Colin Kaepernick racked up 409 total yards on Sunday in what was his best start of the 2016 season.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback completed 26-of-46 passes on the road in Week 12 for 296 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Kaepernick also gashed the Miami Dolphins for 113 rushing yards on 10 carries.
The focus of Kaepernick's postgame press conference, however, centered around the two yards the quarterback left on the field on the game's final play. Facing 2nd-and-goal from Miami's 6-yard line with :02 left on the clock and needing a touchdown, Kaepernick took off and was stopped two yards shy of the goal line.
A furious comeback attempt fell just short and sealed Miami's 31-24 victory. The Dolphins extended their winning streak to six games while San Francisco dropped its 10th-straight contest.
"You have to get in the end zone," Kaepernick said. Ultimately, that's what it comes down to. We had a pass play called, I thought we had a seam to be able to get in there, and I didn't make it in.
"There was a crease there. (Dolphins linebacker) Kiko (Alonso) did a great job, coming back and making a play."
Kaepernick's first touchdown came on the team's opening drive when he found Pierre Garçon for an 11-yard score. A 4-yard throw to a wide open Garrett Celek in the third quarter was Kaepernick's second touchdown pass. He then threw a perfect fade route to Torrey Smith in the fourth quarter for his third touchdown of the game.
The quarterback now has 10 touchdowns in six starts this year. His 113 rushing yards were a season high.
"I thought Kap did a good job. The interception was a tipped ball. Other than that, I thought he did a good job protecting the ball," Chip Kelly said of Kaepernick postgame. "His ability to keep some drives alive with his feet, I thought he did a good job there."
Kaepernick made clutch throws in crucial situations throughout the game. His 1-yard touchdown to Smith came when the 49ers were down 31-14 midway through the fourth quarter. After San Francisco's defense forced a three-and-out, Kaepernick engineered a 14-play, 77-yard drive that ended in a Phil Dawson field goal to make it a one-score game.
Another three-and-out for the 49ers defense gave San Francisco the ball back at its own 38-yard line with 1:44 to play and one timeout. A 17-yard pass to Smith on 4th-and-11 kept the 49ers hopes alive. Kaepernick followed with a 20-yard scramble. After spiking the ball to stop the clock, Kaepernick threw a perfect sideline pass to Jeremy Kerley, who tapped both feet in bounds for an 18-yard gain.
Kaepernick finished the game 2-of-2 passing on fourth down and helped the 49ers convert on 50 percent of their third-down attempts in Week 12. The quarterback was proud of his team's mentality to fight until the very end.
"The mentality we had was, 'Let's go get this win,'" Kaepernick said. "Our guys did a great job fighting until the very end. At the beginning of the game, I asked (our team) to go four quarters with me and they did. Our defense did a great job at the end to give an opportunity to get the ball back and go score."
But as is the case in any loss, the focus lies on the plays that weren't made. Kaepernick, Kelly and the rest of the 49ers locker room understands that there are no moral victories in the NFL.
"We left some stuff on the field," Kaepernick said. "For me, there were throws that I could have made that were there. As a whole, we can't turn the ball over and win football games. We can't have penalties that stop drives for us. We have to be on top of those things and cut out those mistakes in order to win football games."
Kaepernick and the 49ers will spend the week in Orlando before a Week 13 road game against the 2-9 Chicago Bears.