San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, 25, made his first NFL start on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears and delivered a stellar performance. Starting in place of the concussed Alex Smith, Kaepernick completed 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns as San Francisco defeated Chicago 32-7.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisc., and growing up in Turlock, Calif., Kaepernick played his college ball at the University of Nevada, Reno, where his completion percentage improved in each of his four years. He is the only quarterback in the history of Division I FBS college football to throw for over 10,000 yards and rush for 4,000 yards. He was drafted by San Francisco with the 36th overall selection in last year’s NFL draft.

After his debut start, Kaepernick’s teammates had nothing but praise for the young QB. Tight end Vernon Davis complimented one of Kaepernick’s throws on a third and 12 situation, going so far as to put his hands together and bow to him. “I'm just so proud of him in that moment because the ball that he threw me, it was just one of those balls that you see Tom Brady throw," Davis told ESPN.com. "Second window, right on the money. Surprise. I didn't expect the ball to come because we ran that play quite a few times and the tight end usually don't get the ball on that play."

Wide receiver Michael Crabtree caught Kaepernick’s second touchdown pass of the game. He, too, was in awe of the debut performance. “It's no secret, bro — that dude can play ball," Crabtree said to Yahoo! Sports. "It was too much for them. Colin's a baller. That's one dude I know I don't have to worry about."

Looking to fight off the Seattle Seahawks for the NFC West division title, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh did not dispel rumors that there may be a quarterback controversy in the works. There is believed to be an unwritten rule in the NFL that a starter does not lose his job to injury (the notable exception of course being Brady, who replaced injured quarterback Drew Bledsoe early in the 2001 season and would go on to lead the New England Patriots to five Super Bowl appearances). When asked about the rule, Harbaugh said “We'll make that determination as we go. But, there's no rule."

San Francisco’s next game is Sunday at New Orleans against the Saints, winners of three in a row.

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