OAKLAND -– The 49ers’ tumultuous season on and off the field took a whole new turn for the worse on Sunday.
The 49ers were still clinging to hope of the organizations’ fourth consecutive playoff appearance under Jim Harbaugh when the day started. But they made the Raiders, a one-win team coming off a 52-point loss a week earlier, look like one of the NFL’s upper-echelon squads.
Coming off an embarrassing loss on Thanksgiving to the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers followed it up with another sorry showing -– a 24-13 loss to the Raiders in their first game in the East Bay since 2002.
The 49ers (7-6) finish the regular season at Seattle next week before closing out with homes against San Diego and Arizona.
Things looked broken.
And we’re not talking about coach Jim Harbaugh’s bonded tooth, which chipped while he ate dinner Saturday night.
Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks skipped a team meeting on Tuesday, and he did not play in Sunday's game. His benching ended a streak of 60 consecutive starts for Brooks while Harbaugh has been coach.
And without Brooks on the field, the 49ers were unable to generate any semblance of a pass rush against Raiders Derek Carr. With plenty of time to throw, the rookie picked the 49ers apart. He completed 22 of 28 passes for 254 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He engineered two 80-yard touchdown drives in the second half, as the Raiders seized control.
Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick’s doldrums continued.
Coming off a two-interception performance against Seattle on Thanksgiving, Kaepernick was picked off on his first pass attempt of the game. And he never really seemed to recover.
Kaepernick looked for tight end Vernon Davis on the right side, then rolled out to his left and threw deep to Michael Crabtree. Safety Brandian Ross roamed across the field to intercept Kaepernick’s pass. The interception led to Sebastian Janikowski’s 57-yard field goal.
The 49ers settled for a field goal in the third quarter when he was late finding running back Carlos Hyde alone in the right flat. Kaepernick threw late, and he threw low. Hyde was stopped at the 2-yard line to set up Phil Dawson’s 20-yard field goal.
Kaepernick completed 18 of 33 passes for 174 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Running back Frank Gore was not a huge part of the team’s game plan, as he carried just 12 times for 63 yards.
Culliver injured: Cornerback Chris Culliver went down in the second quarter with a left knee injury and did not return. He was carted off the field for further observation. Culliver started 12 of the 49ers’ 13 games this season after he missed all of last season with a torn left ACL he sustained in training camp.
Left guard Mike Iupati sustained an elbow injury and did not start the second half. Joe Looney took over and was on the field for the 49ers’ nine-play, 44-yard drive that resulted in Phil Dawson’s 20-yard field goal for a 13-10 lead with 8:34 remaining in the third quarter.
Brooks benched: Brooks, a Pro Bowl player last season, saw an end to his 60-game streak as a 49ers starter. He was benched for the second time in four games after skipping a team meeting on Tuesday. He said he thought Tuesday was a day off.
Veteran Dan Skuta lined up with the starting unit on Sunday against the Raiders. Rookie Aaron Lynch replaced Skuta in nickel pass-rush situations.
Brooks stood on the sideline with his helmet in his hand and his arms crossed with the 49ers’ defense on the field. The 49ers did not report that Brooks sustained any kind of injury during pregame warm-ups.
On Nov. 16, Brooks did not play in the second half of the 49ers’ victory against the New York Giants after he lashed out at defensive line coach Jim Tomsula on the sideline. Brooks began to see a decrease in his playing time due to Lynch’s emergence as a pass rusher and Aldon Smith’s return from a nine-game suspension.
Patton active: Second-year wide receiver Quinton Patton suited up for a game for the first time this season. Patton has been a healthy scratch for every game this season. He took the spot of struggling Brandon Lloyd, who has just 12 receptions for 268 yards in 11 games this season.
Rookie wide receiver Bruce Ellington, who missed the past three games with an ankle sprain, returned to action and handled the team’s punt and kick return chores.
This ‘n’ that
--On the 49ers third series of the game, Kaepernick helped the 49ers put together a seven-play, 60-yard drive that ended with an 8-yard scoring pass to fullback Bruce Miller. That drive began with a 23-yard pass to tight end Vernon Davis. Miller’s 8-yard touchdown reception was the second of his career. He caught a touchdown as a rookie in 2011.
--Dawson kicked a 54-yard field goal that would have tied the score at 10-10 with 8:28 remaining in the first half, but Garrett Celek was called for holding to wipe the points off the scoreboard.
Dawson did get an opportunity for a long attempt at the end of the first half, and he came through with a 52-yard to pull the 49ers into a 10-10 tie.
--The Raiders took a 10-7 lead in the second quarter when Carr hit offensive lineman Donald Penn on a 3-yard pass, coming on a tackle-eligible play. Penn made the catch, absorbed a big hit from 49ers safety Eric Reid and tumbled into the end zone.
--Coach Jim Harbaugh’s bonded tooth –- from a chip originally knocked out during his playing days -- broke off while he was eating last night.
--Ronnie Lott, a first-ballot Hall of Famer who played for the 49ers for the first 10 seasons of his career, took part in a pregame ceremony to light the torch in memory of Al Davis. Lott played two seasons with the Raiders before ending his career with the New York Jets.