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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
November 9, 2005
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Mon 9 PM
BAL at JAC NE at MIA NYJ at CAR On Bye:  
HOU at IND* SF at CHI GB at ATL CIN, SD Updated *
KC at BUF WAS at TB* STL at SEA TEN. NO Times ET

Prediction: San Francisco 0, Chicago 24

The 49ers are now done with the easy part of their schedule (sorry) and are on the road where they are 0-3 and have been outscored 125 to 34 so far. The Bears now have a two game lead in the NFC North and are tied with the Colts for the least amount of points allowed by any defense this year. Not a good week to be Cody Pickett.

The Bears won in San Francisco 23-13 during week eight of 2004.

San Francisco 49ers (2-7)
1 28-25 STL 10 Nov 13 @CHI
2 3-42 @PHI 11 Nov 20 SEA
3 31-34 DAL 12 Nov 27 @TEN
4 14-31 @ARI 13 Dec 4 ARI
5 3-28 IND 14 Dec 11 @SEA
6 Open Bye 15 Dec 18 @JAC
7 17-52 @WAS 16 Dec 24 @STL
8 15-10 TBB 17 Jan 1 HOU
9 6-24 NYG . . SAT
SFO at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 0 0 90
RB Kevan Barlow 30 20 0
RB Frank Gore 20 10 0
TE Trent Smith 0 0 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 20 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 15 0
WR Arnaz Battle 0 10 0
PK Joe Nedney 0 FG 0 XP -
Pregame Notes: The 49ers had finally turned the five game losing slide around by beating the Buccaneers in a classic trap game but then were pounded again by the Giants last week. If the 49ers are to have a shutout this season, it will likely come this week. The Colts held them to only three points and that was in San Francisco. This should be the lowest scoring game this week unless the 49ers give away easy scores.

Quarterback: Cody Pickett will get the start again this week and hopes to improve on his 7 of 18 for 102 yards effort of last week against the much softer Giants secondary. That probably won't happen this week. Hopefully he tries some of the pizza there so the trip has some merit.

Ken Dorsey was the starter in the game against the Bears in 2004 and he only managed to throw for 122 yards and no touchdowns.

Running Backs: The 49ers have been racking up some relatively decent yardage by running Kevan Barlow and Frank Gore in games when they are already behind and needing to throw. Defense drops back and Barlow gains five yards. So what?

Last week the Giants did not drop back and Barlow carried ten times for only four yards. Frank Gore was a bit more successful when he had seven carries for 33 yards. This team runs well only when the defense doesn't care about giving up five yards to a run. That probably won't happen this week.

Barlow only gained 56 yards and no scores against the Bears last year.

Wide Receivers: There have been no touchdown passes to any 49er players since week four when Rattay was there. The ultra-meager yardage lately has made this group interesting only in the sense of seeing who might actually catch a pass. Arnaz Battle won last week with two catches for 17 yards since Morton and Lloyd only had one catch each.

Tight Ends: Pick up a rock and throw it. There - that is how many yards the 49er tight ends have gained for the entire year. There have only been three games with actual catches by tight ends.

Brandon Lloyd was the only wideout of note in the meeting with the Bears in 2004 when he had five catches for 63 yards.

Match Against the Defense: Have you ever had a premonition that a team was going to magically turn into an offensive machine for one week and shock the world? Well wake up and smell the coffee. The only way the Bears do not shut the 49ers out is because somehow Pickett gets off one long pass completion that ends in a field goal or the Bears fumble away a kickoff return that ends in a field goal. Since the 49ers may only be kicking off once in the game and Pickett throwing to anyone seems unlikely against the Bears - shutout.

Chicago Bears (5-3)
1 7-9 @WAS 10 Nov 13 SFO
2 38-6 DET 11 Nov 20 CAR
3 7-24 CIN 12 Nov 27 @TBB
4 Open Bye 13 Dec 4 GBP
5 10-20 @CLE 14 Dec 11 @PIT
6 28-3 MIN 15 Dec 18 ATL
7 10-6 BAL 16 Dec 25 @GBP
8 19-13 @DET 17 Jan 1 @MIN
9 20-17 @NOR . . .
CHI vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton 0 0 220,2
RB Adrian Peterson 50,1 20 0
RB Cedric Benson 60 0 0
TE Desmond Clark 0 10 0
WR Muhsin Muhammad 0 90,1 0
WR Justin Gage 0 70,1 0
WR Bobby Wade 0 30 0
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Bears are on a four game winning streak and have a two game lead in the NFC North. They still are not passing that well but the defense has been outstanding and the running game keeps chugging regardless if Thomas Jones is there or not. This whole winning thing is too new to the Bears for them to take any opponent lightly and this should be the easiest win of the year.

Quarterback: Kyle Orton comes off a standard game - 137 yards and one score but he had two interceptions against the Saints - his first in the last three games. Orton is progressing well as a game manager and each week is daring to take more shots downfield. Now he just needs to get his player to catch them instead of the defense. Orton has thrown for at least one score in each of the last five games and this week gets to face the worst secondary in the league.

The Bears were using Craig Krenzel when they played the 49ers in 2004 and even Krenzel had 168 yards and one score in that game.

Running Backs: Thomas Jones was pulled from the game last week when his bruised ribs were re-aggravated. In his place Adrian Peterson (6-58, 1 TD) and Cedric Benson (14-79) kept the sticks moving just as well. Thomas is likely to sit this week out to rest his ribs since the 49ers should not present too tough of an opponent this week and the team wants Thomas healthy for the stretch run. Look the split to favor Benson a bit more than Peterson but both will be used.

Wide Receivers: Kyle Orton doesn't pass much but when he does, he knows where the money is. Muhsin Muhammad comes off a season high 85 yards against the Saints and Justin Gage replaced the injured Mark Bradley by catching four passes for 28 yards and one touchdown. There have only been three scores by wideouts this season and two came in the last two games. Orton is progressing slowly but definitely in the right direction.

Tight Ends: Orton had relied on Desmond Clark earlier in the season but has since only used him for one catch per game the last couple of weeks. Something about stepping up to hitting wideouts.

Match Against the Defense: The 49ers rushing defense is secretly their only true team strength and since Benson and Peterson are sharing duty, neither are likely to have a big game here against a team that has limited even the best runners like James and Portis to less than 105 yards in the game. Good chance that one scores and that favors Peterson.

Orton goes against a secondary that has been the worst in the league though lately teams lose interest and just run the ball against them. Expect Orton to pass for one touchdown here as he always does but the second one would mean that the rushing game is not going as well as preferred. Consider this as Muhammad's best opportunity to score for the year. No quarterback has thrown for less than 251 yards and one score against the 49ers this season. Make that two scores for Orton.