49ers ‘Stick’ it to Cutler-less Bears in 32-7 drubbing in San Francisco
BY SEAN JENSEN firstname.lastname@example.org November 19, 2012 10:34PM
Chicago Bears quarterback Jason Campbell (2) is looked over by teammates after being tackled during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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Updated: November 20, 2012 10:37AM
SAN FRANCISCO — For the Bears, the 49ers can’t demolish Candlestick Park soon enough.
In the last seven meetings between the teams at Candlestick, the 49ers have beaten the Bears by an average of 26.7 points and have posted two shutouts.
Monday night was no exception.
The 49ers, in backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s first NFL start, coasted to a 32-7 victory after jumping out to a 20-0 halftime lead.
The embarrassing rout dropped the Bears to 7-3, tying them with the Green Bay Packers atop the NFC North. The Packers, winners of five consecutive games, hold the edge because they beat the Bears in Week 2.
“We didn’t come to play, plain and simple,” Bears receiver Devin Hester said. “Those guys wanted it [more] than us.”
Built in April 1960, Candlestick Park has hosted some of the NFL’s most memorable games, particularly during the 1980s, when the 49ers fielded four Super Bowl championship teams. But the Bears have struggled there, winning only four times in 16 games.
In 2014, the 49ers are scheduled to begin play at a new stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., about 45 minutes south of Candlestick Park.
Leading up to “Monday Night Football,” much of the attention centered on the two starting quarterbacks who suffered concussions in their last games. Jay Cutler was ruled out Friday. Alex Smith was limited Thursday, Friday and Saturday, then was listed as questionable, which, by definition, meant there was a 50-50 chance he would play.
But the 49ers announced Monday that Smith would be inactive.
Doubtful because 49ers co-chairman John York is the chair of the NFL Owners Committee on Health and Safety.
After the game, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t dismiss he had a quarterback controversy after Kaepernick’s brilliant game. He completed 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards with two touchdowns and no turnovers.
Former 49ers linebacker Blake Costanzo provided his Bears teammates with a scouting report, linebacker Brian Urlacher said.
“Blake told us he had a good arm, and he did,” Urlacher said. “Nothing surprised us about him.
“He did whatever he wanted to.”
There was little for the Bears to highlight, and coach Lovie Smith was ready to move on in his postgame news conference.
“We have to leave this game as quick as we possibly can,” he said.
Smith has a point.
The Bears enter a critical stretch as they jockey for NFC playoff positioning. They host the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks the next two Sundays. Smith said Cutler was “looking good” to return against the Vikings.
“I’m not disappointed that we’re at the top of our division,” Smith said, “tied for the best record in our division.”