Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 12/22/12
Must win time There is quite a bit riding on this game between the 49ers and Seahawks on Sunday Night Football this week. Matchup: San Francisco vs. Seattle Date: 12-23-12 Venue: CenturyLink Field Time: 5:20 PM (local) Weather: High 43. Low 37. Showers Team Records: Seattle 9-5. San Francisco 10-3-1 Standings: Seahawks 2nd NFC West. 49ers 1st NFC West With the Hawks coming in on a high note, three straight wins, this game holds all the marbles for them. This is their last chance to make their move for the division title, even though their fate will still lie in the hands of Arizona even in victory Sunday night. The 49ers are heading up north to the Emerald City after making the New England Patriots look like a Pop Warner team last week. Both teams are riding high, and both have something to prove on national TV in front of the nation and their peers. Playoff seeding is very important, and a first round home playoff game is at stake for both teams, plus, with a win, the Hawks will clinch at least a Wild Card berth. Game notes/How they match up Don’t expect another 50 point performance out of the Seahawks this week. These two teams are #1 & #2 in points allowed in the league this year. I think there will be more scoring than in their previous meeting up at the Stick this year, a game in which the Niners won by less than a TD, but probably not too much more scoring. New SF QB Colin Kaepernick has this team in position to make a run for the Super Bowl, but rookie Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has led his team to almost unheard of numbers in the past two weeks. Could be an instant classic, most likely pushing the 49ers-Seahawks rivalry past the Broncos-Seahawks rivalries of the old ACF West days as the most important game of the year for both teams. Defense will be key Sunday night. (Photo: CBS Detroit) What to watch: Seattle The Hawks have looked like a well oiled machine of late. I would like to see them put up another outstanding performance again, but this San Francisco defense is going to be tough to go up against. Marshawn Lynch will have a lot tougher time this week, but, if we get into the red zone frequently, he will have a chance to push through for some scores. Biggest question of the day will be whether or not Richard Sherman will play, and if so, how effective he will be after missing two practices this week. What to watch: San Francisco Man, this team looked downright lethal last week in New England. The Pats are tough, but they themselves know just how tough a task it is to face the Seahawks in our house where the 12th man is our biggest defender of them all. But with the pressure on in one of the hardest places to play in this century, they looked poised, tough, and balanced as they took over the game in all facets early and beat the Patriots, clinching a playoff spot. With that behind them, and with knowing that the final game of the season is against Arizona, maybe they will let this game slide a bit. That is more wishful thinking than anything else. Seattle O vs. Buffalo D The greatest thing about the last three wins was the Hawks didn’t look too predictable. Offense has come from all around, not just the two big name receivers Golden Tate, and Sidney Rice. Robert Turbin has proven to be a valuable asset in case Marshawn can’t go the entire game, and Zach Miller and Anthony McCoy are getting in on the action in a big way as well. This will prove to be a good thing against a tough D like the Niners. If we can run Lynch up the middle, run short post routes away from Patrick Willis, we will be on the right path. Can DangeRus Wilson lead this team to it’s 4th straight? San Francisco O vs. Seattle D Weapons galore on the SF offensive side of the ball, starting with Frank Gore. This guy is like a wrecking ball coming through the D line. He’s a hard one to contain. Letting him go for 100 while worrying about the passing game might be a good option. It almost worked in the last game. Michael Crabtree is finally coming into his own, and becoming a threat with every route, and then there is Vernon Davis. I don’t wish guarding him on anyone. A big beast of a man, who has the blocking skills of an elite OL, with the hands of a Jerry Rice. Toss in Mario Manningham, Randy Moss, and Ted Ginn Jr., and you have yourselves a nightmare for the DB’s. Injury Report Seahawks Out: Brandon Browner. Questionable: Jeron Johnson, Sidney Rice, Walter Thurmond, Marcus Trufant. Probable: Alan Branch, Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, Robert Turbin, Leon Washington. 49ers Questionable: Clark Haggins, Justin Smith, Tavares Gooden, Mario Manningham, Will Takuafu. Probable: Ahmad Brooks, Tarell Brown, Bruce Miller, Aldon Smith, David Akers, Alex Boone, NaVorro Bowman, Frank Gore, Mike Iupati, Carlos Rogers, Patrick Willis, Dashon Goldson, CJ Spillman. Prediction It’s a pick ‘em style game for the bookies, so I guess that’s just what I will do. Seahawks 24 – 49ers 21 CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
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