SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Colin Kaepernick tossed his first career touchdown pass to Vernon Davis, Kendall Hunter ran for a score and the San Francisco 49ers led the Chicago Bears 20-0 at halftime Monday night.
Kaepernick completed 12 of 15 passes for 184 yards and looked calm and in control in his first NFL start. With Alex Smith out with a concussion, he engineered four straight scoring drives to open the game, with David Akers kicking field goals of 37 and 32 yards sandwiched around the two touchdowns.
The former Nevada quarterback led the Battle of the Backups at the outset.
Jason Campbell also started for the Bears with Jay Cutler out with a concussion. Campbell completed 4 of 8 passes for 21 yards under heavy pressure, with Aldon Smith sacking him three times as Chicago struggled to get any offensive momentum.
Campbell, who missed the final 10 games with the Oakland Raiders last season with a broken collarbone, got little help from his offensive line, and Matt Forte ran for only 35 yards on 11 carries. Smith's sacks also gave him 12½ on the season, behind only Denver's Von Miller with 13 for the NFL lead.
In a matchup of two NFC division leaders, the 49ers seemed to have no problem with a late fill-in starter.
Late Monday morning, the 49ers announced Smith failed to pass the NFL's concussion treatment protocol. Team medical director Dr. Dan Garza evaluated Smith, who was hurt eight days ago against St. Louis and seemed to be on pace to play after participating in non-contact portions of practices all week. Smith had made 28 consecutive starts.
Kaepernick, who replaced Smith midway through the second quarter in the 24-24 tie against the Rams, finally got to show his stuff in primetime after San Francisco drafted the dual-threat quarterback in the second round last year.
Kaepernick completed his first four passes, including a pair to Davis, on San Francisco's opening drive. The 49ers also were helped by a 15-yard personal foul penalty for a late hit by Chris Conte after Mario Manningham's 8-yard catch during the drive, ending with Akers' first field goal.
The 49ers stopped the Bears three-and-out, and Kaepernick quickly connected with Kyle Williams for 57 yards, dropping the ball over two defenders and hitting the receiver in stride down the sideline. A play later, Davis caught a 3-yard pass to put the San Francisco ahead 10-0, shooting the ball over the crossbar in celebration.
Even another 49ers backup got into the mix.
Hunter, drafted in the fourth round out of Oklahoma State last year, added a 14-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter and Akers kicked his second field goal to extend San Francisco's lead to 20-0.
Not bad for a team hit with injuries to two of its top men.
Along with Alex Smith out, San Francisco got another scare when coach Jim Harbaugh missed most of Thursday's practice to undergo a minor procedure for an irregular heartbeat. He returned Friday, energized and eager to get back to work.
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