Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been one of the most careful quarterbacks in the league the last two seasons, with only 11 interceptions in the regular season.
Four of them, however, were during two games in Seattle, one of the biggest reasons the 49ers lost both games.
“The Seattle defense is looking to get the ball at all times, create turnovers in any situation, generate them on all downs,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday of the Seahawks, who led the league with 39 takeaways during the regular season. “They’re looking to take the ball away.”
During their two previous trips to Seattle, the 49ers also fumbled three times.
And that doesn’t count a block of David Akers’ field-goal attempt in 2012 that Richard Sherman returned 90 yards for a touchdown. It came on the first play of the second quarter of what quickly turned into a 42-13 rout by the Seahawks. A promising 49ers’ drive in the first quarter of their most recent trip to Seattle, a 29-3 win by the Seahawks, ended when safety Earl Thomas intercepted Kaepernick’s pass to Vernon Davis.
The 49ers have not been perfect in their recent home wins against Seattle, either. Alex Smith threw an interception in 2012, and Kaepernick threw one on Dec. 8. But the turnover ratio has been even in those games while it’s been lopsided, 7-2, in the two games in Seattle.
Kaepernick threw an interception in the second quarter against Green Bay in the wild-card playoff game, but the 49ers did not commit any turnovers Sunday in Carolina. They got out to quick starts in both playoff games, subduing the crowd early.
“I think we came out and executed better to start games,” Kaepernick said. “That’s something we try to do throughout the whole game.”
Kaepernick threw only eight interceptions in 16 starts this season. The only other regular starter with fewer interceptions was Smith, who had seven in 15 starts.
Cornerback Carlos Rogers (hamstring) and fullback Will Tukuafu (knee) practiced on a limited basis. Tukuafu, injured on the 49ers’ opening drive against the Panthers, had a brace on his left knee.
Defensive end Justin Smith, center Jonathan Goodwin and defensive end Demarcus Dobbs also missed practice. Smith and Goodwin typically have Wednesdays off because of their veteran status. Dobbs was hurt against the Packers but played against Carolina.