49ers vs Bears
Soldier Field (Chicago)
5:00 PM (PST)
The 49ers face-off against the boys from Midway for their third preseason game tonight. Again the 49ers find themselves playing against a team with a recent QB competition of their own. However like the Packers, the QB controversy has been resolved with Kyle Orton named the starting QB for the Bears. I think it is safe to say, minus a major meltdown tonight, J.T. O’Sullivan will be named the starting QB for the start of the season. When and if that happens I will not know whether to jump for joy or throw my hands up in despair because how long will a journey-man backup last against the grueling first half schedule the 49ers face in the regular season. Alex Smith is fully aware of this as the number two man and known’s he has to play as well as he can with the second and third stringer players.
O’Sullivan will get his toughest test tonight against a Bears defense littered with Pro Bowlers lead by LB Brian Urlacher. If O’Sullivan looks as good as he did last week leading the offense to two or three scoring drives confidence in him will greatly be enhanced with the 49er Faithfull. Look for another great game from rookie WR Josh Morgan. This guy will be the breakout star for the 49ers this year. Morgan can run short and long routes with precision and seems to have grasped the Mike Martz offense. He was impressive against the Raiders with CB Charles Woodson covering him and equally impressive last week against a very good Packers D with a 59 yard TD reception. I was critical of the 49ers for not drafting a WR earlier in the draft, Morgan was chosen in the sixth round, and for not taking Cal WR DeSean Jackson who would have helped the return team. So far Morgan has been impressive and might turn into a late round sleeper pick turned Pro Bowl receiver. Let’s see if he can put up another 100 yard game for the third straight week.
On defense look for another solid game lead by Ray McDonald who had two of the 49ers six sacks last week. The 49ers D has always been good and when the offense scores and gives the D a lead they thank them by shutting down the opponents offense.
Prediction: 49ers 24 Bears 20
Down and Out (Injuries)
G Adam Snyder (ankle), T Jonas Jennings (hand), G David Baas (pectoral), and WR’s Arnaz Battle (hamstring), Bryant Johnson (hamstring), and Ashley Lelie (calf) will not play tonight.