Carlos Hyde’s best run in Week 1 came when he waited for his blockers to cross in front of him, then burst through an opening for an 11-yard touchdown.
That patience, he said, was missing in Week 2.
“What I saw was me not performing well,” he said Sunday. “I come off a good week and then I perform that way, (it’s) just unacceptable. I have to get better. I have to do better. I have to not put the ball on the ground. I’ll get better. I have to.”
After averaging 3.8 yards a carry and scoring twice against the Rams last week, Hyde had only 34 yards on 14 carries – a 2.4-yard average – against the Panthers. Carolina also scored its first points of the game after gathering up a Hyde fumble and returning it for a 9-yard touchdown.
Hyde mostly was used in the short passing game in the second half, although quarterback Blaine Gabbert’s 1-yard touchdown run came when most of the Panthers defense thought Hyde would get the ball on a read-option play.
Shaun Draughn added 21 yards on nine attempts, a 2.3-yard average.
“It wasn’t like it was a loaded box,” Chip Kelly said. “… We didn’t win the line of scrimmage, and when you don’t win the line of scrimmage you’re not going to run the ball consistently.”
Anthem protest grows – The number of 49ers protesting during the national anthem grew to six Sunday.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid knelt for the third straight game while defensive players Antoine Bethea, Eli Harold, Jaquiski Tartt and Rashard Robinson raised their right fists during the anthem ceremony. Harold and Bethea raised their fists during the Week 1 anthem.
“It’s something I wanted to do, and I finally did it this week,” Tartt said. “I feel like I’d be turning my back on my family if I didn’t. I mean, Kaepernick – I feel like he’s doing a good thing.”
The group has said it is protesting to draw attention to racial inequity, including police brutality.
“You’ve got people fighting for this country and doing a lot for this country,” Tartt said. “And at the end of the day, they’re fighting for freedom, equality … and I feel that’s something we haven’t been getting.”
None of the Panthers players protested.
Short kicks – Phil Dawson replaced big-legged Bradley Pinion on kickoffs Sunday because the 49ers wanted to pin Panthers return man Ted Ginn Jr. with directional kicks.
“We felt like when Teddy gets in the open field it’s not a good matchup for us,” Dawson said. “So if we could condense the field and get the ball over in the corner with some hang (time), make him go lateral as opposed to vertical, it might work for us.”
It mostly did. Ginn averaged 21. 7 yards on six returns and had trouble collecting one of Dawson’s kicks in the fourth quarter. The 49ers recovered the ball and quickly converted the turnover into a touchdown.
Ginn, however, returned the ensuing kickoff 59 yards, which led to a Carolina field goal. Dawson said that was the only kick he booted to the left side in the game.
Et cetera – Tackles Anthony Davis (concussion) and John Theus were declared inactive before the game. That made guard Zane Beadles the 49ers’ backup offensive tackle. Beadles played six games at right tackle when he was with the Broncos in 2010.
▪ First-round draft pick Joshua Garnett was in uniform and made his debut for the 49ers when he blocked for a first-quarter field goal. Cornerback Chris Davis also played after missing last week’s game because of a hamstring injury.
▪ Robinson left the game in the second quarter and was replaced by Keith Reaser. Linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong suffered a pectoral injury in the second quarter and did not return.