Jim Henderson's Black & Gold Breakdown: Saints vs. 49ers

Last week we were worried the Saints could suffer a letdown and overlook an Oakland Raider team that had played atrociously the week before.

That's the least of the Saints' worries this week.  The San Francisco 49ers provide many others.

In anticipation of Thanksgiving, the Niners beat the stuffing out of the Bears Monday night.  It was never a contest between the battle of the back-up quarterbacks in Jason Campbell and Collin Kaepernick.

The Niners sacked Campbell six times, with Aldon Smith credited with five and a half of them.  The electrifying defensive end now has 15 on the season -- four more than the Raiders have as a team.  With the Saints likely down to their third string rookie free agent right tackle in Bryce Harris, this is a major concern.

Meanwhile in his first start of his career, Kaepernick was flawless.  For the first time all season, the Bears failed to generate a turnover.  The second-year quarterback completed 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards and a pair of touchdowns.  Though he was limited to 12 yards in four carries, the Nevada product is a definite running threat as the only quarterback in NCAA history with three straight 1000-yard rushing seasons.

His performance was so impressive that Jim Harbaugh could keep Alex Smith on the sideline where he's been recovering from a concussion two games ago.  All Smith has done is lead the NFL in completion percentage at 70 percent, while completing 25 of his last 27 passes for 304 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions.

Wouldn't the Jets, Eagles, Cardinals, and a host of other teams love to have that sort of quarterback controversy?