49ers vs. Bears: Can San Francisco thwart Chicago's turnover-forcing style?

Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

The Bears have been riding a wave of turnovers going in their favor. Will the 49ers be the next victim, or can they snuff-out the Bears in this regard?

The Chicago Bears might as well be known as this year's version of the 2011 49ers. No, not everything about them is the same, but the turnover margin creating a sort-of "Cinderella season" sure brings back memories of last year in San Francisco.

At this point in 2011 the 49ers were a gaudy +28 in the turnover margin. The 2012 Bears are currently +14, but that number is low due Chicago giving the ball away more than the 49ers did last year, mainly Jay Cutler having 10 interceptions already. Still, they're getting a lot of turnovers in their favor and it's certainly helping them win.

It's a wave that we all know doesn't last, and is fairly random. Fumbles don't always bounce your way, nor do tipped passes. But when they do, it shortens drives, affects time of possession, and gives the offense extra possessions. Teams that win relatively close games AND are the recipients of turnovers can struggle when they aren't getting these "breaks".

When Chicago comes into Candlestick Park for Monday Night Football, the 49ers have to be determined to not allow the Bears to take away their football. San Francisco has had a more difficult road this year without the lopsided turnover margin, and they need to show Chicago just what it feels like to have to "earn it".

In fact, how ironic would it be if the 49ers were the ones causing the turnovers and the Bears got none? Beating them at their own game, bouncing back from a tie that somehow feels like a loss (mostly because it wasn't a win), and proving they can beat one of the NFC's best teams...well that would just be sweet.

The 49ers have a long list of tough opponents to close-out the season and hopefully head into the playoffs with a #1 or #2 seed and a first-round bye. A good game against Chicago, no matter how they do it, would set the tone going forward.

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