The Chicago Bears are still in control sitting on top of the NFC North at 7-2, but if they want to make a deep run into the playoffs they have to start racking up wins again.
Coming off a 13-6 loss against the Houston Texans it certainly doesn’t make the Bears feel too bad about themselves.
But with quarterback Jay Cutler (concussion) hurting and the Bears’ offense struggling to find continuity it could be tough to win on the road.
Backup quarterback Jason Campbell was informed yesterday that he would be the starter on Monday night. The Bears didn’t announce the move until today.
Campbell has started 70 games from 2006-2011 with the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders.
The 30-year old Auburn product has 14,511 yards passing, 74 touchdowns, 50 interceptions, a 60.8 completion percentage and a 82.6 passer rating in his eight NFL career.
Last week, he came off the bench in the second half to replace a concussed Jay Cutler. He completed 11 of 19 passes for 94 yards, which included a 45-yard bomb to wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Even if Cutler was healthy it would likely be a tough matchup against a stout 49ers defense. The Bears are doing the right thing with giving Cutler time to rest.
If he was cleared by the doctors prior to the game, I’d say let him decide if he was ready or not, but its probably best he heals up for the Week 12 matchup against Minnesota.
At 6’5″ Campbell has a bigger frame than Cutler. He has had success scrambling out of the pocket at times, but he seems to be more of a pocket passer than Cutler.
Campbell has 1,075 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns in his career.
The Bears felt comfortable this off-season adding Campbell as the backup on a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.
With a full week of practice with the first-team offense, Campbell will be more prepared than he was on Sunday night. He has a big arm and he could flash that this week.
After the Caleb Hanie experiment a year ago, the Bears had to bring in an established veteran like Campbell. Expect Campbell to have more success this week with the ample amount of practice and more weapons on offense.
That’s right the Bears will get much-needed help on offense this week. Rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will be back on Monday night, which should be huge for this offense.
Tight end Kellen Davis and WR Devin Hester have struggled to make plays with Jeffery out of action with his fractured right hand.
If the Bears’ defense can continue its dominance, there is no reason the Bears can’t win with Campbell under center. Rookie defensive end Shea McClellin (concussion) has been ruled out of Monday night’s game as well.
Campbell is a smart quarterback and that will help him on Monday night at a rowdy Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
Do you think the Bears can beat the 49ers with Campbell running the offense on Monday night?