For 30 minutes on Sunday, Blaine Gabbert and the San Francisco 49ers offense showed how well they could move the ball when they're rolling.
Unfortunately for the 49ers, the game's final 30 minutes saw the team sputter as it lost its offensive footing.
After scoring 17-first-half points and gaining 265 first-half yards, San Francisco was shut out in the second half and fell to the Detroit Lions, 32-17, at Ford Field.
"It was a tale of two halves," Gabbert said postgame. "We've been starting slow and finishing strong and it was just opposite today. We have to find a way to put a complete game together and execute at a higher level."
Gabbert finished his afternoon 22-of-33 passing for 225 yards and two touchdowns. His 106.2 passer rating marked a new season high.
The quarterback's first touchdown pass came on the team's opening possession, when he connected with Garrett Celek on play action for a 1-yard strike. In the second quarter, Gabbert found Torrey Smith on a slant route for a 16-yard touchdown.
"We were starting to gel a little bit – playing smart football," Gabbert said. "We established the run and the offensive line did a tremendous job all day setting the tone and giving me time. We just didn't do enough at the end of the day. It's tough."
Gabbert did not throw an interception for the fourth time in his seven starts this year, but he did commit a costly turnover. Midway through the second quarter, the signal-caller fumbled at the 1-yard line to set up a Detroit touchdown the next play.
"That's a tough one. That one is on me," Gabbert said. "I have to find a way to get the ball out first and foremost. And you have to protect the ball when the pocket is collapsing like that."
In the second half, San Francisco managed to gain just 57 yards. Moreover, the team ran just 20 plays on offense after the break and picked up four first downs.
"They brought a little more pressure in the second half, but with that being said, we knew what they were going to do," Gabbert said. "We had a great game plan, we prepared extremely well during the week, we just did not execute at a high enough level in the second half."
Gabbert pointed to the play of DuJuan Harris (84 total yards), Jarryd Hayne (47 total yards) and Trent Brown (first career start) as bright spots for the 49ers on Sunday.
"But there's no moral victories in the National Football League," Gabbert added. "We have to find a way to get wins. Plain and simple."
The 49ers finish the 2015 campaign at home next week against the division-rival St. Louis Rams. San Francisco will be searching for its first win in the NFC West this year and to enter the offseason on a high note.
"We have one game left, we're not going to playoffs, but we're looking to get better as a team," Gabbert said. "Let's go get a win next week."