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Harbaugh defends Kaepernick's final interception

Michael Crabtree watches Richard Sherman tip a pass
Michael Crabtree watches Richard Sherman tip a pass
Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

On the final lasting impression of the 49ers 2013 season, it ended with what looked like a desperate heave into the end zone. Colin Kaepernick didn't think twice about making a throw for Michael Crabtree when facing Richard Sherman in one-on-one coverage. The result was a tipped interception which ended the 49ers season.

After the game on Sunday, Kaepernick said it was a matchup he liked and thought there would be success throwing that way. He said he was going to take that battle every time with faith in his wide receiver.

On Tuesday afternoon in Jim Harbaugh's final presser, the 49ers head coach took responsibility for the last offensive play of the season.

“Pre-snap decisions are made, based on the route call, the matchup [and] coverage," Harbaugh said. "That does happen on certain pass plays.”

Even though they were decoys, both Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis were wide open on the play. Davis had an underneath route to the left while Boldin ran a streak route on the left side of the end zone. Seattle also conceded the check down play to Quinton Patton, who was also open for a potential catch-and-run.

The 49ers had 30 seconds remaining with a running clock and two timeouts left. Harbaugh personally felt it was the best time to take advantage of going for the touchdown against Sherman with Crabtree as the receiver.

He reiterated that Sherman made a great play on the ball and felt that a higher throw could have resulted in a touchdown rather than an interception.

While Kaepernick felt he was the biggest reason the 49ers lost, Harbaugh said on Tuesday that he wasn't.

"That’s not accurate [to portray that he should be blamed for the loss]," Harbaugh said. "I thought Colin played his ass off. As I said, I thought all the players in the game did.”

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