Sherman gets best of Kaepernick, Roman

Richard Sherman intercepted Colin Kaepernick twice Thursday in his the Seahawks' dominating win, and had a few things to say about it. Surprise, surprise. Could Thursday's performance lead to a shakeup in the 49ers' coaching staff?

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Admittedly, Colin Kaepernick did not play well Thursday after noting during the week he had no objection to throwing to Richard Sherman's side of the field.

"I’ll throw to whoever’s open," Kaepernick said Monday.

Kaepernick rarely had open receivers in Seattle's 19-3 Thanksgiving handling of the 49ers. He threw two interceptions to Sherman, underscoring a dreadful offensive performance at the hands of the Seahawks' top-ranked defense.

It was Kaepernick's worst statistical showing since Nov. 10 of last season when San Francisco lost to the Carolina Panthers, 10-9. But in that game, the 49ers managed nine points. Thursday, the 49ers had three possessions longer than six plays and were in Seattle's territory just twice. Their only score came on a 40-yard Phil Dawson field goal in the third quarter.

Kaepernick, who had thrown for 200 yards in 10 of his 11 games coming in, couldn't identify why he was so out of sync. He finished with 121 yards on 16 of 29 completions.

"I wish I knew. I just didn’t make the throws that I should have tonight,” he said.

Kaepernick's first interception came on a first-quarter throw to Brandon Lloyd along the right boundary. It was a timing route, where the throw was made before Lloyd turned back for the ball. Lloyd turned over his right shoulder. The throw went to his left, right to Sherman.

"He left the throw inside. The right route was run,” head coach Jim Harbaugh said after the game.

Sherman's next pick came early in the fourth quarter with San Francisco down 16. Kaepernick was flushed right and looked for Stevie Johnson along the right sideline. The only problem? Sherman was standing right in front of the target.

"He said he was throwing to the open man. He didn't care who was out there," Sherman said. "I was the open man."

Sherman made sure the 49ers knew what happened, taunting his rivals' sideline just as he did in the conference title game, drawing a flag after tipping Kaepernick's pass intended for Michael Crabtree to Malcolm Smith.

Johnson and Lloyd were Kaepernick's two most-targeted receivers Thursday, getting six apiece. Johnson finished with three catches for 28 yards. Lloyd made just one grab for six.

San Francisco's starting receivers, Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, combined to make six catches for 38 yards. Crabtree temporarily left the game after injuring his knee on the his second offensive snap. The ailment was originally reported as a rib injury by the team, but he returned to the game.

“On the field, he talked about his knee and then he said it calmed down. He came to the sideline and was able to go back in,” Harbaugh said.

The 49ers ranked 13th in the NFL in scoring last season, averaging 24.7 points per game. They entered Thursday ranked 25th, despite injecting the offense with Johnson, Lloyd, and a healthy Crabtree after he missed 11 games recovering from a torn Achilles in 2013.

This year, San Francisco is scoring 19 points per game, even with those new weapons.

The scrutiny of offensive coordinator Greg Roman grows by the week and might be at an all-time high after Thursday's performance. But Kaepernick said he doesn't think any drastic steps need to be taken at this point.

“Everything we need is in the building," he said. "We have great players across our offense. We have to go out and play like it."

Does Harbaugh, who constantly evaluates his offense and splits play calling duty, see any major changes coming?

"We’ll do that again. We’ll evaluate it. I don’t know what you refer to with major changes," Harbaugh said.

Next story:

Seahawks put 49ers on brink

E-mail Niners Digest: NinersDigest@gmail.com

Follow Editor-in-Chief Chris Biderman on Twitter.

Get updates from Niners Digest by following here and become a subscriber to receive access to premium content and analysis.


Niners Digest Top Stories