Put the Chicago Bears in Candlestick Park, and you have a recipe for disaster.
This is Chicago's eighth straight loss in San Francisco, and on Monday they were embarrassed by a score of 32-7 by the San Francisco 49ers. Sure, the No. 1 excuse for the Bears can be that Jay Cutler wasn't the starter, but at the same time, the 49ers ran backup Colin Kaepernick out there for his first career NFL start.
Kaepernick delivered, to the tune of 243 passing yards, two touchdowns and most important, no turnovers.
"It's everything I could've ever wished for," Kaepernick said. "It feels great just to be out there."
He connected on touchdown throws to Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, while running back Kendall Hunter found the end zone on a 14-yard touchdown run. Kaepernick's performance against Chicago — one of, if not the best defense in the league — is sure to cause quarterback rumors throughout the San Francisco bay area.
He was replacing Alex Smith, who wasn't cleared to play due to a concussion suffered in last week's game. It's expected that Smith will be ready for Week 12, but it is unknown which quarterback coach Jim Harbaugh will truck out there. Quite frankly, he's in a great situation.
Lovie Smith, on the other hand, is not. He has to be praying that Cutler can give it a go in Week 12. The team is 1-6 in games he hasn't started the past two years, and he has the ability to make up for the fact that the offensive line cannot block. Jason Campbell was unable to get into a rhythm in this one, causing team-wide frustration — mainly from star wideout Brandon Marshall.
Campbell connected with Marshall on a 13-yard score, but it came late in the third quarter, cutting an already large deficit to twenty.
Alshon Jeffery made his return to the Bears after missing four games with a broken hand and caught two ball for 15 yards. He did leave the game in the fourth quarter, though, with an apparent knee injury. At this time, it isn't said to be serious, but we'll monitor the situation.
This loss drops the Bears to 7-3 on the year, and out of sole possession of first place. They currently sit in second place, behind the Green Bay Packers, who are also 7-3.
The road ahead doesn't get any easier for Chicago, who face a pair of 6-4 teams, the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. Chicago needs to prove they belong in the playoff picture with wins over these teams as all three of their losses have come against teams with winning records.
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