NFC West Title Race: San Francisco at Seattle, Week 2


Sep 8, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas (29) reacts in the first quarter. The Seahawks defeated the Panthers 12-7 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

There is a lot of talk about Seattle’s attempt to break the stadium crowd volume record at Century Link Field against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, September 15th (5:30pm PST). As for the noise, it’s there, and the Seahawks record at home proves that Century Link is a tough place to play. While it’s fun to attempt to quantify something like home field advantage, a decibel record is really no more than a folk legend. In the worst case scenario, Kansas City fans defeat us in a decibel measurement, and then what? Who would you rather be rooting for: The Seattle Seahawks, or the Kansas City Chiefs?

The actual game should be much more exciting than the sea of drunk people projecting extended vowels in to the atmosphere. NFL fans have the first of two or three chances to watch two fierce rivals fight for a leg up in a divisional race. Last week, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers in a shootout. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin caught thirteen passes for over two hundred yards. Tight end Vernon Davis added over ninety more. However, trying to predict their performance against the menacing Seahawks defense is like trying to predict regular season games based on preseason outcomes.

First of all, Anquon Boldin will be facing corner back Richard Sherman in week two. It may take an interception, but Boldin should be brought back down to earth, and quarterback Colin Kaepernick will have to look elsewhere for yards. Unfortunately for Seattle, the San Francisco running game can be hard to stop. The last time the 49ers came to town, the Seahawks held the 49ers to only eighty-two yards rushing. That can be explained partially by the fact that the 49ers were playing catch-up and ran the ball only nineteen times. In the end, the 49ers lost 42-13. However, they still averaged 4.3 yards per rush which is not what the Seahawks want to see this week.

As far as the Seahawks go, in Week 1 Carolina absolutely stuffed Seattle’s run game. Marshawn Lynch ran for under fifty yards, and the Seahawks averaged less than three yards per carry. Luckily for the Seahawks, the Panthers’ backfield had trouble stopping Russell Wilson who threw for 320 yards, and a forty-three yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse.

Aug 8, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) throws a pass to wide receiver Anquan Boldin (81) during the first quarter of the game against the Denver Broncos at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

While Carolina has a good run defense, San Francisco is a more balanced defense with solid play from the line to the backfield. Seattle’s attack will have to produce a few more yards on the ground. Without a couple of rushes for over ten yards, the Seahawks will have a tough time beating San Francisco. It would be stupid to bet on another 42-13 win, but a win is certainly possible.

With San Francisco, and quarterback Colin Kaepernick relying more on their run and less on their pass, I expect the 49ers to get three or four scores against the Seahawks. The Seahawks, on the other hand, need to get their run blocking in shape quick to avoid embarrassment. Another possibility is to give rookie running back Christine Michael a few snaps to see if he can spark something. Don’t be surprised if the Seahawks intercept Kaepernick early to set up a touchdown. With home field advantage and a possible Guinness World Record on their side, I’m predicting three touchdowns and a field goal for Seattle.

Prediction: Seattle 24, San Francisco 20

Editor’s Note: Seahawks tickets are still available for this Sunday’s showdown, although they aren’t going to come cheap.  You can get in the door for as low as $224 and lower level seating begins at $311.  If Seattle does end up victorious, it will be money well spent.