As far as silver linings go, Colin Kaepernick's performance on Sunday evening was about as redeeming as they get.
After turning in subpar outings in each of the last two weeks, the quarterback rebounded to lead the San Francisco 49ers on three second-half touchdown drives in New York. And although Kaepernick's night, which ended at 23-of-35 passing for 262 yards and two touchdowns, wasn't enough for the win, the signal-caller expressed confidence in the direction that the offense is moving.
"I'm never going to accept losing. I'm never going to be happy losing," Kaepernick said following the last-minute, 30-27 loss to the Giants. "But I thought this team played well. Offensively, we found a rhythm and had big players make big plays for us.
"It's something we can build on moving forward, but we have to win games. That's why we play."
The San Francisco offense, which totaled 10 points in its previous two games, went to the half with just a pair of field goals on the board. But in the final 30 minutes, the unit scored 21 points and only punted once.
Kaepernick made several impressive throws and finished with his highest passer rating of the year at 107.1. His favorite target was Anquan Boldin, whom he connected with eight times for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Most importantly, the quarterback did not turn the ball over after he threw five interceptions in his previous two contests. Kaepernick also snapped the ball from under center more frequently, allowing him to use play-action and bootlegs to stretch the defense. As a product, the Giants only managed two sacks for six yards.
"Offensive line played great tonight all-around," Kaepernick said. "They allowed Carlos to run, they gave us time to throw the ball and allowed our receivers to make plays."
With all of the national headlines focusing on Kaepernick's struggles entering the game, the quarterback was asked if he felt added pressure on Sunday.
"No. To me, I just had to go back out and play football," Kaepernick said. "It's a game at the end of the day. It's not life or death. I go out, play to win and do everything I can to help this team win."
It appeared as if Kaepernick did enough to lead the 49ers to victory when a Pierre Garçon touchdown put the team ahead, 27-23, with under two minute remaining in regulation. The Giants, however, proceeded to drive the length of the field for a game-winning score.
With a 1-4 record, the 49ers now face a rather steep uphill climb if they are to make the postseason. Kaepernick, for one, believes the team can make such an improbable run happen.
"To me, there are still 11 more games. We have an opportunity to go 12-4," Kaepernick said. "That's a good record, and that's what we're aiming for, but we have to get our first win under our belt to get that streak going and get on that path."