Today, the San Francisco 49ers will take on the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington. A trip to the Super Bowl in New Jersey against the winner of the AFC Champion is on the line. The 49ers and Seahawks last met on December 8 in San Francisco with the 49ers coming out on top by the score of 19-17. However, their last matchup in Seattle was on September 15 with the Seahawks winning 29-3.
Offensively, the 49ers finished the regular season ranked 24th in the league while the Seahawks finished 17th. Defensively, the 49ers finished the regular season ranked 5th in the league while the Seahawks finished 1st. During the postseason, the 49ers offense has ranked 7th among the playoff teams while the Seahawks have ranked 12th. During the postseason, the 49ers defense has ranked 3rd while the Seahawks have ranked 9th.
The 49ers have not won in Seattle since 2011. In their past two trips to CenturyLink Field, they have been outscored 71-16. It is one of the best, if not the best, rivalry in football. Both teams have fiery head coaches. Both teams have dynamic and athletic quarterbacks. Both teams have strong bruising running backs. Both teams have fierce and fast defenses.
The Seahawks have won six straight home playoff games. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's performance during his two starts in Seattle have been poor. He has completed only 50 percent of his passes for 371 total yards, a touchdown, and four interceptions. However, Kaepernick is 3-0 in road playoff games and will look to keep that streak alive.
One player that has helped Kaepernick during the 49ers' late run this season has been receiver Michael Crabtree, who has 30 receptions for 435 yards and a touchdown in the team's past seven games.
The 49ers will have the tough task of beating a Seahawks defense that has led the league with 273.6 yards and 14.4 points allowed.
The matchup will feature two premiere NFL running backs in San Francisco's Frank Gore and Seattle's Marshawn Lynch. Gore has rushed for 150 yards, averaging 4.1 yards per carry and scoring a touchdown in the 49ers' two playoff games. In just last weekend's victory over the New Orleans Saints, Lynch had 140 yards, averaging 5 yards per carry and scoring two touchdowns. In fact, Lynch has averaged 5.2 yards per carry in the Seahawks' last five postseason games. Stopping the running games will be key for both defenses.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will face a 49ers defense that has allowed an average of 15.5 points and 304.9 yards per game over the past eight weeks. In his past five starts, Wilson has averaged just 157.6 passing yards per game with four touchdowns and three interceptions, completing just 56.7 percent of his passes. He will be without Percy Harvin, who will miss yet another game due to injury. He suffered a concussion last weekend against the Saints.
Last week, the 49ers (14-4) defeated the Carolina Panthers 23-10 in Charlotte in the Divisional round of the playoffs. The Seahawks (14-3) defeated the New Orleans Saints 23-15 in Seattle.
The game kicks off at 3:30 PM PT and, as usual, you can visit 49erswebzone.com for the latest news and updates during and after the game.
The game will be televised on FOX. The Seahawks are 3.5 point favorites.
Within Yahoo! Sports, a popular mobile scores application, 57% of fans believe that the Seahawks will win this game.
Within our Pick 'em contest, 84% of fans believe that the 49ers will win this game.
You can follow the game live on NFL.com's Game Center.
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49ers Injury Report
Questionable: CB Carlos Rogers (hamstring), RB Will Tukuafu (knee)
Probable: LB Navorro Bowman (wrist), LB Ahmad Brooks (illness), WR Michael Crabtree (wrist), DE Demarcus Dobbs (knee, shoulder), C Jonathan Goodwin (foot), RB Frank Gore (knee), LB Dan Skuta (foot), DT Justin Smith (shoulder)
Seahawks Injury Report
Out: WR Percy Harvin (concussion)
Questionable: DT Jordan Hill (groin)
Probable: RB Marshawn Lynch (not injury related), LB K.J. Wright (foot)