SANTA CLARA – Quick starts have not been a problem for the 49ers this season.
On Sunday, the 49ers scored first against the New York Jets and held a 14-point lead in the first half. And, once again, the 49ers squandered the lead at the end of the regulation as Nick Folk hit a 50-yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining to force overtime.
In a season of horrendous losses, this was easily the worst for a 49ers team that now has lost 12 consecutive games.
Jets running back Bilal Powell broke over left tackle for a 19-yard touchdown with 8:41 remaining in the extra period to cap the Jets’ first possession of overtime for a 23-17 victory over the beleaguered 49ers in front of as many no-shows as fans at Levi’s Stadium.
Running back Carlos Hyde was stopped for no gain up the middle on a fourth-and-2 play on the 49ers’ opening drive of overtime to set up the Jets’ winning score.
The Jets pulled to within a field goal on Powell’s 5-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Bryce Petty got into the end zone on the two-point conversion to cut the 49ers’ lead to 17-14 with 5:04 remaining in regulation.
Powell finished with 145 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
The 49ers managed just 47 total yards of offense and two first downs in the second half to enable New York to tie the game.
The 49ers scored first for the 10th time this season. Earlier this season, the 49ers had 14-0 leads over Dallas and Tampa Bay at Levi’s Stadium before squandering those advantages into losses of 24-17 and 34-17.
The only other teams to lose nine games in a game when scoring first since 1940 are the 2011 Miami Dolphins and 1990 Denver Broncos, according to Pro Football Reference.
The 49ers got a strong start from running back Carlos Hyde, who gained 141 yards on just seven rushing attempts in the first half. He also caught a 7-yard touchdown pass on the team’s first offensive snap of the game.
Hyde finished with a career-high 193 yards on 17 rushing attempts.
Colin Kaepernick got off to a good start after being benched in the fourth quarter last week against the Chicago Bears. Kaepernick became the first quarterback in NFL history with fewer than 5 yards passing and five sacks in the same game.
Kaepernick completed his first seven pass attempts for 95 yards before cooling off.
He finished the game with 15 completions on 26 pass attempts for 133 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. After the 49ers took a 17-3 lead late in the second quarter, the 49ers’ offense went dormant for much of the second half.
Petty, making his second career start, got the call in place of struggling veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. Petty, a second-year player from Baylor, completed 23 of 35 passes for 257 yards.
Corner theft: Through 12 games, the 49ers had not recorded an interception from their cornerbacks. But that changed Sunday on the first pass attempt of the game of New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty.
Cornerback Jimmie Ward jumped Quincy Enunwa’s route on the right side for the interception. He returned the ball 8 yards before losing his footing at the Jets’ 7-yard line. It was the second interception of Ward’s three-year career.
On the 49ers’ first offensive play of the game, Kaepernick hit Hyde for a 7-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
The 49ers’ other starting cornerback, Tramaine Brock, who has 10 career interception, has been shut out this season.
Injury report: Wide receiver Torrey Smith, tight end Vance McDonald and center Daniel Kilgore sustained injuries that forced them out of Sunday’s game.
Smith sustained concussion in the third quarter Sunday and did not return to action. Smith went up, along with New York Jets cornerback Juston Burris, for a deep pass from Colin Kaepernick in the third quarter. Smith jumped for the ball, which landed incomplete, and appeared to land on his head and shoulder area.
He remained motionless on the Levi’s Stadium turf for several seconds. After the team’s medical staff encircled him, Smith sat up after several moments. He was taken off the field on a cart and transported to the locker room area for further examination.
Kilgore sustained a leg injury in the first quarter and was immediately ruled out from a return. Kilgore was injured on a play in which quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed a 6-yard pass to Quinton Patton. Kilgore remained on the ground, grabbing behind his right leg.
McDonald, whom the 49ers signed to a five-year contract extension on Friday, sustained a shoulder injury in the first half and did not return, either. Garrett Celek replaced McDonald in the lineup.
Marcus Martin, who started the game at left guard, moved to center in place of Kilgore. Martin started 14 games last season while Kilgore was recovering from a fractured lower leg sustained during the 2014 season.
The Jets were also hit by a key injury in the first quarter, as running back Matt Forte was ruled out with a knee injury. Forte had 8 yards on three rushing attempts before the injury.
The 49ers led 14-0 at the end of one quarter.