On the NFL
9:30 PM CST, November 20, 2012
The 49ers defeated the Bears every way a team can be beaten Monday night — power, speed and thought.
Almost no one on the team did his job well enough for the Bears to win.
Three aspects of the 49ers' victory stood out upon closer inspection.
•The Bears could not block outside linebacker Aldon Smith with one man, and they never stopped trying. Instead of treating him the way they treated DeMarcus Ware, they treated him the way they treated Clay Matthews. And the results were similar.
Both J'Marcus Webb and Gabe Carimi were overmatched completely against Smith as he showed in beating them repeatedly.
•The Bears thought they could cover tight end Vernon Davis with Major Wright or Lance Briggs. They were wrong.
They needed to use Chris Conte or Charles Tillman on Davis if they were going to play a heavy dose of man-to-man, which they did.
By the time the Bears figured this out, Davis had caught four passes for 69 yards and a touchdown, and the Bears were down 17-0.
•Mostly because of taking poor angles and not knowing where the play was headed, the Bears defenders allowed way too many yards after first contact.
The 49ers gained 120 yards after contact (not including plays in which the player who made first contact took the ball carrier down), which was 34 percent of their yardage total.
Here is what else we learned upon further review.
Grading key: Grades are between 0 and 10 with 0 being complete failure and 10 being perfect.
It was as if Wright saved all his poor play for one game. He had been so good in so many different aspects before Monday, but it all came unraveled against the Niners.
He struggled mightily to match up with Davis, tackled poorly in the open field and was called for a holding penalty.
Chris Conte hit Mario Manningham when Manningham clearly was out of bounds on the first play of the game and picked up an unnecessary roughness penalty that kick-started the 49ers.
The Bears have become dependent on their corners to make big plays. Not only did they not make big plays Monday, but they gave up some.
Charles Tillman got spun around by Michael Crabtree, lost his feet and was beaten for a touchdown. Tim Jennings took a bad angle and whiffed on Manningham for a 37-yard gain. And nickel back Kelvin Hayden lost Kyle Williams at the line of scrimmage, never caught up and was burned for a 57-yard play.
It was a puzzling performance from the Bears defensive line. Aside from one sack split between Israel Idonije and Corey Wootton, the Bears pressured Colin Kaepernick only three times on 23 pass attempts.
The 49ers offensive line, ranked 32nd in the NFL in sacks per pass plays allowed, completely handled Julius Peppers and Henry Melton. Melton, who had been outstanding previously, played 38 snaps and didn't make a single tackle or assist.
Brian Urlacher and Briggs were the best things the defense had going for it, but that's not saying much. Nick Roach made some decent contributions as well.
But the linebackers came up short on a number of occasions. On the Davis touchdown, Briggs was decleated by halfback Frank Gore on an inside blitz, and Urlacher was pancaked by fullback Will Tukuafu.
The blockers lost every way you can lose. The offensive line never gave Jason Campbell or Matt Forte a chance.
Campbell never could step up in the pocket. Between sacks and hits, the 49ers put licks on him 16 times. It was amazing he could walk to the team bus.
The point of attack blocking was awful, and the backside blocking may have been worse. The linemen failed to sustain blocks and failed to finish.
J'Marcus Webb, Gabe Carimi and Chilo Rachal all struggled mightily.
Aldon Smith beat Webb for 21/2 sacks. All three plays were the result of power moves. How can a 258-pound man bull-rush a 333-pounder repeatedly? Poor blocking technique.
Carimi had the same issue, failing to anchor, getting high in his stance and losing his feet while being beaten for 31/2 sacks (a penalty wiped one of the out). Smith powered Carimi onto his rear end on one of the sacks. On another, Smith clubbed Carimi and then cut inside. And on the third, Ahmad Brooks turned on the outside speed.
In his return to San Francisco, Rachal was sloppy and failed to get proper positioning repeatedly. That was part of the reason he was called for holding three times (one of the penalties should have been on Roberto Garza, however).
This was a game in which the Bears needed Matt Spaeth's blocking, but he got on the field for only nine offensive snaps. Jonathan Scott played six snaps as a tight end, however.
Kellen Davis caught both passes thrown his way, but both came late with the game out of hand.
Campbell didn't have much help from anyone, and he didn't help himself much either. The 49ers' first sack of the day was on Campbell for holding the ball 4.2 seconds and not trying to move or throw the ball away.
Campbell showed poor judgment on both of his interceptions.
He didn't have a single completion of more than 18 yards, and that was a short pass that Michael Bush ran with.
The one thing you have to give him credit for is the way he kept getting up and fighting. There was no backing down for Campbell.
The blocking did not allow Forte and Bush many opportunities. Neither avoided defenders very well.
Evan Rodriguez threw a few nice lead blocks. He also finally should have had his first NFL reception, but he allowed 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis to strip the ball.
Somebody other than Brandon Marshall finally led the Bears in receiving. But Devin Hester did it with 23 yards.
Marshall made the only noteworthy catch of the night, his leaping, reaching touchdown catch over Chris Culliver. Otherwise, he was taken out of the game.
Adam Podlesh' punting was improved and the Bears covered kicks fairly well. Other than that, the special teams play was below average.
There were two penalties. Hester fumbled on a kickoff return and averaged -0.3 yards per punt return, mostly because he went backward nine yards on one when he should have cut it straight upfield.
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