SANTA CLARA -- Colin Kaepernick is coping with a loss for the first time in seven weeks, and he's doing so by creating a post-loss ritual. The 49ers' third-year quarterback is acknowledging negative posts about him on Twitter for the first time since those consecutive defeats in September.
Kaepernick passed for just 91 yards and got sacked six times -- his career-worst marks as a starter -- in the 49ers' 10-9 loss Sunday to the Carolina Panthers.
Rather than post comments himself in the ensuing 24 hours, he scoured his Twitter mentions for hateful comments as an apparent motivational tactic.
"I saw Kap becoming this from his Super Bowl performance ... he couldn't handle the pressure either," posted @KEOSB3000.
"You are an overrated clown, keep killing your team's chances dumb (expletive) lol," wrote @Fishmancer.
"I say this CONSTANTLY '@FreeLaddin: Bro, you suck. Shoulda kept Alex Smith @Kaepernick7,' " tweeted (@WWCKD.
"TOO MUCH HYPE before he proved anything," @KEOSB3000 tweeted in response to another post defending Kaepernick as "only" a third-year quarterback in his first full season as a starter.
Those four tweets were the first Kaepernick "favorited" since Sept. 24, when the 49ers were coming off back-to-back defeats to the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts. Kaepernick and the 49ers responded by going on a five-game win streak that lasted until Sunday's home loss to the Panthers.
When it was discovered he highlighted anti-Kaepernick tweets two months ago, he told reporters: "It's something that I do for me. It helps me."
Kaepernick already has suffered as many losses this season (three) as he did last season, including the Super Bowl XLVII defeat in New Orleans, which is where the 49ers (6-3) are headed next to face the Saints (7-2) on Sunday.
He's gained nearly 55,000 Twitter followers in less than two months since the 49ers' last loss, with that @Kaepernick7 follow-odometer approaching 435,000. He has almost twice as many followers on Instagram, where his last picture showed his game-day "swag" of headphones, gloves, cleats and a camouflage towel.