In a game between two very similar teams, in two very similar situations, fighting for the right to call themselves contenders, the 49ers showed why they’re a cut above. Playing with their rookie backup quarterback, the 49ers were able to showcase just how deep they are at every position, and made the Bears defense look average at best.
The 49ers were dominant from start to finish, and that was in large part due to the outstanding play by Colin Kaepernick. Showing no concern about the young quarterback’s ability to throw the ball, the 49ers caught the football world off guard by running I think one designed quarterback run all game. He rewarded Harbaugh’s faith in his arm, and lit up the Bears early and often.
The play calling was fantastic, as per usual, and the Bears just couldn’t come up with an answer for this Niners offense. This same defense that leads the league in turnovers, and had been praised as one of the league’s best couldn’t have looked more lost if they tried. This was in large part due to excellent play calling, and variety that the Bears could never wrap their heads around.
Coming off of an embarrassing performance in front of the home crowd last week against the Rams, this Niners defense responded in a big way in prime time. The Niners dominated the line of scrimmage, and the famed “Smith Brothers” (no relation) were making plays in the backfield all night. Aldon Smith wound up finishing with 5.5 sacks, which is a monday night record, and embarrassed the Bears tackles. Whether he lined up on the left, or right side there was no stopping the second year linebacker. It could very well have been one of the most dominant performances I’ve seen from a linebacker in years. Nothing short of a miracle that Jason Campbell left this game alive, let alone healthy. That being said, I’m checking the injury report tomorrow if I’m a Bears fan...
Just when people were starting to question the Niners legitimacy as a contender, they showed up in a big way. The offense was brilliant, the defense was stifling, and hell, they were even good on special teams. They even left this game with what I would call one of the best problems you can have in the NFL. Who do they start now? Alex Smith was looking great before the concussion, and hell, he even got a touchdown playing with one. He’s reliable, doesn’t turn the ball over, he’s generally healthy, and he’s got the edge in experience. What he lacks in style he makes up for in efficiency. Kaepernick on the other hand comes with a little more flare. He’s fast, he’s confident, he makes intelligent reads at the line, and he shows poise in the pocket that you just don’t expect from a quarterback that is that young. Best of all, he’s not afraid to throw the deep ball, something he made perfectly clear from start to finish against the Bears elite defense.
I’ve written in defense of Smith, and I’ve written about Kaepernick’s ability. I’m not sure how you could go wrong with either quarterback if Smith is healthy for next Sunday’s matchup with the Saints, but I sure am glad I don’t have to make that choice.