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Chicago Bears call loss to 49ers 'a wakeup call'

The Chicago Bears can spin Monday night's 32-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers any way they'd like, but brutal honesty is always appreciated.

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One Bears player called the game "a wakeup call," and another told John Mullin of Comcast SportsNet Chicago, "That's a different team than I've been watching."

Asked which team he meant, his answer was quick: "Both."

The Bears went into battle minus starting quarterback Jay Cutler, but so did the 49ers, who were without Alex Smith. How both coaching staffs chose to deal with that challenge speaks volumes about these two organizations.

Colin Kaepernick, just a week ago, was viewed by many as the 49ers backup who glittered in the Wildcat, but lacked presence in the pocket. Not on Monday night. One Bears player said he expected Kaepernick to "throw a couple to us." Instead, the second-year passer rifled the ball over the Bears, around the Bears and right through the Bears.

Kaepernick obviously is well-coached on a 49ers team that's as smart as it is physical. San Francisco confounded Chicago's previously frightening defense with an array of fronts and formations that left the Bears sucking wind.

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For the Bears, it's uncertain if Cutler's presence would have changed a thing. The Bears' problems along the offensive line are a carbon copy of what fans -- and the team's quarterbacks -- have suffered through for years. This is a Lovie Smith product that cannot be taken seriously in the Super Bowl discussion unless something changes fast in the Windy City.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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