NFC Championship preview: 49ers vs Seahawks
The 49ers are on an eight-game winning streak and their last visit to Seattle is erased from their memory. The Seahawks will have their 12th man louder than ever in Seattle with a shot at their second Super Bowl appearance. The 49ers look to get back for the second straight season.
Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson have turned themselves into two of the best young quarterbacks in the game. This could turn out to be the new version of Brady vs Manning for the next decade. Both teams were regarded as the best in the NFC and now they get to duke it out for a third time this season. They have split the last four meetings, but the Seahawks have dominated the last two in Seattle, outscoring the 49ers 71-16 and forcing seven turnovers. The Seahawks have the best home-field advantage in the NFL with decimal levels off the charts, making it feel like an earthquake at CenturyLInk Field as it did last week when the Saints came to town. They are led by Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, but will have to get better production from their young QB. Wilson was not effective last week, completing just nine of 18 passes for 103 yards. He will also have to play without Percy Harvin, who is inactive after suffering a concussion last week against the Saints.
The task won’t be easy against the 49ers defense that dominated the Panthers last week in Carolina. The 49ers have a team equipped to win in any conditions in any stadium. They have the physical defense that will rough up an offense, along with a ground-and-pound attack with their pistol formation. Their defense has allowed just 15.5 points and 305 yards over the last eight weeks. Frank Gore can pound the ball up the middle and Kaepernick can get outside and run the ball like a gazelle right down the throat of any defense. If the Seahawks stack the box, he can get the ball to Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis, or Michael Crabtree. This 49ers offense might be too dangerous Sunday.
Sure, the Seahawks are a tough team to beat in their own building. Sure, they have a scary secondary that will be physical with the 49ers big receivers. The problem is the 49ers are surging into this game and they have the coach to get them there. Jim Harbaugh is a top-five NFL coach and he has the Vince Lombardi Trophy on his mind after falling just short last season against the Ravens. This game will come down to the final seconds, but Phil Dawson knocks down a game-winning field goal in the final seconds to send the 49ers to MetLife for Super Bowl XLVIII.