2014 DRAFT GUIDE
49ers' Kaepernick gets big assist from Aldon Smith

By JANIE McCAULEY - AP Sports Writer
    2012-11-20 02:33

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Aldon Smith's high-flying defense gave Colin Kaepernick all kinds of extra chances in his first career NFL start.

And the Kaepernick looked little like a backup in delivering on nearly every one of those opportunities under the lights on football's big stage.

The strong-armed Kaepernick passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns in place of the injured Alex Smith, Aldon Smith had 5 1/2 sacks, and the 49ers whipped the Chicago Bears 32-7 on Monday night in a highly anticipated NFC showdown that hardly lived up to the hype.

``I wanted to come out and show what I'm capable of and show that I can be a starter,'' Kaepernick said. ``That's what I've been trying to prove since I've been here.''

With Aldon Smith wreaking havoc on the other side of the ball, Kaepernick threw touchdown passes to Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, and Kendall Hunter ran for a 14-yard score as San Francisco (7-2-1) jumped out to a big lead by scoring on each of its first four possessions.

Jason Campbell, the other quarterback in this matchup of backups for division leaders, threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall in the third quarter, but was sacked five times and threw two interceptions in his first start since October 2011 for Oakland.

He faced fierce pressure all night, playing for the Bears (7-3) while starter Jay Cutler recovers from a concussion suffered eight days earlier - just like Alex Smith.

After Kaepernick's stellar night on national TV, there's certain to be chatter of a quarterback controversy for the NFC West-leading Niners. And anyone who knows coach Jim Harbaugh knows he's all about competition - at every spot on the field.

``I usually tend to go with the hot hand, and we've got two quarterbacks with hot hands,'' he said. ``We'll make that decision when we have to make it.''

Kaepernick certainly isn't counting on it.

``I don't think one game can be called a hot hand,'' he said.

Aldon Smith took over the NFL sacks lead with 15, passing Denver's Von Miller with 13, and recorded the second-best total in franchise history behind Fred Dean's six-sack day on Nov. 13, 1983, against New Orleans. Tarell Brown and Dashon Goldson each had an interception for San Francisco's stingy defense, which shut down Campbell, Matt Forte and Co. three years after the teams last met in a 10-6 49ers home win.

``I think I have a thing for night games, I love playing at night,'' Smith said. ``I love playing under the lights.''

Kaepernick, Aldon Smith and Hunter sure made general manager Trent Baalke looked good for his selections from the 2011 draft class.

``Colin is the man!'' Davis said emphatically. ``Colin did a great job, I was very proud of him.''

And reigning NFL Coach of the Year Harbaugh earned a key victory four days after his own health issue. The 48-year-old Harbaugh had a minor procedure for an irregular heartbeat Thursday.

The 49ers added a safety in the fourth quarter after a replay review. With 9:24 left, former San Francisco offensive lineman Chilo Rachal was called for intentional grounding out of the end zone, but Harbaugh challenged and the review showed Rachal's knee was down in the end zone before the ball left.

``Tonight was probably the worst nightmare. We just have to find a way,'' Campbell said. ``It's one game that we lost. We have to pick it back up next week and try to get back on the winning side. Our goals and everything still sit ahead of us.''

The soft-spoken, stone-faced Kaepernick went 16 for 23 with a 133.1 passer rating. He completed 12 of his first 14 passes with a 57-yard strike to Kyle Williams that set up Davis' 3-yard TD on the next play - and he already had amassed 126 yards passing by the end of the first quarter.

The 49ers led 17-0 on Hunter's early TD run in the second, quickly topping the 14.8 points the Bears were allowing per game.

Kaepernick threw for 184 yards in the first half alone - an impressive outing for the second-year pro selected in the second round out of Nevada.

``I think after the first drive I felt really comfortable with what they were doing and what we had in our game plan,'' he said. ``I really wasn't too nervous. I've had a lot of time in this offense. My teammates were really supportive.''

Frank Gore ran for 78 yards and David Akers kicked field goals of 32, 37 and 32 yards for the 49ers, eager to defend their home field a week after settling for a frustrating 24-24 tie against the division rival St. Louis Rams.

They outgained Chicago 249-35 in a lopsided first half.

Davis got his prime-time moment just how he loves it. Eager to get more involved in the offense down the stretch this season, the tight end had a team-best six catches for 83 yards.

``It felt like somebody took the handcuffs off,'' Davis said. ``It sends out a message we're for real and we'll step up in big games.''

Campbell was slow to get up after a hit by Ahmad Brooks with 6:06 left in the third quarter, not an encouraging sign as third-string QB Josh McCown started loosening up.

Chicago dropped into a first-place tie in the NFC North with Green Bay, which owns the tiebreaker after beating the Bears in Week 2. The Bears have lost two straight following a six-game winning streak.

Things were much less stressful on the opposite sideline, where Kaepernick chatted between series with Alex Smith - who was out of uniform and dressed in red 49ers jacket on a crisp, windy fall evening at sold-out Candlestick Park.

Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick, was ruled out earlier Monday after being evaluated by team medical director Dr. Dan Garza.

Campbell had little chance as his offensive line was overmatched all night, spoiling his first start since last October and before a broken collarbone derailed his 2011 season and forced him to miss the final 10 games.

Forte was limited to 63 yards on 21 carries - not much better than his 41-yard day on 20 carries in the loss here in 2009, when Cutler threw five interceptions.

``I think we all let the team down at one point or another in the ballgame,'' Marshall said. ``We're just taking turns.''

San Francisco featured the opportunistic, ball-hawking defense this time after the Bears came in with an NFL-leading 30 takeaways and 19 interceptions.

``Coming in I think there may have been some questions about who may have been the better defense,'' Aldon Smith said. ``We came out and proved a point tonight.''

NOTES: The 49ers won their fourth straight Monday Night Football game, fifth in six and seventh of 10. ... San Francisco's 43 Monday Night Football victories match the Dallas Cowboys for the most. ... Bears WR Alshon Jeffery left with a knee injury in the second half.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Eben BrittonAug 30 05:12p

The Chicago Bears released WR Josh Bellamy, C Taylor Boggs, DT Brandon Dunn, LB Devekeyan Lattimore, CB Albert Louis-Jean, WR Dale Moss, DT Lee Pegues, DT Tracy Robertson, CB [ More ]

Chris ScottAug 30 05:02p

The Carolina Panthers released LB Denicos Allen, CB Carrington Byndom, OG Derek Dennis, LB Adarius Glanton, SS Robert Lester, WR Marcus Lucas, OT Andrew McDonald, FS Tom Nelson, DT [ More ]

Stephen BowenAug 30 04:12p

Washington Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson (knee) and DE Stephen Bowen (undisclosed) were placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list. OL Maurice Hurt was released as well.

Alex HeneryAug 30 02:52p

Philadelphia Eagles PK Alex Henery has been released.

Ricardo AllenAug 30 01:52p

Atlanta Falcons LB Jacques Smith and CB Ricardo Allen have been released.

Alex HeneryAug 30 01:42p

Philadelphia Eagles PK Alex Henery, WR Damaris Johnson, DE Damion Square and RB Matthew Tucker have been released.

Nate PalmerAug 30 01:42p

Green Bay Packers LBs Nate Palmer (knee) and Adrian Hubbard (leg) have been placed on Reserve/Injured.

Kenjon BarnerAug 30 01:42p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kenjon Barner (ankle) has been waived/injured.

Maikon BonaniAug 30 01:22p

Tennessee Titans PK Maikon Bonani has been released.

Kris DurhamAug 30 01:12p

Detroit Lions WR Kris Durham has been released.

Curtis MarshAug 30 01:12p

Philadelphia Eagles CB Curtis Marsh has been released.

Asa JacksonAug 30 01:12p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (chest), CB Lardarius Webb (back), CB Asa Jackson (ankle) and OT Jah Reid (concussion) are participating in practice Saturday, Aug. 30.

Tajh BoydAug 30 01:02p

New York Jets QB Tajh Boyd and RB Alex Green have been released.

Stephen HillAug 30 12:52p

New York Jets WR Stephen Hill has been released.

Josh BoyceAug 30 12:42p

New England Patriots WR Josh Boyce was informed of his release Saturday, Aug. 30.

Kevin VickersonAug 30 12:32p

The Denver Broncos have released DT Kevin Vickerson.

A.J. EddsAug 30 12:12p

New York Jets LB A.J. Edds (finger) was released Saturday, Aug. 30.

Lanear SampsonAug 30 12:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lanear Sampson was released Saturday, Aug. 30, according to a source.

Darryl TappAug 30 12:02p

The Detroit Lions have released DE Darryl Tapp.

Daniel ThomasAug 30 11:52a

Miami Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas was released Saturday, Aug. 30.

Marcus ThigpenAug 30 11:52a

Miami Dolphins WR Marcus Thigpen (hamstring) was released Saturday, Aug. 30.

Mario ManninghamAug 30 11:52a

Updating a previous story, the New York Giants are expected to reach injury settlements with WRs Mario Manningham (calf) and Trindon Holliday (hamstring) after both have been placed in the season-ending Reserve/Injured list.

Johnny PatrickAug 30 11:42a

New York Jets CB Johnny Patrick was released, Saturday, Aug. 30, according to a source.

James HarrisonAug 30 11:32a

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Bengals) announced his retirement from the NFL Saturday, Aug. 30.

Ronnie HillmanAug 30 11:22a

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (illness) and CB Kayvon Webster (illness) were taken to the hospital after the final preseason game because they became ill. Both are expected to [ More ]

Daryl RichardsonAug 30 11:22a

New York Jets RB Daryl Richardson has been informed of his impending release, according to sources, Saturday, Aug. 30.

Mike KafkaAug 30 11:02a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released QB Mike Kafka, according to a source.

Jeff DempsAug 30 11:02a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have waived RB Jeff Demps, according to a source.

Kellen DavisAug 30 10:52a

The New York Giants may consider re-signing free-agent TE Kellen Davis after Week 1, according to a source. Davis' salary would not be guaranteed if he signs after Week 1.

Chris OgbonnayaAug 30 10:32a

The Cleveland Browns cut RB Chris Ogbonnaya Saturday, Aug. 30.

Trindon HollidayAug 30 10:32a

The New York Giants have placed WRs Mario Manningham (calf) and Trindon Holliday (hamstring) on the Reserved/Injured list, according to a source.

Lache SeastrunkAug 30 10:22a

The Washington Redskins would like to sign free-agent RB Lache Seastrunk (Redskins) to their practice squad if he is not claimed off waivers. He was cut because he needs time to improve his play.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group