Now that week one of the NFL season is in the books, the top 2 teams in the NFC West (if not the NFL) are both 1-0, but the routes the teams took couldn’t be more different. The San Francisco 49ers played the Green Bay Packers in front of the home crowd, while the Seahawks flew across the country to face the Carolina Panthers. The game also started at 10 am Pacific, a game time in which West coast teams tend to struggle with.
The 49ers played very well in their 38-24 win over the Packers. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was; 27/39 with 412 yds, 3 TD’s and zero interceptions. He also rushed/scrambled 7 times for 22 yards. Colin’s favorite target was newly acquired veteran Anquan Boldin who snagged 13 balls for 208 yards and 1 score.
The Seahawks struggled on opening day, gutting out a 12-7 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Seattle’s vaunted rushing attack was non-existent with a total of 26 rushes for 70 yards, with 17 attempts and 43 yards coming from starter Marshawn Lynch. Russell Wilson, starting his sophomore season, needing to carry his team…and he did. Wilson completed 25 of 33 attempts for 320 yards and 1 touchdown. The score coming on a 43 yard strike to second year receiver Jermaine Kearse (University of Washington).
The Seahawks and 49ers have faced each other a total of 28 times in their history and the series is split 14-14 with both teams holding an 8-6 edge at home. In the current edition of the series, involving both Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers hold a 3-1 edge. They swept the Hawks in 2011 winning in San Francisco 33-17 in Carroll’s first game as coach and winning on December 24th 19-17 in Seattle. Last Year Seattle lost 13-6 in San Francisco in October and then Dec. 23rd destroyed the 49ers at home 42-13. The game was not nearly as close as the score.
A couple of interesting notes on this game: 49er running back Frank Gore has rushed for more yards against the Seahawks, 1,210, than against any other opponent he has played against, this includes a career high 212 yards back in November 19, 2006. Also the Referee for this game is Ron Winter. Ron Winter and his crew consistently throw more delay of game flags than any other crew in the NFL. This could come into play this Sunday as the 12th Man is in a frenzy for the nationally televised game, a game that is widely being recognized as the most anticipated regular season game in franchise history.
When division rivals play, anything can happen and usually does. This Sunday night at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, the Seahawks and 49ers will not know how much zone read, or play action their opponent will run. They will not know who may get dinged up, miss a tackle or drop a pass. There is however, one thing that both sidelines can count on with absolute certainty: the crowd in attendance, the venerable 12th Man, will be the physical embodiment of their team’s 2013 slogan: Bigger, Faster, Stronger…LOUDER!