I’m going to be pretty peeved if the world ends before I get a chance to see the Seahawks and 49ers rematch on Sunday. The Mayan apocalypse can wait until after we see what is shaping up to be one of the best games of the season. The implications of the game are huge; if the 49ers win the game, they claim the NFC west … if the Seahawks win, there’s still a chance that they’ll host a playoff game at CenturyLink Field. Speaking of CenturyLink field, the Seahawks close out the regular season with two games there, this week against the 49ers and next week against the St Louis Rams. The Seahawks have compiled a record of 6 and 0 at CenturyLink this year. They have been able to feed off the energy of their home crowd and have turned that into better play at home. The boost they get from the 12th man may be just enough to get them over the hump against the 49ers on Sunday night.
The Seahawks and 49ers last met at Candlestick Park way back in week seven. The 49ers pulled out a close one by a score of 13 to 6. After the game 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh complained about the physical play of Seahawks cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman. Harbaugh definitely won’t have to worry about Browner roughing up his receivers on Sunday; the corner will be serving the third of a four game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on banned substances. Harbaugh might not have to worry about Sherman either; Sherman has an appeal set for Friday, trying to avoid a suspension of his own.
Missing both their starting corners would be bad news against a 49ers passing attack that has been much more effective since coach Harbaugh made the switch from Alex Smith to Colin Kapernick. In five starts, Kapernick has tossed five touchdowns against just two interceptions. He tossed four touchdowns against the New England Patriots last week. Since Kapernick took over the 49ers, they have scored 27 or more points in all but one game, a loss to the St Louis Rams. Regardless of whether or not Sherman is allowed to play, the Seahawks should have their hands full with the 49ers offensive attack.
There is a very real chance that the rematch of week seven’s defensive showdown could be an offensive shootout. If that happens, the Seahawks are going to have to rely on rookie quarterback Russell Wilson to win the game for them. They should be much more willing to do that this time around then they were earlier this season. Early on, Wilson was running the offense with training wheels on. The Seahawks didn’t ask him to do much; they chose to instead rely on their running game and defense to win games. They still need to run the ball and play good defense but they now have the added bonus of a scary pass attack and they have added the zone read into the rushing attack. Wilson looks much calmer standing back in the pocket and as a result, is making better decisions. Wilson has only thrown two interceptions since the last time these two met. If the Seahawks can keep Wilson comfortable and limit the 49ers they should end the game with a big NFC West win. Oh, and if Seattle wins, they guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs.