The 49ers play the Bears Monday night at Candlestick. In the meantime, I’ll break down five key matchups.
Brandon Marshall vs. the 49ers secondary
Like Crabtree, Marshall lines up all over the Bears formations – left receiver, right receiver and the slot. So he will face all three 49er cornerbacks – Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown and Chris Culliver.
Marshall does not have the quickness to separate from any of them.
Marshall doesn’t usually need separation to hurt defenses, though. He’s so big, Jay Cutler will throw it up for Marshall when he’s covered and he’ll make the contested catch.
But Jay Cutler isn’t playing against the 49ers – he’s out with a concussion. Jason Campbell is the Bears quarterback, and he’s much more conservative than Cutler. Campbell is a little like Alex Smith in that he won’t throw to covered receivers. He wants visual confirmation a receiver is open before throwing the pass.
Rogers, Brown and Culliver will not give Campbell that visual confirmation Monday night. Look for Campbell to struggle finding open receivers all game.