco's defense.

In short, Chicago's offense has to rely on a strong running game and not let Campbell turn the ball over. On the other side, Chicago has to get into Kaepernick's head. Sounds simple.

It sounds simple, but if there's one thing we've learned so far this season, it's that nothing can ever be that simple.

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