The Indianapolis Colts have nothing but fond memories of current San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Ditto for Indy quarterback Andrew Luck, who enjoyed success under Harbaugh at Stanford that led to him get selected first overall in the 2012 draft.
Luck and the Colts aren't likely to face off against a happy Harbaugh on Sunday at Candlestick Park as the 49ers try to bounce back from a horrid loss last weekend.
San Francisco began defense of its NFC championship with an exciting 34-28 victory over the Green Bay Packers in Week 1, but saw its high-powered offense dominated a week later in Seattle. The 49ers turned the ball over five times and were penalized 12 times for 121 yards in a 29-3 hammering.
Colin Kaepernick threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns versus the Packers, but was shut down by the Seahawks through the air. He totaled only 127 yards passing and was picked off three times, posting a passer rating of 20.1. He did rush for 87 yards on nine carries, but lost a fumble and was sacked three times.
"We're not going to win games if I play like that," Kaepernick said. "There were a couple of balls I tried to force in there."
It was equally frustrating for wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who caught 13 passes for 208 yards and a score against Green Bay but was limited to four targets and one catch for seven yards.
San Francisco will now try to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 16 and 26, 2010. Harbaugh took over the next year after a successful stint at Stanford between 2007-10. Luck was Harbaugh's quarterback for his final two years at the university and the two were 20-6 together.
"It's going to be tough," said Luck of the upcoming matchup. "They obviously got to the Super Bowl last year. I have a lot of respect for Coach Harbaugh in my years at Stanford with him and (current 49ers defensive coordinator Vic) Fangio and the rest of the Stanford guys on their staff. They're a premier defense. It's going to be a great challenge but I think we're up for it. It'll be a fun week of work."
Harbaugh also has the respect of the Colts franchise. Dubbed "Captain Comeback" during his playing career with the Colts from 1994-97, Harbaugh passed for 8,705 yards and 49 touchdowns in 53 games and 46 starts. In 1995 he made the Pro Bowl and earned Comeback Player of the Year and AFC Player of the Year honors.
A decade later he was inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor.
"He's a great coach. I would never put him down," said Colts defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Niners from 2009-12.
"He's one coach I can tell you that's into it, almost feels like he's a player again. You'll see him out there this week throwing passes to the receivers and I believe he's still got it. We used to mess with him about it, 'Coach, just sign a one-game contract, see what you can do.'"
Harbaugh will now get to see what Luck can do on an NFL field. A rookie sensation a year ago, the 24-year-old threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 1 win over Oakland before struggling late the following weekend in a 24-20 loss to Miami.
Luck threw for 321 yards, but had a fourth-quarter interception and also took a late sack on fourth down.
"Disappointing last series," said Luck. "I don't think I handled a lot of those plays well. You got to get the ball out of your hands no matter what, so I'm severely disappointed with myself for not giving our guys a chance because I thought the O-line did a heck of a job all day."