Three Phil Dawson field goals, and the inability of Colin Kapernick and the 49ers’ offense to move the ball anywhere near the end zone – save one red zone trip that resulted in Dawson’s third field goal and a concussion to All Pro tight end Vernon Davis – helped lead to the 10-9 loss.
Carolina’s defense played fantastically. Kaepernick was limited to 91 yards on 11-of-22 passing, with a game ending interception.
The Panthers had constant pressure on Kaepernick – they sacked him 6 times — and more often than not the 49ers looked confused on offense.
“We have to execute better,” Kaepernick said, according to Taylor Price at 49ers.com . “We just have to be able to make plays.”
Both Davis and safety Eric Reid went down with a concussion in this game. Losing their star tight end changed the game for Kap, as he really couldn’t get anything going.
“Vernon changes defenses,” Kaepernick said. “He makes them do things they don’t normally do, he’s a big loss.”
It was difficult to tell if play selection, constant Carolina pressure or just bad quarterback play led to the lackluster offensive performance while watching this game. It was certainly a combination of all three at times.
“Moving the ball wasn’t coming easy for us today,” 49ers’ head coach Jim Harbaugh said about Kaepernick’s performance. “I thought there were plays to be made, and he made some really good ones. And we all put our fingerprints on that.