49ers vs. Bears: Vernon Davis has a chokehold on the NFC North

Ezra Shaw

We break down 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and his history versus the NFC North.

Entering Week 11, the San Francisco 49ers (6-2-1) will face their fourth and final NFC North opponent in the Chicago Bears (7-2).

The 49ers are 2-1 versus the NFC North this season, with wins coming against at Green Bay and versus Detroit. San Francisco began the 2012-13 season with three straight games against said division, and in two of those three games, the offense scored 27 points or more.

One player in particular that has played very well against the NFC North is Niners tight end Vernon Davis. In three games versus the North this year, Davis amassed 13 receptions for 169 yards and 4 touchdowns.

In fact, Davis has not scored since Week 3 at Minnesota, contributing to his 7-week long cold streak.

Going beyond this season, it's clear that the 49ers pass-catcher has had a solid history against the NFC North. In the team's last 9 games versus teams from that division - dating back to 2009 - Davis has 541 yards and nine touchdowns.

No. 85 is averaging 50-plus yards and a TD per game in that time frame.

The NFC North division does not have the most impressive assembly of pass-catching tight ends with Kyle Rudolph, Jermichael Finley, Kellen Davis and Brandon Pettigrew. There is one young stud whose career is yet to be determined, two overrated players who drop too many balls and a block-first TE.

With a rare combination of size, speed and strength, Davis is a breed of tight end they are unfamiliar with.

Also, considering the recent cold streak Davis has been riding, this Week 11 primetime match-up seems ripe for a breakout game. On the national stage, in a week where San Francisco really needs a win, we could see Vernon Davis assert himself.

The 49ers have a very well informed staff and hopefully they've noticed this statistical trend. If San Francisco is playing the odds, they'd be wise to game-plan with Vernon Davis in mind.

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