SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — No matter the play or formation, Jason Campbell looked left after almost every snap. His eyes opened wide, and his head turned fast — rarely ever for a receiver.
Campbell’s fill-in start for Jay Cutler turned into a painful outing Monday night, throwing two interceptions and getting sacked six times in the Chicago Bears’ 32-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Aldon Smith sacked Campbell 5½ times alone.
“Tonight was probably the worst nightmare,” Campbell said.
Campbell completed 14 of 22 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown with Cutler out with a concussion. The former Raiders quarterback, making his first start since last October before a broken collarbone forced him to miss the final 10 games for Oakland, had little help on either side of the ball.
The 49ers limited Matt Forte to 63 yards on 21 carries — not much better than his 41-yard day on 20 carries in a 10-6 loss at Candlestick Park in 2009, when Cutler threw five interceptions.
“Definitely one of the toughest games I’ve been involved in in my career,” Campbell said.
The Battle of the Backups became a one-sided affair.
Colin Kaepernick passed for 243 yards in his first career start in place of Alex Smith, who also was ruled out with a concussion. 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 — with Aldon Smith wreaking havoc as Chicago’s offensive line collapsed.
In a matchup of NFC division leaders, Campbell’s lone highlight came when he threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall in the third quarter. He faced fierce pressure all night for the Bears (7-3), who fell back into a tie with Green Bay in the NFC North.
Green Bay owns the tiebreaker after beating the Bears in Week 2. Chicago has now lost two straight following a six-game winning streak and, even worse, showing signs of regression.