Wednesday, 21 November 2012

PFT: Harbaugh lets QB question simmer

Jason Campbell, Aldon SmithAP

It was quite the starting debut for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick and pass rusher Aldon Smith put on a show Monday night as the 49ers throttled the Chicago Bears in a 32-7 victory.

Kaepernick, starting in place of a concussed Alex Smith, certainly didn?t look like a quarterback making his first NFL start as he led scoring drives on each of the 49ers first four possessions in building a 20-0 first half lead. Conversely, Bears starter Jason Campbell, filling-in for a concussed Jay Cutler, was incapable of doing anything with the football. San Francisco held the Bears to just 35 yards of total offense in the first half.

A Bears defense that entered the game with a league-leading 30 forced turnovers was unable to take the ball away from the 49ers. It was the first game this season where the Bears were unable to force a turnover. Kaepernick was terrific in completing 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns.

Meanwhile on defense, Aldon Smith caused fits for Bears right tackle Gabe Carimi. Smith ran over, around and through Carimi as he harassed Campbell all night. Smith finished with 4.5 sacks on the night to improve his season total to 14 sacks. Smith?s 14 sacks is more than the Jacksonville Jaguars (12) and Oakland Raiders (11) have as a team.

Chicago finished with just 151 yards of total offense on the night. Campbell finished 14 of 22 for 107 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for the Bears.

After a 32-yard field goal by David Akers gave San Francisco the early lead, Kaepernick led the 49ers on a quick four-play, 63-yard drive culminating in a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis to take a 10-0 lead.

Kendall Hunter scored from 14 yards out on the next San Francisco possession to take a 17-0 lead. Tarell Brown then intercepted Campbell on the ensuing possession to set up a 37-yard field goal from Akers to take a 20-0 lead into halftime.

Kaepernick then led another scoring drive to open the third quarter. The 49ers went 62 yards in five plays and Kaepernick found Michael Crabtree for a 10-yard score to take a 27-0 lead.

Campbell finally got the Bears on the board with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall late in the third quarter. Akers added another field goal, a 32-yarder, and a fumble by Campbell on a split sack by Aldon and Justin Smith led to a safety to give San Francisco a 32-7 cushion.

Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery left the game with a knee injury in the second half and did not return. Jeffery had missed the last four games for Chicago with a fractured right hand.

UPDATE 11:55 p.m. ET: Aldon Smith was credited with another sack giving him 5.5 sacks for the game and 15 sacks on the season.


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