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The Bears faced the No. 1 rush defense and it punched them in the mouth, limiting Matt Forte and Michael Bush to a combined 72 yards on 26 carries. Because the club fell behind so far so early, it basically had to abandon the rushing attack and try to throw the ball to get back into the game. Forte ripped off the team's longest run of the night, which went for just eight yards.
The Bears experienced breakdowns on every level, but perhaps the worst came from the offensive line, which allowed six sacks, including 5.5 from Aldon Smith. The pressure made for a jittery pocket presence from backup Jason Campbell, who finished with a passer rating of 52.7 and tossed two interceptions. San Francisco basically erased Brandon Marshall, the Bears' most dynamic receiving threat and the supporting cast couldn't pick up the slack. Take away Marshall's two catches, and the rest of the team combined for 12 receptions.
At least the Bears didn't allow their third consecutive 100-yard rusher. Frank Gore finished with 78 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry while Kendall Hunter contributed a 5.4-yard average. Chicago didn't exactly shut down San Francisco's ground game, as the 49ers seemed to run the ball whenever they needed to control the clock. The 49ers gained six first downs running the ball.
Poor play from the safety position drags down this grade quite a bit. Major Wright and Chris Conte struggled to cover San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis, who finished with 83 yards and a touchdown on six receptions. Davis could have done even more damage had Colin Kaepernick thrown more catchable balls. The Bears gave up completions of 32, 20, 57, and 37 yards as the quarterback generated a passer rating of 133.1 with all the time in the world to throw.
Adam Podlesh punted better than he did in the game before, finishing with a 43-yard net average, and a 53-yard punt. But return man Devin Hester ran backward all night on punts because he appeared to be pressing to make a big play. Hester performed better on kickoff returns, but his longest runback of the night went for 30 yards. Kicker Robbie Gould never received an opportunity to put three points on the board.
The Bears rarely perform as badly on defense as they did Monday against the 49ers, and it appeared coaching had a lot to do with this fiasco. Chicago's defense didn't appear to be very well-prepared, especially the front four and the safeties. What's worse is the Bears seemed shell-shocked by the early 49ers onslaught. After allowing Green Bay to take away Brandon Marshall back in Sept. with two-man coverage, there's no way another team should be able to repeat the tactic without the Bears having an effective answer. Again, that's a function of coaching. Chicago was outcoached on all levels in this one.