Hoge’s Grades: Harbaugh Punks Bears Coaching Staff
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By Adam Hoge-
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) Here are my grades following the 49ers’ 32-7 thumping of the Bears at Candlestick Park Monday night:
Here’s all you need to know: The Bears didn’t get past their own 43 yard-line and were out-gained 249-35 in yards in the first half. The left side of the line (J’Marcus Webb and Chilo Rachal) looked as bad as it ever has as Aldon Smith posted 5.5 sacks. No one was open and Jason Campbell wasn’t sharp (but can you blame him?).
The tight end struggles continued as Evan Rodriguez looked very Kellen Davis-esque on a first quarter drop. It was his only target. In general, Campbell didn’t have many open options and it’s probably not good that Devin Hester led the team with three catches for 23 yards.
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The only bright spot was Alshon Jeffery returning but then the rookie hurt his knee and left the game.
Matt Forte and the running game failed to get anything going, averaging just three yards per carry.
The Bears scored a touchdown in this game, which is more than they can say for last week, so it wasn’t a complete failing grade (by their standards).
The tone was set on the 49ers’ first play when Mario Manningham caught an 8-yard pass and Chris Conte added 15 more with a stupid penalty, hitting Manningham while he was on the ground and out of bounds. Conte wasn’t the worst safety on the field for the Bears, however, as Major Wright had a horrible game. Brian Urlacher continues to miss tackles and Lance Briggs got dominated (just check out the hit Frank Gore put on him on Vernon Davis’ first quarter touchdown). The defensive line didn’t put any pressure on 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick all night.
It’s really hard to find a defensive player who played well. The cornerbacks didn’t do anything special and nickelback Kelvin Hayden got beat badly by Kyle Williams on a night when D.J. Moore didn’t even dress. Not good.
The bottom-line: The 49ers punched the defense in the mouth early and didn’t let up. It’s been a long time since the Bears got dominated at the point of attack like that. With zero takeaways, Monday night was about as bad as it gets for this unit.
Special Teams: D
The 49ers weren’t afraid to kick to Devin Hester, but he didn’t go anywhere against a suspect San Francisco special teams unit. I still think the blocking is the biggest problem, but Hester probably isn’t the same returner he used to be either.
Adam Podlesh had another up-and-down day, mixing in punts he’s known for with others that were absolute shanks. I’m not sure he really solidified his job after the Bears took a look at some other punters at Halas Hall last week.
Really nice extra point by Robbie Gould. At least he didn’t have to worry about the turf.
670 The Score’s own Mike Mulligan had a story in Monday’s Chicago Tribune about how the Bears talked to Jim Harbaugh in 2009 when he was still the head coach at Stanford. Those conversations were apparently routine and the Bears decided to stick with Lovie Smith.
Well, Harbaugh absolutely punked Lovie Smith Monday night in every phase of the game. While the players played awful, they looked completely unprepared. The defense dared Colin Kaepernick to beat them early and he did. It was the first time defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli — who has had a great year — was soundly out-schemed all season. Meanwhile, we’re at the point where you have to wonder if Mike Tice is cut out to be an offensive coordinator. His game-plans simply don’t work and while Cutler missed Monday’s game, he has enough talent to do better than this. Want to use the offensive line as an excuse? Well, it’s his offensive line. He has personally made J’Marcus Webb and Gabe Carimi his projects and continually backed them up. Unfortunately the play on the field does not back Tice up.
Adam is the Sports Editor for CBSChicago.com and specializes in coverage of the Bears, White Sox and college sports. He was born and raised in Lincoln Park and attended St. Ignatius College Prep before going off to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned a Journalism degree. Follow him on Twitter @AdamHogeCBS and read more of his columns here.