The 49ers play the Bears Monday night at Candlestick. In the meantime, I’ll break down five key matchups.
LB Brian Urlacher and LB Lance Briggs vs. TE Vernon Davis
Briggs and Urlacher are two of the best linebackers in the NFL, but they are not fast enough to keep up with Vernon Davis.
The Bears play a Tampa 2 defense, so their linebackers – Briggs and Urlacher – will match up with Davis most of the time. That’s a clear advantage for the 49ers.
Also, in a Tampa 2 defense there is typically an open zone in the middle of the field in front of the safeties. Davis should be able to catch a dozen 15-yard passes in that zone if Greg Roman calls his number and the Niners quarterback throws him the ball.
But that’s unlikely happen, because Roman has not used Davis as a featured receiver all season, and Davis has been targeted just 10 times over the past three games.
Advantage: 49ers, if they want it.