When a team plays its first game coming off a bye, one is never sure how well that respective team will play. In the case of the San Francisco 49ers in their Week 10 game against the Carolina Panthers, the defense showed up and played well but the offense did not. And as a result of their inefficient and ineffective play on Sunday afternoon, the 49ers lost 10-9 in a loss which goes under the category of a bad loss given the team’s schedule in the second half of the season.
From the very beginning of the game it was clear that the 49ers’ offense was going to struggle. While Frank Gore got off to a good start, the second half of the formula that saw the offense play as well as it did during their five-game winning streak in the efficient passing from Colin Kaepernick was non-existent on this day. The 49ers’ offense had a chance to turn two Panthers turnovers into touchdowns, but instead of scoring touchdowns they could only score two field goals. This reprieve gave the Panthers defense the confidence needed to make it tough on San Francisco for the rest of the game.
From the first quarter on, the 49ers’ offense would operate under the monicker of taking two steps forward and three steps back. Whether it was Kaepernick not being able to find a receiver to throw the ball to down the field as a result of being pressured or a big dropped pass by the likes of Vance McDonald which was a drive killer, the 49ers’ offense was unable to be very productive. The lack of weapons issue that the 49ers were able to overcome in the first half of the season was obvious on Sunday, especially once Vernon Davis left with a concussion in the second quarter.
When an offense finishes with a net total of 151 yards it is fair to assume that the team of said offense did not win their respective game. Against the Panthers on Sunday it was the 49ers’ offense which finished with the net total of 151 yards, and as a result the blame for the 10-9 loss falls on them. Given the schedule the 49ers have in their remaining seven games, the offense will have to re-discover itself if the 49ers intend on making a return to the playoffs and being contenders when they get there.