Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

The 49ers' Colin Kaepernick fumbles after a hit by Seattle's Cliff Avril (56) in the second quarter.

Kaepernick struggles as 49ers get pounded by Seahawks

Published: Monday, Sep. 16, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Monday, Sep. 16, 2013 - 12:44 am

SEATTLE – The lightning crashed, and so did the 49ers' offense.

After throwing for 412 yards against the Packers a week earlier, Colin Kaepernick on Sunday found the coverage suffocating and the noise deafening at CenturyLink Field. The 49ers quarterback threw three interceptions – including one by noted 49ers scourge Richard Sherman – fumbled and finished with just 127 passing yards in a 29-3 loss to the Seahawks.

Seattle (2-0) took an early one-game lead in the NFC West. The game was delayed for an hour in the first quarter because of lightning strikes in the area.

Kaepernick's passing total was a career low and his interceptions a career high. He had never thrown more than one in his previous 11 starts.

"We're not going to win games if I play like that," he said.

Kaepernick had plenty of company at the bottom of the stat sheet as the 49ers (1-1) again unraveled at the home of their rivals.

Anquan Boldin, who finished with 208 receiving yards a week ago, had one catch for 7 yards against the Seahawks. Frank Gore finished with 16 yards on nine carries, a 1.8-yard average.

Three 49ers – Aldon Smith, Vance McDonald and Anthony Davis – were hit with personal fouls after reacting to Seahawks players eager to goad them into silly penalties. A week after committing 11 penalties, the 49ers had 12 against the Seahawks.

"We definitely made things harder on ourselves," coach Jim Harbaugh said.

The 49ers also got beaten up for the second straight time in Seattle.

Nose tackle Ian Williams is out for an extended period with a broken ankle, and rookie safety Eric Reid, who had an interception in the first quarter, left with a concussion.

Tight end Vernon Davis, who had three catches for 20 yards, suffered a hamstring strain on Sherman's fourth-quarter interception and did not return.

Defensive end Ray McDonald limped off the field late in the fourth quarter with a sprained ankle.

Like Kaepernick, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson struggled at times but made several plays when he was on the run. The biggest came in the third quarter, when he escaped the pocket and saw that receiver Doug Baldwin had gotten behind safety Donte Whitner.

Baldwin hauled in an easy 51-yard reception, and six plays later Marshawn Lynch rumbled into the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown that gave Seattle a 12-0 lead.

The 49ers responded with a nine-play drive that included a 28-yard scramble by Kaepernick. Unlike last week, when he encountered a Packers defense that was geared to stop the 49ers' running game, especially the read-option attack, Kaepernick found more running room and led the 49ers with 87 rushing yards.

The running opportunities, however, shrank the closer he got to the end zone.

The third-quarter drive bogged down inside the Seahawks' 10-yard line, and San Francisco had to settle for a chip-shot field goal by Phil Dawson.

Following a blocked punt by Craig Dahl in the first quarter, Kaepernick drove the 49ers to the Seattle 5. His third-down pass to a well-covered Davis, however, was tipped in the air and intercepted by safety Earl Thomas.

The 49ers' offense dealt with terrible field position throughout the evening.

In the second quarter, the 49ers were backed against the Seahawks' noisy east end zone when, with Kaepernick standing behind the goal line, fullback Bruce Miller was flagged for holding, which resulted in a safety.

Later in the second quarter, Kaepernick was searching for an open receiver on third down when he was hit from behind by Cliff Avril, dislodging the ball. Linebacker K.J. Wright recovered, and six plays later Steven Hauschka connected on a 30-yard field goal, the only offensive points of the first half.

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