Bears vs Niners: Five Questions with Niner Noise

4 of 5

December 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi

4. What do the 49ers plan to do to go after Vic Fangio’s defense? Does going against a former coordinator give the 49ers offense an edge? Does Fangio have an edge going against the 49ers offense?

The Bears have another secret in addition to Vic Fangio, and that’s Ed Donatell. He was a great secondary coach for San Francisco, and I’m not surprised to see the Bears pass defense as good as it is. The two work exceptionally well together. So, if I’m the 49ers, I try to utilize a run-first, run-heavy approach to take advantage of a suspect Bears run defense. That should, hopefully, set up play action. Chicago has some excellent cornerbacks in Kyle Fuller and Tracy Porter, so I expect offensive coordinator Geep Chryst to try and match up with three-wide sets and/or some tight end usage in the passing game. Gabbert likes what he has in his tight end crop.

I think Fangio has a bit more of an edge as opposed to the other way around even if some of the offensive coaches (Chryst was on staff last season) know Fangio’s tendencies. But the personnel is totally different now, so it’s really hard to say. I think motivation from Fangio will be more crucial of a factor.

Next: Prediction Time!