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49ers Baffled After Loss to the Colts

Posted Sep 22, 2013

For the first time in Harbaugh’s tenure, the 49ers dropped consecutive games, falling 27-7 to the Indianapolis Colts at Candlestick Park.

It was a postgame locker room scene that hadn’t been witnessed with Jim Harbaugh as 49ers head coach.

For the first time in Harbaugh’s tenure, the 49ers dropped consecutive games, falling 27-7 to the Indianapolis Colts at Candlestick Park.

“Certainly not proud of we played or coaches,” Harbaugh said.

When the 49ers locker room was opened up to the media, it was clear as daylight, the players were befuddled. Many of them sat in front of their lockers with blank stares, simply shocked at the one-sided home defeat to a team led by Harbaugh’s former college quarterback, Andrew Luck.

The locker room scene was mostly quiet and then it picked up in noise as reporters and cameramen scurried to get around the locker of No. 99, Aldon Smith.


The third-year outside linebacker read a statement in front of the gathered media. Smith, who was arrested Friday morning, apologized for his actions and said he needed to change his behavior. Smith finished the game with five tackles and did not register a sack for the first time this season.

CEO Jed York spoke with the media after Smith’s statement and said the team’s leading pass-rusher will not play on Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Rams. Per York, Smith will be on an indefinite leave of absence.

Harbaugh said the 49ers made an organizational decision to play Smith against the Colts. York felt like it was important for Smith to face his teammates and face the media, but would need to take the necessary steps to handle a personal matter.

At the time of York’s media session, Frank Gore was still sitting at his locker, quiet, looking down at the ground. Gore carried the ball 11 times for 82 yards, but was solemn. He couldn’t be consoled, although right guard Alex Boone spoke with Gore, trying to uplift the franchise’s all-time leading rusher.

The loss was hard to understand for many of the players. Wide receiver Marlon Moore sat in full uniform for 30 minutes after the game. He didn’t feel like getting out of dodge.

“We didn’t make the plays,” Harbaugh said alluding to how the 49ers could not generate offensive momentum.

 The 49ers failed to move the chains throughout the game. They went three-and-out on five occasions; Andy Lee punted the ball seven times, too.

It looked like San Francisco had established success in the run game to start the non-conference matchup with Indianapolis. Kendall Hunter’s 13-yard touchdown run, which turned out to be the 49ers only points of the day, capped a 9-play, 91-yard scoring drive to tie the game at 7.

After the series, the 49ers failed to convert on third downs and saw the Colts score 20 unanswered points.

Colin Kaepernick pointed to himself as a key contributor in the loss. The 49ers quarterback completed 13 of 27 passes for 150 yards and committed two turnovers, a lost fumble and an interception, both in the fourth quarter.

“I have to be better,” said Kaepernick, who noted the Colts spied him throughout the game with a defender in the box and used press-man coverage against his receivers on third downs.

Five of Kaepernick’s 13 completions went to 11-year veteran receiver Anquan Boldin, who finished the game with 67 yards. Kaepernick’s other top target this season, tight end Vernon Davis, was inactive with a hamstring injury.

Without Davis’ services, Kaepernick said it was his responsibility to create plays in the passing game.

“I have to throw receivers open and give them a chance to make plays,” he said.

“I think we’re stopping ourselves,” the 49ers quarterback also added on a day where the offense picked up 14 first downs, totaled 254 yards and was 3-of-12 on third-down conversions. “We just didn’t execute.”

Kaepernick could sum up the outing best by saying he was “frustrated” with how things went.

Luck, Harbaugh’s old pupil, completed 18 of 27 passes for 164 yards. The Colts quarterback finished the game with an 82.9 quarterback rating, but more importantly, he didn’t commit any turnovers.

“Very efficient,” Harbaugh said of Luck. “They made the plays when they needed to.”

The 49ers coach was asked repeatedly about Kaepernick’s second straight loss and if any mechanical or fundamental issues were to blame.

Harbaugh simply said, “I put it really on all of us.”


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