49ers key matchup No. 2: Michael Crabtree vs. Charles Tillman

November 19, 2012, 5:48 pm
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Programming note: After the final gun at tonight's Bears-49ers game at Candlestick Park, change the channel to 49ers Postgame Live for analysis and interviews, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!

This is the second part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Bears matchups to watch Monday, 5:30 p.m. (ESPNCBS 5), at Candlestick Park.

Matchup 2: Justin Smith vs. Chilo Rachel
49ers WR Michael Crabtree vs. Bears CB Charles TillmanTale of the tape
Crabtree (15): 6-foot-1, 214 pounds, fourth season, Texas Tech
Tillman (33): 6-foot-2, 198 pounds, 10th season, Louisiana-LafayetteWhen the Chicago Bears' defense is on the field, their own offensive production does not slow down.The Bears have scored eight touchdowns on defense this season. In a game that is set to feature backup quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Jason Campbell, this game could turn on turnovers.NEWS: Smith denied final clearance to play
And nobody generates turnovers as well as Bears cornerback Charles Tillman. He has scored two touchdowns on defense. Tillman has intercepted two passes and forced an amazing seven fumbles."I've never seen anybody do it better, so that's pretty good," 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. "And every time he does it, it seems he might not get it out, but he's definitely close to getting it out or the person carrying the ball is extremely aware of his presence."The Bears generally match up their cornerbacks to play a specific opponent, and it seems like a reasonable expectation that Tillman will be on 49ers top wide receiver Michael Crabtree most of Monday night's game.Crabtree has clearly emerged into the 49ers' top pass-catching target this season. He leads the 49ers with 44 receptions for 510 yards and four touchdowns.Tight end Vernon Davis has seen his production in the 49ers' passing offense diminish over the past four games. During that time, Davis has caught just nine passes for 101 yards and no touchdowns. In that same period, Crabtree had 17 catches for 199 yards and three touchdowns.With Crabtree getting his hands on the ball more, it means he'll have to secure the ball after the catch against Tillman and the rest of the turnover-producing Bears defense."You definitely teach ball security," Roman said. "I mean, there's a technique to carrying a football."