On Sunday Blaine Gabbert and the San Francisco 49ers will travel to Chicago to play Jay Cutler and the Bears. Vic Fangio, the Bears’ defensive coordinator, was with the 49ers last year, and left after being denied the head coaching job. He claims to have no hard feelings towards San Francisco, but it will certainly be interesting to see the teams face off. The Bears were also the first team the 49ers played at the brand new Levi’s Stadium last year. Chicago won by a score of 28-20.
The Bears played on Thanksgiving, and beat their division rival, the Green Bay Packers 17-13. They improved their record to 5-6. Chicago is currently in third place in NFC North. San Francisco just played their own division rival, the Arizona Cardinals, and lost 19-13. They have fallen to 3-8, and are in fourth place in NFC West.
Colin Kaepernick leads the San Francisco 49ers in passing; however, he was benched in favor of backup Blaine Gabbert after a poor performance against the Cardinals. Eventually, he hurt his shoulder and was ruled out for the season. Blaine Gabbert has taken the reigns, and has shown a lot of good signs so far. In his current three starts, he has thrown for 767 yards, completing 62 out of 95 passes. Gabbert has four touchdowns on the season.
Carlos Hyde leads San Francisco in rushing, but he is also ruled out this game due to an injury. In his spot, Shaun Draughn has been the starter. Draughn has run the ball 45 times this season for 156 yards. He averages three and a half yards per carry.
Former Raven Anquan Boldin leads the 49ers in receiving this year. Boldin has caught 44 passes for a total of 558 yards. He is averaging 12.7 yards per catch and has two touchdowns this season.
Jay Cutler leads the Bears in passing. He has completed 211 out of 334 passes for 2,510 yards. Cutler has 14 touchdowns this year.
Matt Forte leads Chicago in rushing. He has carried the ball 151 times for 592 yards. He currently averages almost four yards per carry and has two touchdowns on the season.
Alshon Jeffrey leads Chicago in receiving this year. He has caught 43 passes for 605 yards. Jeffrey averages 14.1 yards per catch and has two touchdowns.
In this game, I’m taking the 49ers. Blaine Gabbert is not Peyton Manning, but he has shown positive signs that Kaepernick did not. For example, he is able to read a defense better, can pass from the pocket, and has more patience. He has thrown a touchdown pass in each of his three starts. If the defense was stronger, he could’ve had three wins under his belt. He has showcased his ability to march the offense down the field, and utilizes his tight ends and running back. He even threw a touchdown pass–in Seattle! Kaepernick has not done that since 2013. This may be the 49ers chance to get a win.