That woeful performance has reignited a fresh debate about Kaepernick's progress. While the quarterback's had some nice moments this season, the 49ers' passing attack has struggled overall. ESPN's Trent Dilfer noted that Kaepernick becomes a "remedial" passer when his first read is taken away.
Kaepernick responded on Wednesday.
"I didn't hear what he had to say, but he's not in the building with us," Kaepernick said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. "So what he's saying really doesn't affect me at all. I'm worried about what this team thinks, and what I'm doing in here with my teammates."
Dilfer's specific critique was then explained to Kaepernick.
"I think you should ask him if he knows what my progression is first before he says that," Kaepernick said.
Kaepernick has been known to take motivation from outside sources before. He has started to "favorite" negative tweets about him on Twitter once again.
This much is inarguable: The 49ers have struggled to get the ball to outside receivers all season. When tight end Vernon Davis went out with a concussion against Carolina, Kaepernick couldn't find any open receivers. And he didn't have great protection.
The road to the Super Bowl in the NFC likely goes through the Seattle Seahawks, and it's possible the 49ers could see the Panthers again down the line. The team needs to find a way to survive against top-flight defenses.