Chicago Bears vs San Francisco 49ers: 5 players to watch

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Jordan Howard
Jordan Howard /

Running Back: Jordan Howard

Despite the ineptitude of the offense that is the Chicago Bears, the former Hoosier ranks 4th in the NFL for total rushing yards with 847. Even with all the running that Howard provides, the Bears offense ranks 29th in the NFL, only ahead of the Dolphins, Ravens and Bengals.

Having a consistent average of 20 touches a game, Howard can make the most of the little holes that the offensive line provides. Cody Whitehair has regressed to the point where Bears fans are calling for him to be benched. Kyle Long is still solid enough to possibly secure his starting spot for one more season, and Bobby Massie consistently gives up pressure. Simply put, Jordan Howard is not getting any help in the running department from the O-Line.

It can be easy to blame an offensive line that wouldn’t be able to hold back a pack of wild dogs from reaching their quarterback, but the true hinderance to the Bears running game is the receiving core. Zach Miller, who has not played in over a month, is still the second leading receiver for the Bears. That is flat out, unacceptable. Kendall Wright, for all intensive purposes is the Bears receiving yards leader with 345 yards on 31 catches.

If the Bears want to have a chance to win this game, Jordan Howard will have to get the ball rolling against a 49ers defense that is hemorrhaging yards to running backs.

Stat Line Prediction: 93 yards, 23 carries, 1 touchdown. 21 yards, 3 catches.