The San Francisco 49ers proved in week one that they are still one of the best teams in the NFL. They were by no means crisp on defense, allowing the Cowboys to rush for 127 yards and rack up almost 400 yard of total offense, but they forced four Dallas turnovers that ultimately decided the outcome of the game.
The 49ers have been a dominant run-stopping team in the Jim Harbaugh era. This was the first time they looked vulnerable on defense in a long time. The loss of NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith certainly showed. If it weren't for three very poor interceptions by Tony Romo, that game could've turned out in a different fashion.
The Chicago Bears will be fired up come Sunday night after losing what seemed to be an easy win at home against the Buffalo Bills. With this game being the Levi's Stadium regular season debut, the 49ers will certainly come out fired up as well. The Bears defense gave up 193 rushing yards to a dynamic Bills running attack, which ultimately cost them the game in overtime.
Both teams suffered key injuries in their week one games. The Bears lost wide receiver's Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey, while the 49ers lost defensive back's Chris Culliver and Tramaine Brock. It sounds as if all four players are hopeful to play Sunday night. With the 49ers already dealing with other injuries and suspensions, they can't afford to lose two more starters.
One of the blessings in disguise for the 49ers with all the injuries and suspensions is the fact that a lot of young players are getting more opportunities to play. Guys like Dontae Johnson and Jimmie Ward played more than expected because of injuries. Johnson played especially well for a rookie against a typically solid Cowboys passing offense.
The 49ers defense will be tested once again in week two against a very talented Bears offensive unit. Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall have a magic touch no matter what team they are on together. The key to the game will be whether or not the banged up 49ers secondary can slow down the explosive Bears passing attack. It'll also be key for the 49ers to force some turnovers, which Cutler has always been prone to doing.
Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde may have a field day on the offensive side of the ball for the 49ers. Gore played like the guy everybody has come to know, but Hyde looked outstanding in his first career regular season NFL game. He showed speed, quickness, the ability to hit the hole hard, and power all in just seven carries. Hyde certainly looks as if he'll be over to take over the starting running back position sooner or later.
The 49ers have tried multiple times the past few years to find a replacement for Gore through the draft, and it looks as if they have finally found their guy. Glen Coffee, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, and Marcus Lattimore haven't quite panned out as they had hoped. With Gore in the last year of his contract, it'll be interesting to see what the 49ers decide to do moving forward.
The game on Sunday should certainly bring some great entertainment value with explosive players on both offenses. It'll most likely turn out to be a pretty high scoring game because of the lack of defense between both teams. In the end, I see the 49ers offense being way too overwhelming for the weak Bears defense. The 49ers will win this one by a final of 34-20 with the 49ers running attack rushing for over 200 yards. The defense will bend, but not break, just as it did week one in Dallas.
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