SAN FRANCISCO — Strong-armed fill-in Colin Kaepernick made all the right throws, looking every bit a capable NFL No. 1 quarterback.
Kaepernick passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start in place of the injured Alex Smith, and the 49ers routed the Bears 32-7 on Monday night in a highly touted NFC showdown that hardly lived up to the hype.
"It's everything I could've ever wished for," Kaepernick said. "It feels great just to be out there."
Kaepernick threw touchdowns to Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, and Kendall Hunter ran for a 14-yard score as San Francisco jumped to a big lead by scoring on each of its first four possessions — with Aldon Smith wreaking havoc on the other side of the ball with 5½ sacks.
Jason Campbell, the other quarterback in this matchup of backups for division leaders, threw a 13-yard touchdown 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, on the field for the Bears as starter Jay Cutler recovers from a concussion suffered eight days earlier — just like Smith.
After Kaepernick's stellar night, there's certain to be chatter of a quarterback controversy for the NFC West-leading Niners.
Aldon Smith took the NFL sacks lead at 15, passing Denver's Von Miller with 13, with the No. 2 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.
"We were playing our defense, stopping the run and then stopping the pass," Aldon Smith said. "I was just playing my game and getting after it."