SAN FRANCISCO Aldon Smith entered Monday's game third in the NFL's sack standings. He not only ended it in first but put some distance between him and the next guy.
The 49ers outside linebacker had 5 1/2 sacks against the Bears, giving him 15, one more than he had in 2011.
"I think I have a thing for night games," said Smith, who also stood out in a "Monday Night Football" game against Pittsburgh last season. "I love the night. I love the lights."
Smith is two sacks ahead of Denver's Von Miller for the league lead. They became friendly Big 12 Conference rivals in college Smith from Missouri and Miller from Texas A&M and kept in touch last season when they were vying for the sack title among rookies. Smith topped Miller 14-11 1/2.
Miller, however, was named the league's Defensive Rookie of the Year.
"I'll probably text him as soon as I leave out here," Smith said with a smile.
Smith and right defensive end Justin Smith proved to be too much to handle for the Chicago tandem of left tackle J'Marcus Webb and guard Chilo Rachal, who spent his first four seasons with the 49ers. Rachal twice was flagged for holding. He also was tackled in the end zone after recovering a fumble, giving the 49ers a safety.
The most painful sack for Campbell was delivered by Ahmad Brooks in the third quarter. The hit dislodged the ball and left Campbell on his hands and knees for several minutes. The former Raider left briefly but threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall five plays later.
Young on Alex Smith Former 49ers quarterback Steve Young, who was forced out of football by concussions, said he thought the NFL was making strides in the treatment of the injury.
Why? Because if this were 20 years ago, Alex Smith likely would have played Monday after suffering a concussion last week, Young said.
"Big games and people on the cusp (of returning) they usually erred on the side of playing," Young, now an analyst for ESPN, said before the game. "I'd be the first one to run out there."
Young was named the league's MVP in 1992 and 1994. During Week 3 of the 1999 season, he was knocked out of a Monday night game by Cardinals cornerback Aeneas Williams and never played again.
He said Smith's ordeal shows the situation is "different now, and for the better, right?"
Bowl-bound The 49ers are expected to announce today that the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, which has been played in San Francisco in recent years, will be played at their new Santa Clara stadium upon completion. The $1.2 billion facility is scheduled to open in 2014.
Before Monday, Colin Kaepernick's last start at quarterback came in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, a 20-13 win for Nevada over Boston College on Jan. 9, 2011.
Et cetera Carlos Rogers and Campbell texted during the week, then had a much more personal encounter when Rogers slammed Campbell to the ground after a sneak. The two were teammates at Auburn and first-round draft picks by the Redskins in 2005.
Tarell Brown and Dashon Goldson made interceptions. It was Goldson's third interception this season and Brown's first.
The Bears had forced at least two turnovers in every game this season but had zero takeaways Monday.