Kaepernick Not Great as 49ers Get Mauled By Bills 45-16

Buffalo Bills tight end Charles Clay (85) puts a move on San Francisco 49ers cornerback Keith Reaser (27) during the first quarter at New Era Field on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

(Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

The Buffalo Bills were heavy favorites in this game. And those were very accurate and fair odds. The story of the game for the San Francisco 49ers was the return of QB Colin Kaepernick, finishing  13/29 (bad completion percentage) with 187 yards and a touchdown; he also rushed for 66 yards on 8 carries. He was slightly better than Blaine Gabbert.

Still the 49ers’ defense was just awful as RB LeSean McCoy torched them for 140 yards on 19 carries with 3 touchdowns;  QB Tyrod Taylor also had a big game with 179 yards and 2 touchdowns as the 49ers lost 45-16.

Kaepernick had a decent first half in this game, despite some characteristically inaccurate throws. After a 27-yard punt from P Bradley Pinion on the first drive, the DE Arik Armstead forced a Tyrod Taylor fumble and DE DeForest Buckner recovered it, setting the 49ers up for a field goal. At this point, Kaepernick was having success on the ground and in the air.

Like other 49er games this year, this one looked promising. Then, however, McCoy and Taylor dissected the 49ers’ defense for a 75-yard touchdown drive, putting them up 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Kaepernick struck back however, rushing well and eventually throwing a 53-yard touchdown to WR Torrey Smith, who had been very underutilized this season until this game. He finished the game with 3 receptions for 76 yards.

WATCH: 49ers Colin Kaepernick Strikes Gold With WR Torrey Smith For 53-Yard Touchdown!

The Bills struck again on their next drive, however, getting a 38-yard run from McCoy, who eventually took a direct snap and plowed his way into the end zone. After scoring a field goal, the 49ers’ defense allowed McCoy to charge up the field for 22 yards on 3rd and 20. The Bills scored a field goal right before the end of the half to put them up 17-13.

After trading punts a few times to begin the third, Kaepernick broke threw on a 3rd down for a 29-yard gain. Unfortunately, on 4th and 1, RB Mike Davis was stuffed at the 40 yard line and the Bills took over with 5 minutes left in the quarter with the same score of 17-13.

On the ensuing drive, Taylor hit TE Nick O’Leary for a 23 yard gain; then, WR Justin Hunter burned S Eric Reid for a 30 yard touchdown, expanding the Bills’ lead to 11. At this point, the game got out of hand for the 49ers towards the end of third. with the Bills leading 24-13.

A 49er field goal was followed by another Bills touchdown, making the score 31-16 and officially putting things out of reach for the Niners. To make matters worse, WR Keshawn Martin fumbled the ball on the kick return and the Bills capitalized with yet another touchdown.

Two more Bills’ touchdowns in garbage time put them up 45-16, the final score.

The 49ers were just awful today. Both their offense and defense needs some serious weapons before they can actually start to compete. The only positive takeaway from this game for them would be that Kaepernick, despite many inaccurate throws, wasn’t awful in the pocket and made some smart choices.

Is this season salvageable?

Tej is a Bay Area native and Senior Staff writer for NinerFans.com. A devout San Francisco 49ers and Golden State Warriors fan, Tej is determined to get you the information you crave. His work has been featured on the FanSided Network, Bleacher Report, and Sports Illustrated.