SANTA CLARA — Vernon Davis had a cross-country flight and an entire off day to think about the touchdown that should have been.
Colin Kaepernick overthrew the tight end on a would-be 34-yard score during the first quarter of Sunday's 41-34 victory at New England.
Davis acknowledges he is still getting used to Kaepernick, who is 4-1 since becoming the starter in place of Alex Smith and earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors after the upset of the Patriots.
"I get chills when I think about it," Davis said of the missed opportunities. "One thing I learned in the beginning when I first got here, everyone was talking about being on the same page as the quarterback, as Alex Smith. You have to develop that chemistry, that bond so you can be on the same page. That's something me and Kap don't have right now. We don't have it; you have to expect it because he just stepped in."
From gauging the zip on the ball after its release to learning the tendencies of the strong-armed Kaepernick and finding their timing together, Davis said he believes things will soon start clicking.
Another special January would be just what Davis has in mind. He caught the winning TD from Smith to beat New Orleans 36-32 in last season's divisional playoffs, then had touchdown receptions of 73 and 28 yards in a 20-17 overtime loss to the New York Giants in the NFC title game.
If they can get on the same page Sunday night at Seattle, then even better as far as Davis is concerned. The Niners (10-3-1) can clinch a second consecutive NFC West title with a win, and they're also determined to keep hold on the No. 2 seed — and a first-round playoff bye that would come with it — by slowing down the red-hot Seahawks (9-5).
Davis has only 39 catches for 516 yards and five touchdowns this season, with just four receptions over the past four games after getting a season-best six in a Monday night win against the Bears on Nov. 19. He had one catch for 10 yards at New England.
Coach Jim Harbaugh has repeatedly said a big part of deciding whether to target Davis has to do with the swarming defense and double coverage he draws game after game.
Harbaugh is pleased with the extra work Davis and Kaepernick are putting in after practice.
"I can think of a couple things in particular where Vernon and Colin spent some extra time on certain routes, extra during and after practice, and that helped," Harbaugh said Wednesday. "Just specific plays. That was a positive for us and that's something we can continue. ... I think there will be some more focus on that this week."
Of the near misses in Sunday's win, Harbaugh said those might be fixed with "maybe some more time on task, just between the two of them."
Kaepernick and wideout Michael Crabtree have quite the connection going already, but now Davis is determined to find it, too.