49ers come up way short again in another embarrassing loss
Things are getting so bad, Colin Kaepernick is being booed in his own stadium. And he’s not the only one.
Kaepernick threw his fifth interception in two games, took six more sacks and watched Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers pull off the big plays for a team San Francisco’s quarterback used to dominate in the 49ers’ latest ugly loss, 17-3 to the unbeaten Packers on Sunday.
“We have to be able to get the ball out quicker to get it into playmakers’ hands,” Kaepernick said.
San Francisco (1-3), off to its worst start since 2010, has been limited to 28 total points over three games while giving up 107.
The frustration is clearly mounting. It showed from wideouts Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith.
“I don’t want to be rude, but I’ve got nothing to say,” Boldin said to the large swarm of reporters at his locker.
There’s little to celebrate in any phase. Rookie punter Bradley Pinion even took venom from the home crowd as the 49ers had their four-game winning streak against Green Bay (4-0) snapped in the teams’ fifth matchup since 2012, including two playoff wins.
On one particular 49ers mishap, Australian rookie returner Jarryd Hayne was trying to catch a punt on the sideline when he was run into by two teammates, first L.J. McCray and then Jaquiski Tartt, and the ball bounced off the pile of 49ers before teammate Dontae Johnson recovered.
Kaepernick, who had played some of his best games against the Packers, went 13 for 25 for 160 yards and a 55.4 passer rating. Carlos Hyde was held to 20 yards on eight carries.
All of this on a day home run king Barry Bonds and the NBA champion Golden State Warriors were in attendance.
“We’ve got to collectively on offense have 11 guys going in the same direction,” coach Jim Tomsula said.
In the third, Green Bay capitalized shortly after San Francisco’s Reggie Bush was stuffed for no gain trying to go up the middle on third-and-11 in a play call that was immediately scrutinized.
On the ensuing drive, James Jones caught a 38-yard pass on the left sideline by barely staying in bounds. Rodgers then scrambled 17 yards to set up John Kuhn’s 1-yard scoring burst.
Green Bay made just enough plays. The Packers sacked Kaepernick on consecutive snaps late in the first half, and the Niners settled for Phil Dawson’s 33-yard field goal in their best scoring opportunity of the day.
“We’re an offense that can run the ball and throw the ball,” Smith said. “We’re not doing either well right now.”
Clay Matthews added his own flair to this one. When he sacked Kaepernick in the third quarter, he kissed his right biceps Kaepernick-style to punctuate the play — one of Green Bay’s six sacks to give the team 13 in the past two games.
The Packers certainly hope their trip to Levi’s Stadium will be the first of two this season. The Super Bowl comes to the second-year, $1.3 billion Bay Area venue in four months for its 50th year celebration.
Rodgers passed for 224 yards and a touchdown, ran 17 yards to set up a key second-half score to lead the Packers to their first 4-0 start in four years.
Green Bay went on the road after a Monday night game for just the fifth time since 2006, improving to 4-1 in those games. The Packers also improved to 10-2 during the regular season in California since 1990.
“We’re 4-0, we’re first in the division and we’re playing the kind of ball we want to play in most of the phases,” Rodgers said matter-of-factly when asked to assess his team. “It was a grind out there.”
Richard Rodgers caught a 9-yard touchdown pass on the game’s opening drive before Aaron Rodgers got his team going in the second half after a slow start.
While methodical with nothing fancy, Green Bay seemed unfazed with a short week and long trip West after beating Kansas City last Monday night. This is the team’s first 4-0 start since winning the initial 13 games in 2011.
“Fortunately, we were able to wear them down both offensively and defensively and get a big road win,” Matthews said.
NOTES: Green Bay S Sean Richardson experienced cramping in the second half but returned. 49ers WR Quinton Patton was checked for a concussion. … Bush returned for the first time since injuring his left calf in a Week 1 win against Minnesota and had just that one run for no yards. … Rodgers was sacked three times to match his combined total in the first three games.