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Monday, January 13, 2014

Champion vs Champion: NFC Championship Preview, Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers

     The San Francisco 49ers are making their third straight appearance in the NFC Championship game and hope to become the two time defending NFC Champion this Sunday when they face reigning NFC West Division Champion, Seattle Seahawks!

     The teams split the two meetings from the regular season, in which the home team won on both occasions. (Seattle defeated San Francisco 29-3 in Week 2, San Francisco defeated Seattle 19-17 in Week 14). As divisional rivals, the only game that truly matters this year between the two is their match up Sunday in the NFC Championship Game!

     Colin Kaepernick has had a tremendous amount of success as the San Francisco 49ers Quarterback (QB), showing he is no one hit wonder! Since becoming the starting QB for San Francisco, Kaepernick has gone 21-7-1 (including playoffs) and is on the verge of a potential 2nd straight Super Bowl Appearance!

     In the two playoff games, Kaepernick has produced 536 yards of total offense ( 423 Passing, 113 Rushing) and 3 Touchdowns ( 2 Passing, 1 Rushing). Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin have each stepped up in both of the 49ers playoffs game this season. Crabtree had 8 receptions for 125 yards against the Green Bay Packers, while Boldin produced 8 receptions for 136 yards against the Panthers, including a key 45 yard reception of the 49ers first possession of the 2nd half that led to a San Francisco TD.

     Running Back Frank Gore has put in his share as well. In two games, Gore has 150 yards and 1 TD on the ground. The 49ers defense, led by NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis, and Ahmad Brooks, has also pulled it's weight and keeps coming up big for San Francisco. In two playoff games, the 49ers defense has registered 9.0 sacks, 2 Interceptions, and 2 Forced Fumbles, thus limiting offensive production against both Green Bay and Carolina.


      Seattle comes into the game with a young QB sensation in Russell Wilson. Wilson is 26-9 as starting QB for the Seahawks and received late consideration last season for "Rookie of the Year" and has not looked back since. Wilson, like his counterpart Kaepernick can beat you through the air with his arm, and on the ground with his legs. Wilson has also received some chatter about NFL MVP for the 2013 season. Team mate and Running Back Marshawn Lynch also has deserved a case for league MVP!

     Lynch has not only provided great production in the backfield (2013 regular season 1,257 Rushing Yards, 12 TD's) but has proven to be a reliable target in the receiving game if and when he needs to be! (36 Receptions, 316 yards, 2 TD's). In Seattle's playoff game against the New Orleans Saints, Lynch went for 140 yards on 28 carries and 2 Rushing TD's. If Lynch wants to have success against a superb 49ers Defense, he will need to be utilized in the Receiving game along with his Rushing game.

     Wilson and Lynch are one dynamic duo ( you can read an article I did on both of them earlier in the season right here ) and have wreaked havoc on opposing defenses all season. They will once again be facing a challenge this Sunday against the 49ers!

     The Seahawks defense is no slouch either! Led by Richard Sherman (Who led the league in Interceptions with 8) and Earl Thomas (who had 5 Interceptions of his own), Seattle will most likely match these two up with 49ers Wide Receiver's Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. If they can shut down the 49ers receiving game, it will be interesting to see how San Francisco will do to adjust. Seattle had the number one Passing and Overall defense during the regular season, so this could force the 49ers to adjust a bit and create a running game in order to establish its passing!

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