The Niners' signal-caller’s accuracy was off again in a 17-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers, who seemed content to merely pick away at the 49ers rather than go for the jugular on Sunday. Kaepernick was sacked six times and threw an interception on a deep ball. He also finally connected with deep threat Torrey Smith, albeit on an underthrown pass.
With the Niners now 1-3, is it time to sit Kaepernick, who completed 13 of 25 passes for 160 yards, to let him clear his head and give Blaine Gabbert a shot?
The score was just 7-3 at the half, and the Packers ended a four-game losing streak to the Niners, including two in the playoffs.
What were they thinking? Facing a third-and-11 on their first series of the second half, and with pass-catching running back Reggie Bush in the backfield, the 49ers … wait for it … ran a dive up the middle with Bush, who was playing in his first game since straining his left calf in the season opener on a similar play. Bush was stuffed for no gain on the run. The Packers responded with a nine-play, 61-yard TD drive to go up 14-3. Bush had just two touches.
One reason to get excited: The 49ers' pass rush, with only one sack the previous two games, got Aaron Rodgers in the first half, by Ahmad Brooks, and it was the constant pressure that kept the Niners in the game early. Aaron Lynch had two sacks.
One reason to panic: The 49ers signed Smith to be their deep threat. He went six quarters without a catch until hauling in a 7-yard catch on the right sideline to end the third quarter. He then had a 47-yard catch down the right sideline. Too little, too late.
Fantasy watch: Quinton Patton put in his serious yards-after-catch work, going 40 yards on a jet sweep pass from Kaepernick in the second quarter that jump-started the Niners' offense. He finished with two catches for 53 yards.
Ouch: Patton was being evaluated for a concussion, but the Niners emerged relatively healthy overall, aside from their egos being bruised in falling to 1-3.
Kaepernicking, Cheesehead style: You think the Packers don’t remember Kaepernick running wild over them in that NFC playoff game in 2013 when the Niners QB rushed for a record 181 yards and kissed his bicep after scoring? Clay Matthews broke it out after sacking Kaepernick in the third quarter.
What happened to the run game?: Kaepernick was the Niners’ leading rusher, with 57 yards on 10 runs, while Carlos Hyde had just 20 yards on eight carries.