I've already re-watched the game - it appears there were some key differences that created a synergy in a sense that 1+1=3. I'm sure some of the 49ers dominance was due to being up for a Monday night game, and the Bears starting Campbell.
A. The defense didn't come out flat for the 1st couple of series.
B. The offense took the lead early, allowing the defense to be more aggressive.
C. With the lead, the whole team played looser and aggressive. The offense came alive (was having fun running and throwing)
This whole style of play invigorates a team and makes winning more fun, less tense and emotionally draining. You have to think the team is going to crave building off this.
BUT, unfortunately for a Alex Smith supporter like me, I have to admit Kaep was the difference. We all admit he is more athletic than Smith - more mobile, bigger arm, etc. But "sadly" his performance was complete - it was very good mentally, handled the entire playbook well.
1. He executed the game plan flawlessly - this was the biggest surprise to me. No one expects a 1st time starter to go against a "great D" and play that soundly. It did appear the Bears kept their defense pretty basic - their bad move.
2. He threw the ball accurately into places (not just deep) that ASmith just won't throw.
a. Kyle William deep ball - I don't think Smith would have thrown it because the receiver was covered up and hard to see behind the defender. Regardless, I suspect even if he did throw it, it would have been safely thrown too long.
b. Vernon Davis in the middle - Kaep threw a ball into VD in the middle between 3 defenders - is that smart? Not sure, but it was complete. Again, Smith would not have made that throw, "smartly".
c. Crabtree touchdown - When a play isn't there as designed, I would have to bet Smith throws the ball away or runs out of bounds. Not being critical of Smith, it's his "play it smart" move. But CK floats left and then makes a TD throw.
d. Manningham out pattern - floating left and throwing left - just don't think Smith can make that throw with enough velocity, so Smith has to make the safe decision to not throw the ball.
Can Kaep do it again? THAT is the big question. Again, unfortunately for a Smith supporter, his performance was so complete I believe you have to at least give him the chance to duplicate the performance against the Saints. And part of the reason is that team is now aware that there is a more dynamic winning option available -- that is more fun and gives people a chance to make big plays. If the coach goes back to Smith, there could be a mental revolt among players that they don't want to go back to the conservative style of play.
[ Edited by HearstFan on Nov 20, 2012 at 7:54 AM ]