SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh looked back on the 49ers' NFC Championship game loss through a positive prism Tuesday, even praising Colin Kaepernick's effort as "fabulous."

Harbaugh said he and Kaepernick met Monday, and although the nature of the talk remained private, it's safe to say Harbaugh remains a staunch supporter of the third-year quarterback after Sunday's 23-17 defeat at Seattle.

"I thought he played fabulous, I really did," Harbaugh said. "There's things that happen both sides of the ball, special teams. You can point to a lot of areas I feel the players just really acquitted themselves as well as they could on both sides of the ball, both teams."

Kaepernick committed turnovers on each of the 49ers' final three possessions, including an interception on his final pass toward Michael Crabtree in the end zone with 22 seconds remaining.

Harbaugh said Kaepernick made the correct pre-snap read in targeting Crabtree.

Asked if Kaepernick was right in blaming himself for the loss, Harbaugh replied: "No, that's not accurate. Colin played his (butt) off. All players in the game did."

Kaepernick ran for 98 yards on eight carries in the first half, but he had just three scrambles after halftime and finished with 130 rushing yards, only 23 less than his passing total.

Harbaugh is pleased with Kaepernick's offseason plan and cited no dissatisfaction with the quarterback's busy 2013 offseason, which included a highly visible presence through award shows and commercial endorsements.

"I thought he was A-plus in the way he trained, prepared," Harbaugh said. "As coaches, as players, you could see it. It was hourly, it was daily that we were with him in the offseason. He was preparing to prepare for the season. Talking to him, that's the plan again this year."

Kaepernick has not spoken with the media since shortly after Sunday's game. He was at the 49ers' facility Monday and Tuesday, however.

Wideout Quinton Patton said of Kaepernick: "Of course he's going to feel he let the team down, but we're a team, and we win as a team and lose as a team."

The 49ers endured several physical casualties from Sunday's game: linebacker NaVorro Bowman tore two ligaments in his right knee, guard Mike Iupati fractured his left fibula, running back Frank Gore fractured his right ring finger, and left tackle Joe Staley played through a compound dislocation of his right thumb.

Harbaugh did not blame injuries for the defeat or how they may have impacted play calls.

Instead, Harbaugh praised the Seahawks, as was the case in his postgame handshake with coach Pete Carroll.

"I congratulated him and his team moving on, wished him good luck," Harbaugh said. "He had some very nice things to say, as well."

Harbaugh said the 49ers-Seahawks rivalry is making both teams better, adding about Seattle: "They had a phenomenal year. So far, they've done it better than anybody else has."

Does that mean he's rooting for the NFC's representative in the Super Bowl?

"The team that plays the best, the team that plays the hardest is the one I root for," Harbaugh said. "That will play out a week from Sunday."

For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CamInman.