By: Joe Lami
SANTA CLARA, Calif.–Inconsistent. One word used by Chip Kelly to describe the 49ers offensive efforts in Friday night’s 21-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Besides one drive led by Blaine Gabbert, San Francisco struggled to get any offense going in the loss finishing with just 195 yards of total offense.
To put that in perspective, 49ers’ punter, Badley Pinion, punted for yards 320, coming just shy of outpunting his team’s output.
Blaine Gabbert earned the start, but immediately started the game with a three and out for the third straight game. However, he came back on his second drive and led the team on a five play 53 yard drive for their only touchdown of the game. The key play of the drive was a Carlos Hyde 27-yard run to the left bringing the ball down to the 3-yard line.
Hyde finished the game with 30 yards on four carries. His final play came in the second quarter on a one-yard run to the right. A report came out after the game that Hyde suffered a concussion during the contest. He will have to pass the league’s concussion protocol before returning to football activities.
To ensure that both quarterbacks received snaps with the first team, after Gabbert’s scoring drive, Colin Kaepernick relieved him of his duties. Kaepernick made his pre-season debut, but cheers turned into jeers quickly, as he was extremely unproductive. He connected two of six passes for 14 yards and ran for 18 yards. “Kaepernick was up and down like all of us offensively. But first and foremost, we have to be better offensively.”
Kaepernick’s longest pass was for ten yards, where he squeezed in a ball to DeAndrew White, who was swarmed in double coverage. Three of Kaep’s incompletions came on swatted balls by Green Bay’s defense, two of which should’ve been picked off.
While no one has outright won the quarterback competition for the Niners, it seems like after Kaepernick’s performance he certainly has lost the job, providing no confidence in his ability. He does agree that he needs to be more productive in his next outing and he still has the belief that he can win the job, “It’s really up to the coaching staff, but in my mind I can go out and win it”.
When Gabbert was asked if he thinks he’s done enough to secure the position, he mentioned his success but never clearly answered the question. “We’ve scored points when I’ve been in there…You’re not going to play the entire game and you just try to make the most of the opportunity and the plays when you’re in there”.
On the defensive side of the ball, San Francisco struggled getting off the field. Mike McCarthy was very aggressive all night, especially with backup quarterback, Joe Callahan in. The Packers went for it on fourth down on six different occasions, and converted five of them.
Green Bay’s quarterbacks had no difficulty moving the ball around. Starter, Aaron Rogers, threw nine balls, completing six of them for 60 yards and a touchdown. Callahan wowed everyone with a fabulous performance, throwing for 167 yards completing 16 of 25 and a touchdown.