"Remember when I started a game against you when you were a rookie, Randy? Does that make you old or me young?" - Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
The Bears and the 49ers have a long and storied history. They have met 58 times; tying once and Chicago winning 29 games to San Francisco's 28. However, history isn't on the Bears side tonight.
The history between these two teams is long and illustrious. Two of the all-time great NFL franchises that have seen their share of good and bad times. The team shave met plenty of times in the playoffs, as well as the regular season, but one thing is for sure; home field advantage is important to the series.
In Chicago, the Bears have won the last four games. In Candlestick Park, the Niners have won the last seven
In fact, the last time the Bears won in San Francisco was Oct. 13, 1985. The Bears defeated the 49ers 26-10. In that game they were able to win behind four Kevin Butler field goals and two Walter Payton touchdown runs.
Since then, in San Francisco, the Bears have been outscored 239-42, with three shutouts. In fact, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh started (but did not finish) two of those games; a 26-0 loss in '89 in which he was replaced by Mike Tomczak and a 52-14 loss in '91, where he was replaced in garbage time for Peter Tom Willis (the QB with three first names!).
And I don't need to remind Bears fans of the last time the beloved traveled out there back in 2009. All I will say is it was a Thursday night and Jay Cutler threw five interceptions in a 10-6 loss.
So for the Bears, they have left their dignity in San Francisco more than their hearts.
Tonight, however, the Bears need their hearts. They need to step up and play in San Francisco like they have not in three decades.
There is little reason to believe they cannot, however. The 49ers have shown they can be run on, with success and as our own T.J. Shouse wrote, they can also be dinked and dunked to death in the short passing game.
So the Bears have a chance. In fact, it will most likely boil down to the turnover margin. In the 49ers' two losses this season they lost the turnover margin. If you want to attach a specific number to it, the Bears defense should aim for three turnovers. When the 49ers offense has three turnovers they are 0-2 this year. Twice last year (including the playoffs) they lost the turnover margin and the game and only once they lost the TO margin but still managed to win (25-19 over Detroit).
So protecting the football will be crucial, and the Bears are playing with a QB in Jason Campbell that is arguably better at that than their starter.
This might not be the last time the Bears visit Candlestick Park (but it could be), so it would be nice for the Bears to get off the snide and win out west again and get back on track heading into a divisional game on the short week.