Losing to the Oakland Raiders is a new low for the San Francisco 49ers under Jim Harbaugh, who also himself a crisis situation with Colin Kaepernick, who seems to be doing worse and worse at the quarterback position with every week that goes by.
The Raiders have now won two games this season, beating the 49ers 24-13 behind a very good performance from Derek Carr, completing 22-of-28 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns. Things went badly for the 49ers on the first play, as Kaepernick threw an interception, resulting in a Raiders field goal. While San Francisco did come back to take the lead again two more times, the Niners offense was doing everything wrong, resulting in a loss that could cost them a playoff spot.
Carr has had his down moments since the Raiders made him their starting quarterback, but he has looked more impressive than Blake Bortles down in Jacksonville. He did the right thing by avoiding his wide receivers, instead focusing on tight ends and running backs. He completed all 16 throws to his TEs and backs for two touchdowns and 182 yards while the continuing re-education of Kaepernick by Greg Roman and Harbaugh is failing.
Kaepernick completed just 18-of-33 passes, throwing two interceptions. He completed only two passes on throws traveling more than 15 yards, the same amount of passes he completed to 49ers receivers. Since week 11, which is less than a month ago, no quarterback in the NFL has as many interceptions on deep throws as Kaepernick with five. The idea of turning him into a pocket passer doesn’t seem to be going too well for the brain trust on the sidelines.
Frank Gore was averaging 5.3 yards per carry but he got only 12 carries. Kaepernick rushed only three times for 26 yards. Why would someone limit him to just three runs? His offensive line is crumbling anyway, sacked five times and hit a few more times. It’s hard to get a real good gauge of his ability as a quarterback when it seems that there are too many things inside his own team going against him.
The worst thing of all for the 49ers is that Jim Harbaugh is realizing and thinking about his next job already. Who knows – The Raiders, Michigan, somewhere else, it doesn’t matter. He and the 49ers front office aren’t getting along; haven’t been for a long time. The biggest asset on this team – a head coach leading them to three consecutive conference championships, will have what looks like a bad season on his resume for the first time in quite a while. He might not be the easiest man to work with, above or under, but he’s responsible more than anyone for bringing the 49ers back to the top, or near it, of the NFL.
When all that’s left behind is a lot of questions and a quarterback who lost a lot of credit and confidence this season, the decision of burning any chance of hiring him for the future doesn’t seem like the wisest of choices by the men running this franchise.