Colin Kaepernick Due for Big Game vs. Bears


Colin Kaepernick was his consistent self against the Dallas Cowboys. He threw for 201 yards, completed 16 of 23 pass attempts, and did not throw an interception. He also found Vernon Davis in the end zone twice.

With San Francisco’s solid ground attack, Kaepernick rarely attempts more than 30 passes simply because it’s not necessary. He attempted 30 or more passes three times last season. He threw 39 times against the Green Bay Packers in Week One because Green Bay continuously stacked the box, and also attempted more than 30 against the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals.

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Sunday night may be another one of those rare occasions.

The Chicago Bears come to town for Levi’s Stadium’s first regular season NFL game and bring one of the league’s best air-raids with them. Although both Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are officially questionable — and so is San Francisco’s Tramaine Brock — the Bears promise to put plenty of pressure on the 49ers’ stout defense.

The more points the Bears put up, the more passes offensive coordinator Greg Roman will choose. The 49ers’ hurt defense will also encourage more passes and explosive plays from the offense — which we saw on the first series against Dallas.

Although Kaepernick continued to rely on Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis, and Michael Crabtree in Week One, he showed the ability to find some of the new weapons the 49ers’ brass brought in to compensate for the impending loss the defense will suffer in the first half of the season. Stevie Johnson caught two balls and Brandon Lloyd was targeted once, but Dallas held him without a reception.

What does this all add up to? Expect Kaepernick to have a career day similar to the one he had against the Green Bay Packers last season (yes, the same game in which he attempted 39 passes). That day, he threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns.

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  • Chicago gave up the third-most total yards last year, and although they struggled more against the run than the pass, San Francisco will look to exploit Chicago in both facets of the game.

    Also, Kaepernick’s first career start came against the Bears in 2012 — on Monday night, nonetheless — after Alex Smith succumbed to a concussion. Kaepernick handled the spotlight well, and it’s coincidental that he will be playing against Chicago in primetime once again.

    With the steady Frank Gore and the emergence of Carlos Hyde, the Bears will have to respect the 49ers’ potent running game (especially if Anthony Davis plays, but that seems improbable) while dropping enough defensive backs into coverage to stay with Boldin, Davis, Crabtree, Johnson, and perhaps Bruce Ellington and Quinton Patton.

    Kaepernick and the 49ers offense showcased their ability to score quickly without running the ball in the first drive of the season on Sunday. Kaepernick stepped up in the pocket in the face of pressure and found Boldin deep down the middle twice, and then eluded a defensive lineman and found Davis for a touchdown.

    If Roman sticks with play calls similar to the first quarter against Dallas, Kaepernick will throw for over 300 yards and will throw three touchdowns for the first time since the 49ers visited Washington late in last year’s regular season.