OAKLAND, Calif. – The San Francisco 49ers are playing themselves right out of the playoff picture.
Two duds in 11 days. A faltering quarterback and offense. A nonexistent pass rush against a rookie quarterback.
Colin Kaepernick followed one of his worst outings as a pro with another surprising flop, and Jim Harbaugh's 49ers were stunned by the Oakland Raiders franchise that gave him his coaching start in a 24-13 defeat Sunday.
Now, will the Raiders give him his next job?
Harbaugh sparked further chatter about where he might wind up next season when he walked out of the tunnel and straight to Raiders owner Mark Davis for a quick chat. Harbaugh worked as an offensive assistant with the Raiders in 2002-03 under late owner Al Davis.
"My priorities are No. 1 winning football games, No. 2, with the welfare of our players, coaches and our staff, and lastly is what my personal and professional future is," said Harbaugh, who was later asked if he even wanted to be back, "My priorities are winning games."
Kaepernick threw an interception on the first play, and found himself on his backside following a fifth sack when it finally ended with the Raiders (2-11) celebrating on their home field a week after a 52-0 loss at St. Louis.
These Niners (7-6) hardly look like a team that entered the season with the swagger of a franchise that has reached three straight NFC championship games and had a Super Bowl-or-bust mentality for 2014. That "Who's got it better than us? No-body!" has quickly turned to a mantra of playing to stave off elimination each week.
They're not doing it.
From dominant to dumbfounded.
"I don't think we overlooked this team," tight end Vernon Davis said.
Kaepernick went 18 for 33 for 174 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The five sacks gave him a league-high 43 this year.
"I'm giving everything I have every time I step on the field," succinct-as-ever Kaepernick said. "I have to play better. I haven't played well."
Phil Dawson's 20-yard field goal midway through the third gave the 49ers a brief lead. But he missed wide left from 47 yards with about five minutes left and had an earlier 54-yarder negated by a holding penalty.
Rookie Derek Carr produced one of his best performances and completely outclassed Kaepernick, who said a cameraman got too close to his face at halftime and, "If I put something real close to your face you're going to try to move out of the way, too."
A defense that has carried San Francisco in recent weeks when the offense couldn't find a groove showed its flaws against the NFL's biggest loser.
Carr rarely faced any pressure, giving him plenty of time to find open receivers downfield. He hit Mychal Rivera down the middle for a 27-yard gain and completed all five of his passes for 73 yards on the go-ahead drive.
Carr threw three touchdown passes, including a 9-yarder to Marcel Reece late in the third quarter that gave the Raiders the lead for good. The Raiders and 49ers renewed their rivalry at the Coliseum for the first time since 2002.
"They were able to go out there and take advantage of the mistakes we made. He did a good job of getting the ball out and using his protection," linebacker Aldon Smith said. "I don't know if shock's the word I'm going to use. We're a competitive team, we're a good team and every week we go out I expect for us to win. So I wasn't expecting the result."
The 49ers surrendered the first back-to-back touchdown drives for the Raiders all season.
Offensive lineman Donald Penn even got into the action for Oakland, catching a 3-yard TD pass from Carr. It was the 330-pound offensive lineman's third career touchdown and second against San Francisco.
49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks was benched for missing a defensive meeting Tuesday morning, though he made it to a domestic violence meeting an hour later. He said he wasn't told he wouldn't start or not play at all.
"They have their plan of what they want to do and all I can do as a player is just abide by the rules," he said. "No, I do not agree. I'm just a player, I'm just a number."
NOTES: CB Chris Culliver injured his left knee when he went down with 11:03 left in the second quarter, but said afterward he was OK. Culliver missed the 2013 season because of a torn ACL in the same knee. ... San Francisco LG Mike Iupati injured an elbow and rookie C Marcus Martin injured his right knee when Kaepernick was sacked with 5:20 left.
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