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All our week 12 content

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Other Week 11 Game Recaps
ARI at ATLBAL at PITCHI at SFCIN at KCCLE at DALGB at DETIND at NEJAX at HOU
MIA at BUFNO at OAKNYJ at STLPHI at WASSD at DENTB at CAR

Week 11 Game Recap: Chicago Bears 7, San Francisco 49ers 32


Chicago Bears

QB Jason Campbell, Pass: 14 - 22 - 107 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 13 - 0

The combination of a truly horrendous offensive line and a relentless San Francisco pass rush resulted in a travesty of a game for Jason Campbell. By the second half, his linemen were in a full backpedal whenever rushed by Aldon and Justin Smith. Not only were Campbell's offensive line overwhelmed, but his receivers were unable to gain any separation from the San Francisco secondary. With Marshall double covered throughout the game, Campbell had to rely on Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett and Devin Hester to make plays, which they were wholly unable to do. Campbell's first interception came on a comeback route to Hester which was blatantly telegraphed by Hester laboring through his route. Campbell floated the ball in Hester's direction and Tarell Brown was able to step right in front of the receiver for the pick. The second pick came about because Aldon Smith was able to fly through the offensive linemen with ease and hit Campbell, forcing the quarterback in to floating a ball to a double covered Earl Bennett. The ball sailed over the receiver's head and Dashon Goldson was able to pick it off easily. Chicago was not only unable to give Campbell any time to complete long to medium throws, the offensive line couldn't even hold off the rushers long enough for Campbell to complete short throws. Even the screen game was constantly snuffed out by a defense that kept its ears pinned back all game. Campbell was hit so hard and so often, that his fumbles seemed less like poor ball security than the inevitable outcome of being tossed around like a rag doll on every drop back. His offensive line was so overmatched, the San Francisco defense began to tackle Campbell with his own linemen. The one bright spot of Campbell's day was his touchdown pass. The quarterback scrambled to the right and saw Brandon Marshall in one-on-one coverage in the corner of the end zone. Campbell threw the ball high and Marshall was able to out leap Culliver and catch the ball at the highest point.

RB Matt Forte, Rush: 21 - 63 - 0, Rec: 3 - 4 - 0 (4 targets)

No matter how far behind Chicago got they didn't abandon the run, even calling five run plays on their final drive while behind 32-7. Unfortunately for Forte, the amount of touches didn't result in a productive day, as the running back met contact at the line of scrimmage on almost every run. There were times when the Chicago offensive line was able to open a hole, and though Forte was able to hit these holes hard, the San Francisco defense was always able to cap the run at the second level. Without any blockers creating gaps in the second level, Forte was only able to pick up four or five yard gains at best. As the game wore on, Forte looked slower to the hole as the defense filled gaps. Chicago tried to get Forte in space with screens, but Patrick Willis made numerous plays to beat the blocker and stop screens before any yards could be gained. With success in the passing game, perhaps some holes could have opened up as the game wore on, but the passing game was even more disastrous than the running game, and Forte was left running in to walls of defenders on every touch.

RB Michael Bush, Rush: 5 - 9 - 0, Rec: 1 - 18 - 0 (1 targets)

With the exception of one run that was well blocked, Bush looked incredibly slow to the hole and was swallowed up at the line of scrimmage on most of his touches. He was largely unable to gain a head of steam or generate power as his blockers were unable to keep tacklers at bay. His biggest contribution came on a very well-executed screen pass, where the 49er defenders were so focused on trying to sack Campbell that Bush was able to slip out of the back field, make the catch and follow his blockers to get up field. It was a great run and the perfect play call for the situation.

WR Devin Hester, Rec: 3 - 23 - 0 (4 targets)

Hester's limited ability as a wide receiver were evident all game, as he was unable to get separation from coverage and showed a strange desire to simply dive forward after catching the ball, instead of running in to contact or attempting to elude tacklers. Two of his three catches occurred on the final drive with San Francisco playing soft coverage. Even with soft coverage, Hester was unable to generate much yardage after the catch.

WR Alshon Jeffery, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (4 targets)

In his return from a hand injury, Jeffery was forced to adjust to off-target balls throughout. On a comeback route in the first half, Jeffery was able to make a great diving play to catch the inaccurate pass. But on a play in the second half, Jeffery had beaten his man in coverage and was running across the end zone on a long route. Campbell even had time in the pocket, but threw the ball both too high and behind the rookie wide receiver. With a good throw, Jeffery may have been able to score a touchdown. His opportunities were soon limited as he suffered a knee injury and left the field for good.

WR Brandon Marshall, Rec: 2 - 21 - 1 (4 targets)

The 49ers double and triple covered Brandon Marshall on almost every play of the game. Marshall became visibly frustrated with his situation, as well as Campbell's inability to throw accurately while under pressure. On one play late in the game, Marshall beat Tarell Brown down the sideline, but Campbell threw the ball behind the streaking Marshall, who was unable to readjust to the poor pass. Marshall's touchdown came on a readjustment to a scrambling a Campbell. Marshall ran to the right side of the end zone while in single coverage, and Campbell threw the ball high in the air. Leaping over Culliver, Marshall was able to grab the ball at the highest point and land in the end zone for a touchdown.

WR Earl Bennett, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets)

Bennett displayed a lack of speed, catching ability or precision in route running, and his one catch came at the end of the first half while the San Francisco defense played soft coverage. He was a non-factor for most of the game.

TE Kellen Davis, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (2 targets)

Davis was able to catch both of his targets, but the tight end was lumbering after the catch, only able to gain a limited amount of yards before the defense was able to catch up.


San Francisco 49ers

QB Colin Kaepernick, Pass: 16 - 23 - 243 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 12 - 0

For the first start of his career, Kaepernick was extremely calm in the pocket. He was able to make all of the pre-snap reads and audible in to advantageous plays. When going through his reads, Kaepernick often made the correct decision on where to go with the ball, even when under heavy pressure. On one play in the second half, the defender had blown through the line and Kaepernick stood tall in the pocket and delivered a perfect ball in between two defenders, right in to the arms of Vernon Davis. When given time, Kaepernick was able to demonstrate great accuracy at every level, whether short, medium or long routes. In the first quarter, Kaepernick ran a play action and Davis beat Major Wright down the field. Kaepernick delivered a perfect ball over his tight end's shoulder, and Davis was able to catch the ball in stride. On the next drive, Kyle Williams was able to blow by coverage and again, Kaepernick threw a perfect ball down field. With the success of the run game, play action was effective against the Bears' defense, and Kaepernick ran the fakes to a superb level. On his first touchdown pass, Kaepernick faked the hand-off to Frank Gore, and Davis was able to beat his defender. With Davis wide open running across the end zone, Kaepernick stood tall in the pocket and delivered an accurate throw. Even though Kaepernick is recognized as a quarterback who has the ability to run for long gains, when scrambling Kaepernick always kept his eyes downfield, looking for a receiver that would adjust to the broken play. Kaepernick's second touchdown was a result of such a play, with the quarterback flushed out of the pocket and scrambling to his left. Michael Crabtree readjusted and got to the corner of the end zone, and Kaepernick made a perfect throw on the run. Though it was an ugly throw across his body, the ball was delivered to exactly where it needed to be. Whether he was given time or under pressure, repeatedly Kaepernick made accurate throws and correct decisions. His arm strength allowed him to rifle balls in to quickly closing windows, and the boldness of some of his throws created big plays in the passing game that rarely was a part of the previous 49er offense.

RB Frank Gore, Rush: 17 - 78 - 0

Gore's final numbers don't demonstrate just how valuable a role he played in the team's victory. His ability to not only run hard, but to be extremely quick while navigating traffic allowed the 49ers to stay ahead in down and distance throughout the game. Chicago's defense successfully filled the intended hole often, but Gore's vision allowed him to take advantage of new gaps and cutback lanes. It took outstanding individual plays by Chicago defenders to stop Gore in the backfield, and on one carry Gore was dragged down 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage when Stephen Paea was able to shed his blockers. But more often than not, Gore was able to lower his pads and drive through gaps, displaying both the speed and power to bounce off tacklers and run through arm tackles. His offensive line also played a huge role in his success, consistently slamming Chicago defenders off the line. At one point, Mike Iupati even picked up a Chicago defender and slammed him to the ground. Against what was arguably one of the best defenses in the league, the offensive line was able to crack open holes for Gore to burst through, but the Chicago defense didn't allow break downs at the second level. No matter how hard or fast Gore was running, there was always a tackler at one level, and the big plays in the running game never seemed to be on the horizon with Chicago's solid gap discipline. One part of Gore's game that may be overlooked was his pass blocking, and for yet another week Gore consistently picked up pass rushers and gave Kaepernick the extra seconds necessary.

RB Kendall Hunter, Rush: 5 - 27 - 1, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (1 targets)

Hunter had a strong game, running with as much power as his counterpart. Repeatedly Hunter attacked the hole and kept his pads low, not displaying the same lateral agility as Gore but breaking strong tackles. His touchdown run came on a read-option, and taking the ball Hunter burst through the middle, meeting the tackler head-on and running through, then diving in to the end zone while another defender was wrapped around his back. Though his touches were limited, Hunter took advantage of each carry.

RB Anthony Dixon, Rush: 3 - 6 - 0

During the 49ers' attempts to run out the clock on the final drive, Dixon was given the totality of the carries. He didn't look particularly fast or strong, but the game was pretty much sealed.

WR Michael Crabtree, Rec: 3 - 31 - 1 (5 targets)

The first catch of the game for Crabtree was a touchdown, as the wide receiver readjusted in the end zone to find space and become an option for his scrambling quarterback. Kaepernick threw a perfect ball right to Crabtree, and the wide receiver caught his fourth touchdown in the past three games. Later in the first half, Crabtree caught a slant and showed great power and determination by shedding Major Wright's hard tackle and sprinting up field to pick up the first. Crabtree also made a tough play on a 3rd and short, catching a pass in the flat and stretching for the 1st down, but was stopped short by a diving Charles Tillman.

WR Kyle Williams, Rec: 2 - 60 - 0 (2 targets)

The majority of Williams' yardage came on a long bomb in the first quarter. Williams ran right past his man and was wide open running down the field. Kaepernick was able to throw a pass right over Williams' shoulder, and the wide receiver was able to continue streaking down field until he was eventually caught from behind. The separation off the line showed that Williams was capable of beating man coverage, and his ability to get wide open down field also demonstrated a good amount of speed, if not the top level speed that would have allowed him to break away for a touchdown. His other catch was a low throw by Kaepernick, and though he was able to readjust and scoop up the low ball, he was unable to get any additional yardage.

WR Mario Manningham, Rec: 2 - 45 - 0 (2 targets)

The majority of Manningham's yardage also came on a long play. The receiver ran a slant route and was in hit in stride, but instead of continuing the route towards the safety help, Manningham executed a quick spin move to turn away from the middle of the field and head for the space along the sideline. The corner, Tim Jennings, wasn't able to catch up to the sprinting Manningham until the receiver had already gained 28 yards after the catch. Manningham's other catch came on the first play of the game, a short route that forced the wide receiver to readjust to the wild pass. The short gain quickly became a long gain when Chris Conte hit Manningham late and conceded a 15 yard penalty for unnecessary roughness.

WR Randy Moss, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (2 targets)

Moss was severely limited, catching only one ball on a 12 yard slant and getting hit by three defenders. Later in the game, Kaepernick rifled a ball at the wide receiver, which seemed to have damaged one of Moss' fingers and ended Moss' day.

TE Vernon Davis, Rec: 6 - 83 - 1 (8 targets)

After weeks of minimal production, Davis exploded with his highest yardage total since Week 5. Davis showed that all his power and speed hadn't disappeared, as he consistently blew by coverage for long gains. His first catch was the result of play action freezing the defense, and Davis just flew by everyone to get wide open. Kaepernick threw a perfect ball over Davis' shoulder, and the tight end caught the pass in stride. Kaepernick then went to Davis again, and the tight end caught the pass as three Chicago defenders had to converge to limit the play to 12 yards. Davis' touchdown came on another play action pass, but this time Davis just had to go three yards as he streaked across the end zone, and Kaepernick hit the wide open tight end in stride. On the next drive, again Davis blows by coverage, this time Lance Briggs. The linebacker couldn't match the speed of Davis, and with another great pass from Kaepernick, Davis was able to pick up 32 yards on the corner route. But the best play from both Kaepernick and Davis may have come in the 4th quarter, as Kaepernick faced the oncoming pass rush and bulleted a throw between two defenders, right in the arms of Davis as he ran in stride to meet a tackler. The power, speed and hands of Davis were obvious as he hit contact with a full head of steam, as well as the chemistry to complete such a precise play.

TE Delanie Walker, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (3 targets)

Though Walker had only one catch, he was open in the end zone and was missed by Kaepernick. The one catch was a good display of hands, as Kaepernick rifled the ball in to the tight end's gut and Walker was able to hold on.