On defense, the 49ers' 40 front includes a 17th overall pick two years ago in Arik Armstead, the seventh overall pick last year in DeForest Buckner and this year’s third overall pick, Solomon Thomas, but Armstead has been out with a broken hand and none of them are yet playing anywhere near their ceilings.
This year’s second first-round pick, linebacker Rueben Foster is an exciting prospect and Eli Harold on the other side is supposed to give the Niners some push, but only veteran Elvis Dumervil has created consistent pressure with 4 ½ sacks.
In the secondary, only safety Eric Reid is an occasional difference maker when he’s not busy as one of the league's more visible and vocal National Anthem protesters.
The Bears claim at least a slight advantage in most statistical categories on both sides of the ball and the difference in the game could be Howard and Cohen if the Bears commit to run against San Fran’s 30th-ranked run defense.
Even the idea that San Francisco has at least been competitive is shaky. From Weeks 2-6, the 49ers had five straight losses by three, two, three (OT), three (OT) and two points, but since then, they are 1-4 with a win over the 2-9 Giants, who were accused of flying from New York to San Francisco and quitting. The four losses have come by an average of 18 ½ points.
This is a game the Bears can and should win, but which Bears team will show up is never a certainty either.