SANTA CLARA – The 49ers have failed to score any points in the second halves of their past three games.
The 49ers’ season-long problems after halftime have taken on epic proportions as the team’s losing streak has reached an incomprehensible 13 consecutive games heading into Saturday's matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.
And, clearly, the 49ers are short on answers why their production has fallen off as each game progresses. The 49ers have scored first in 10 of their 14 games this season. Three times along the way, the 49ers blew 14-0 leads.
“I don’t know the answer to that,” 49ers offensive lineman Zane Beadles said. “You can’t be one team in the first half and another team in the second half if you expect to win football games. I have no explanation for you.”
The second-half struggles of quarterback Colin Kaepernick have been most noteworthy.
In the first half of his nine starts, Kaepernick is completing 71.7 percent of his 120 pass attempts for 1,072 yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating is 119.9.
But in the second half, Kaepernick’s completion percentage has fallen to 42.6 percent. He has just 675 yards passing on 148 attempts with three touchdowns and one interception. His passer rating is 60.5 percent.
The 49ers have scored just 23 points in the third quarter this season.
“It’s something that we have to be able to come out and make plays,” Kaepernick said. “There are opportunities on the field and we have opportunities to create more opportunities.
“We can’t take any opportunity for granted when we have it. Whether it’s a third down conversion, whether it’s being able to pick up a few more yards on first or second down, all of those things count, especially for us right now where we haven’t played as well in the second half. We have to do everything we can and pick up every yard we can on every play in order to be better there.”
Coach Chip Kelly blamed the abundance of dropped passes for much of the 49ers’ offensive woes after halftime.
“It’s not the same guy, so it’s obviously right across the board,” Kelly said. “But offensively one of the biggest things that have hurt us are the drops.
“We go through the whole thing. The one thing you can’t control sometimes. There are guys open and Colin is putting the ball on them. And, now, we’re not catching the football.”
And when Kaepernick is off-target with his passes, Kelly said some of that could be blamed on a need for him to deliver the perfect, catchable pass to his unreliable targets.
“Some of that is mental, too,” Kelly said. “When you get a drop, sometimes the quarterback now you lose a little confidence and I’m going to try to place the ball. Now I become a little more inaccurate because I want to make sure . . . some of it kind of compounds itself.”
Kelly said he and his coaching staff have not been able to identity a specific, fixable solution on which to focus to prevent the offense’s second-half problems.