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Up next: San Francisco 49ers
A look at the Seahawks’ opponent for their home opener on Sunday night at CenturyLink Field:
When: Sunday, 5:30 p.m., CenturyLink Field
Record: 1-0 after beating the Green Bay Packers 34-28 in their opener
Where they rank: No. 2 on offense (tied for 12th rushing, 3rd passing); No. 22 on defense (tied for 6th rushing, 25th passing)
TV: KING/5, with Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya
Series: Tied 14-14 after the teams split last season’s home-and-home series – the 49ers winning 13-6 in San Francisco in Week 7; the Seahawks winning 42-13 at CenturyLink Field in Week 16
Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers’ quarterback has been everywhere, and not just on the field where he is a dual threat as a passer and runner. This offseason, Kaepernick and his tattoos were featured on the cover of GQ and also in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue. He also won an ESPY, beating out Seahawks QB Russell Wilson in the “Best Breakthrough Athlete” category. Wilson and Kaepernick even appear in a commercial together for the Madden 25 video game where Wilson does a Kaepernick kiss by smooching his biceps. But back to the field, the best way to sum up what Kaepernick has brought to the Bay Area since being installed as the starter at midseason a year ago is to look at his last two efforts against the Green Bay Packers. In a divisional round playoff game in January, Kaepernick ran for 181 yards – an NFL record for a quarterback – and two touchdowns in the 49ers’ 45-31 victory. Sunday, he passed for 412 yards and three TDs in the opener against the Packers. As 49ers fullback Bruce Miller put it, “You can’t characterize him. He’s not a runner. He’s not a sit-in-the-pocket passer. He’s his own monster.”
Vernon Davis. Unsung might not be the proper term to describe the 49ers’ tight end, who was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2009. But in discussing the 49ers’ offense on Monday, Earl Thomas offered, “They’ve got three great players on that offense.” That would be Kaepernick, running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Anquan Boldin. But the Seahawks’ All-Pro free safety quickly amended that assessment by adding, “I might as well say four with Vernon. Because with Vernon, you always have to know where he’s at because he’s so fast.” Davis caught six passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers. But in two games against the Seahawks last season, Davis caught one pass for 27 yards. And that first-quarter play came with a catch, as Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor knocked Davis out of the game with a ball-jarring hit.
On the spot
The 49ers’ secondary. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns in the opener on Sunday, with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb combining to catch 14 passes for 238 yards and two TDs. The only changes in the secondary from the group that faced the Seahawks in Week 16 last season are rookie Eric Reid taking over for Pro Bowl free safety Deshon Goldson (now in Tampa) and Nnamdi Asomugha stepping in as the nickel back. Now comes Wilson, fresh off his first 300-yard passing performance in a regular-season game, and a collection of wide receivers who made some uncanny reads, reactions and receptions in Sunday’s season opener against the Panthers – especially Doug Baldwin (seven catches for 91 yards), Golden Tate (four for 51), tight end Zach Miller (three for 42) and Jermaine Kearse (43-yard TD catch).
What were the Ravens thinking? We’re all for brotherly love, but how could Ravens coach John Harbaugh trade Boldin to the 49ers, who are coached by his brother Jim, for a sixth-round draft choice? The Ravens and Harbaugh did, and the 49ers and Harbaugh couldn’t be happier after Boldin torched the Packers on Sunday with a 13-catch, 208-yard performance. Boldin is no stranger to the Seahawks. He played for the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals from 2003-2009, when Boldin averaged seven catches for 98 yards in 10 games against the Seahawks – including a 13-catch, 186-yard performance in 2008 and an eight-catch, 105-yard outing in 2009.
Numbers to know
129.4, Kaepernick’s passer rating which ranks behind only Peyton Manning (141.1) after the NFL’s opening weekend; 1, where Boldin ranks in the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and total yards; 0, turnovers by the 49ers in their opener.
Rookie wide receiver Chris Harper was the Seahawks’ fourth-round draft choice this year. … Offensive line coach Mike Solari coached the Seahawks’ line in 2008-09. … Assistant special teams coach Tracy Smith was a coaching assistant with the Seahawks in 2011 and is the son of Seahawks quarterbacks coach Carl Smith. … National scout Matt Malaspina spent five years as a scout for the Seahawks before joining the 49ers in 2006.
The last word
“We always look at the next game as being the most important game of the year. Winning that game, whenever the next game is, is the most important game on the schedule.” – Harbaugh when asked about this week’s game