Championship Sunday brings the showdown in Seattle
Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014
Updated: Thursday, January 16, 2014 18:01
This will be the third meeting this season for the teams and according to 49ers guard Alex Boone, there is no love lost between the ball clubs.
“I don’t know anybody in here that likes anybody on the Seahawks,” he said to USA Today. “If you find one, let me know.”
The Seahawks wouldn’t have it any other way, Bleacher Report said.
Both teams will bring a tremendous amount of experience and talent to CenturyLink, which will make for an evenly-matched game.
Seattle’s ‘Legion of Boom’ defense has caused problems for offenses all season , most recently in their divisional game against fellow NFC rival, the New Orleans Saints.
The Seahawks rendered one of the Saints top players, tight end Jimmy Graham, irrelevant.
‘The Legion of Boom’s’ style of play did not allow Graham to be effective in any way, despite him being quite the physical specimen at 6’7’, 265 pounds.
“Drew [Brees] is going to throw it to the open guy,” said Graham to ESPN. “If you've got people on you, he's not going to throw you the ball.”
Before the playoffs started, Graham pulled down 86 catches for 1,215 yards—averaging right at 14 yards a catch for the season.
Then there is the man, the myth, the legend, running back Marshawn Lynch whose run style is similar to that of a freight train.
He’s coming at you, and he’s coming at you quickly.
Lynch showcased his talent against the Saints with his 31-yard touchdown run around the left corner, stiff-arming cornerback Corey White to the ground around the 5-yard line, the New Orleans Times-Picayune said.
"He is a strong runner and he has always been a hard runner throughout his career," said Saints safety Rafael Bush.
However, the 49ers also have a well-stocked arsenal.
Here enters their quarterback, Colin Kaepernick who always has a back-up plan if the offense isn’t as open as he would like it; his legs.
He turned several third down situations into fresh sets of downs, extending the 49ers time on the field during their tangle with the Carolina Panthers.
“Kaepernick has become such a tremendous factor,” Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said. “The factor that truly separates him is the ability to get out and run, and make yards running.”
A looming downfield target for Kaepernick is veteran receiver, Anquan Boldin.
Boldin is a product of last year’s Super Bowl champion, the Baltimore Ravens. When traded to the 49ers in March, Kaepernick was excited to have a new member in the receiving corps.
Boldin snatched down 85 catches for 1,179 yards in the regular season—numbers similar to Graham.
“Having a playmaker like that at receiver is something you always want,” Kaepernick said to ESPN. “It's another weapon for our offense and our team."
Despite the game being painted as a rivalry, Carroll does not want his team to focus on that aspect.
“The last thing I'm looking for is something else to get fired up about,” he said. “We don’t need that here.”
Carroll has always relied on his ‘one-game-at-a-time’ coaching philosophy and expects that mold to carry on to this game as well.
"This is an NFC championship,” he said. “But in that regard, it's not different from the preparations we've called for in other games."
Carroll’s focus for himself and for the Seahawks is to stay focused on what’s happening right now, Long Island Newsday said.
This will be the 31st time that the 49ers and the Seahawks have met, and whoever wins this Sunday will not only lead the all-time series, but will also punch their ticket to Super Bowl XLVIII.