UPDATE: Bears just announced late Friday morning that Jason Campbell will start at quarterback Monday night.
Here is a look at hypothetical propositional wagers between the Bears and 49ers.
First team to score
49ers. A Monday night prime time matchup on the road against a good defense, possibly without Jay Cutler at quarterback. I couldn’t imagine the Bears being the first team to score.
First Bears player to score
Robbie Gould. I think touchdowns could be hard to come by in this one. The offense might look discombobulated, at least early on if Jason Campbell is thrust into game action. Campbell is not a bad quarterback, by any means, but any offense needs an adjustment period with a new quarterback. If the Bears get in scoring position, it’ll most likely result in a Gould field goal.
More touchdowns or field goals for the Bears
Field Goals. The Niners have one of the best defenses in the league and I wouldn’t expect the Bears to find the end zone much.
Number of catches by Brandon Marshall
4. The 49ers don’t have a particularly dominating secondary, but it is a physical one. Marshall has the size to combat any kind of press coverage, but the last time a team vowed to play physical against Marshall, it was the Packers, who pretty much shut down Marshall. Plus, if Cutler can’t go, Campbell and Marshall don’t exactly have the same rapport.
More touchdown passes or interceptions by Bears quarterback
Interceptions. I have to keep this vague because it’s not yet known whether Cutler or Campbell will be under center on Monday night, but I don’t like the matchup for either one. Campbell seems to be a little more cautious with the ball, at least by early indications, but the chances of either throwing multiple touchdown passes doesn’t look good at this point.
Bears quarterback sacks
4. The 49ers don’t rush the passer particularly well. At least, they don’t record many sacks for their efforts. They rank just 21st in the NFL with 17 sacks on the season. Even though the Bears didn’t allow a sack last week, things could be much different on the road in a hostile environment, where the true mettle of an offensive line is tested.
More passing yards – Bears QB or 49ers QB
Bears QB. It’s looking right now like 49ers quarterback Alex Smith will resume his position as the team’s starting quarterback this week and that Campbell will probably get the go for the Bears, but you never quite know. Smith isn’t a very good quarterback and the Bears have been solid on defense. As strange as it sounds, I like the Bears’ chances of passing for more yards, especially if they’re playing from behind.
More rushing yards – Bears or 49ers
49ers. The Bears haven’t been running the ball well as of late and the 49ers have the league’s top rushing offense. This one should be a no-brainer.
Total rushing yards for Bears
85. The 49ers are stout and physical on defense and they know the run game is coming, especially if Campbell starts in place of Cutler at quarterback. It shouldn’t be a very successful day for Matt Forte or Michael Bush.
Bears run-to-pass ratio
30 run-to-38 pass. I can’t see the Bears remaining too conservative for too long Monday night. If they get behind early, they’re going to take to the air, no matter if Cutler or Campbell is behind center.
Team to win the turnover battle
Bears. Despite losing the turnover battle last week to the Texans, the Bears have been dominant in this area of football games. This represents the Bears best — and perhaps only — chance to steal one on the road.
Total points scored
39. It’s a battle between two strong defensive teams, but the weather will be more conducive to scoring than was last week’s slop-fest in Chicago.