49ers have home field and motivation — will it be enough?

Here is my Saturday column previewing the upcoming 49ers-Seahawks game.

I think the Seahawks will beat the 49ers on Sunday. But I’m going to make a case for the 49ers because they are a good team with a good chance to win. And it’s important to look at an issue from all sides.

Almost everything works in the 49ers’ favor:

The Seahawks could have an emotional letdown after Monday night’s boisterous 34-7 victory against the Saints. It will be next to impossible for them to take so much enthusiasm on the road, unless maybe the Candlestick crowd boos them enough.

If the Seahawks have any chance to win, they have to withstand the emotional surge the 49ers will get from the home crowd during the first 10 minutes of the game. They may not withstand the surge. Other teams haven’t. Without the noise of their home crown, the Seahawks are a different team.

The Saints couldn’t handle the first 10 minutes of the game Monday night in Seattle, and look what happened. The Saints were down 10-0 before they could blink. They couldn’t overcome the momentum the Seahawks seized and fed on the entire first half. The Seahawks really didn’t do much in the second half once the adrenaline wore off. By then it didn’t matter.

The Seahawks have one less day of rest than the 49ers and one less day to prepare. They played Monday night. Plus they fly on Saturday. All of this will have an impact.

The 49ers are desperate. Don’t underestimate desperation.

If the 49ers lose this game, there is a good chance they will fall behind the Cowboys or the Eagles in the wild-card race at least for one week, maybe permanently.

But even if the Seahawks lose, they easily can lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC with wins against bad teams down the stretch. They already clinched a playoff spot. The 49ers haven’t clinched anything. The Seahawks have less to play for than the Niners.

The 49ers typically play well at Candlestick against the Seahawks. The Seahawks haven’t beaten the 49ers at Candlestick since 2008. History is on the 49ers’ side.

Last season at the Stick, Frank Gore ran right up the gut of the Seahawks’ defense for 131 yards. The Seahawks put eight and sometimes nine defenders right in front of the 49ers’ offensive line to stop Gore, but they couldn’t stop him. Mike Iupati, in particular, had a great game. He bulldozed defenders, especially in the second half. It was the best game of his career.

Most of Gore’s big runs came on “wham” and “trap” plays. The Seahawks have an aggressive, fast defensive line that wants to charge into the offensive backfield. They’re great at doing this in Seattle on fast fake turf and with that loud home crowd.

But the 49ers use this aggression against Seattle in San Francisco. Think of the trap play. You’ve heard of the trap play. An over-aggressive defensive lineman rushes into the 49ers’ backfield looking to hit Gore. The Niners’ offensive lineman let him do it. As the unsuspecting lineman chargers full speed ahead, an offensive lineman decks the defender from the defender’s blindside. Big hole for Frank Gore. Thank you very much.

The wham play is similar, except the fullback or the tight end cracks the defender with the blindside block.

The 49ers are not so good at whamming and trapping in Seattle, but they are terrific at home. And this is a big advantage for the 49ers.

Iupati is the 49ers’ No.1 trapper and puller. Unfortunately for the 49ers, Iupati probably won’t play on Sunday. He sprained his knee a few weeks ago against the Saints. This may have repercussions for the 49ers. We’ll see.

If Gore can run like Frank Gore instead of the Gore imposter who’s shown up lately, Colin Kaepernick could have a big day. He’s been shaky, but a running game the Seahawks must respect will open up the passing lanes for him. This is the basis of the 49ers’ game plan and it just might work.

The 49ers’ defense is one of the best. it may stop or, at least, slow down running back Marshawn Lynch. If this happens, the 49ers are in good shape.

I see all this and I’m sharing it with you. I admit the 49ers could win this game. I still don’t think they will.

Here are some numbers to think about.

The 49ers are giving up two touchdowns per game at home this season, and the Seahawks are scoring more than two touchdowns per game on the road. The Seahawks are going to score at least two touchdowns against the Niners on Sunday.

Advantage Seahawks.

On the other hand, the Seahawks’ defense is giving up fewer than two touchdowns per game. Kaepernick never has led a single touchdown drive against the Seahawks’ starting defense – I bet you didn’t know that. He led one TD drive against their backups in garbage time last season.

All of a sudden, Kaepernick is going to lead two or three TD drives against the Seahawks on Sunday?

I don’t think so.

Advantage Seahawks.

I can’t help believing Russell Wilson is a better quarterback than Kaepernick, Lynch is a stronger runner than Gore and the Niners’ offensive line is compromised by injury.

The Seahawks will score two touchdowns, the 49ers will score one and the final score will be Seahawks 20, 49ers 19.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for the Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

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    1. I actually think he might be a Raider fan. He’s an East bay guy who seems to know an awful lot about the history of the team, I realize that having the father that he does would lend itself to such information but I think it might go beyond that.

      He has mentioned that his three favorite road trips are New Orleans, NY and Seattle so maybe he’s tipping his hand there but I still think he likes the local product and if he truly isn’t a 49er fan like he’s said then my bet is on the other team by The Bay.

    2. Grant,

      You’re absolutely right in everything you have said in your post. I think you got to generous with the 49ers score… I see the Seahawks winning by two touchdowns 24-10 over the 49ers easy. The Seahawks defense will clamp down on Kap and Gore and they will make it tough for the 49ers offense to score.

    3. Grant is a Dallas Cowboys fan. I believe he admitted to that offense a while back. He said they’ll win the Super Bowl this year. That was the best joke I heard all year. The Cowboys will not even win their division , therefore will be sitting at home come playoff time. They can win the Super Bowl on Madden, however.

    4. Actually, he is an antagonistic liar using passive aggression to advance his readership. He thinks he’s the next Michael Silver waiting to happen.

      1. Mike Silver paid his dues as a beat writer and sports journalist; working within the parameters of those job descriptions. He wasn’t afraid to offer his opinions, but made clear that’s what he was doing. As a beat writer he struck up working relationships with players and coaches which got him access to players’ points of view and coaches takes on things. He was no shill, he called things as he saw them, but he was able to dig things out that weren’t always apparent. His ability to get some real insider info is, in my best guess, the reason he got the offer to move up from the PD to SI.
        Grant’s antagonistic questions and write-ups don’t help his access, so he looks at tape and stats and then gives us his interpretation. We keep coming back and he’s getting the hits, so he’s knocking it out of the park as a blogger, but how does he advance in his career?
        There’s 50 guys on this blog studying tape and numbers and offering opinions; which opinions and analysis are going to move up to the big time media?iGrant admires Lowell’s relationship with BW and what LC learned from it, but I don’t see him developing trust with anyone to gain those type of insights.
        I have to disagree with the liar accusation. C’mon. Slippery in a debate? Yes. Opinionated? Yes. Liar? No.
        Have you ever been wrong? I have, but I wasn’t lying.

      2. Mike Silver is the best beat writer and sports journalist in the Country period. Brotha Tuna, I agree with everything you said. If I am looking for breaking news in the 49er front, you got to go with the Matt boys, or Adam Shepard.

  1. I think the narrative following the Niners beating Seattle is it sets up some drama towards a 3rd meeting in the the playoffs – whenever that may be. If Seattle beats the 49ers, there will be very little drama in the NFC going into the playoffs. Seattle has already beaten Carolina, New Orleans, and the 49ers (possibly twice). There always has to be some tension, right? Detroit may have a puncher’s chance.

    Niners are drawing a line in the sand this game. Defense is strong, Kaep is playing better and will have a great game, and the Niners will emerge as the one team that can take out Seattle in the playoffs in Seattle.

    1. Grant

      I am in full agreement with your analysis; if the niners do not win this game, I see some major personnel changes coming …. not all on the field. Niners 20 Hawks 28

      1. Oregon,

        If you’re talking about Greg Roman, there’s an outside chance of him leaving / being replaced. If you’re talking about HJ or TB, then I think your prediction is of the tin foil hat variety.

      2. Greg Roman might get considerations for the Boise State job. Other opportunities may also present themselves. If he leaves, don’t expect much of a change. The Niner’s offensive coordinator is Roman+Morton+Chryst+Mangini. You will lose only 25% of that equation if Roman leaves.

  2. Another issue the 49ers need to overcome is themselves – they’ll be hyped up to win this game, but they need to avoid making stupid mistakes as a result. And Kaep needs to settle into the game quickly, they can’t afford for Kaep to be off target early.

    1. Tony the wanna be Mafia man
      ” Read Football for Dummies” Only a part time football fan would say all of this weighs on Kaep shoulders. Try Shuffleboard, it is more easy to understand. I hope you know the sanitation business more then football.

      1. Kaep can play well, over 300 yards passing, however if we can’t establish the run and the defense is not having a great day, game is over.

  3. Well, of course Grant has no idea who will win this game, just as none of us do. The oddsmakers have the 49ers as slight favorites. The 49ers offense has been lousy against good teams, generally, so it will be wonderful if they have a dynamic performance. If they do, it will mean that the offensive schemers have gotten a clue – which they haven’t had all year – and that Kap has started really figuring it out – and that this 49er team is a legitimate contender for the title. If the offense doesn’t – if they continue to be predictable and don’t take advantage of the strengths of the team – then it’s going to be hard for me to be optimistic.

    1. I agree Wilson, who the heck knows who will win, the Hawks are a better team, especially with the QB, better offense coordinator, better secondary, but the game is in our hood, the same hood, where we lost against the Colts and Carolina.

      1. Exgolfer, our offense does not have the killer instinct, that our defense has, we left alot of points on the scoreboard last week, we kept the Rams in the game too long, I have doubts.

  4. With the Seahags having already locked up a playoff spot, probably getting home field in the playoffs, and missing Browner and Havin, they have absolutely nothing to play for. This is the main reason why I think the Niners win this game, although I agree with Grant that Seattle is the better team.

    I am really curious to see how Kaep responds this Sunday. I have a sneaking suspicion that the coaches have been keeping him in check this entire season and will unleash a wide open attack for this must win game.

  5. Offense: The 49ers will move the ball fits and starts. Some wham/traps will work, but allowing penetration also means occasional tackles for a loss. Snyder is NOT Iupati. It will be ugly, but the Niners will rip some big runs and a few well designed “shot” pass plays. That might be enough.

    Defense: This is where my optimism comes from. Has this D ever been more rested, ready, healthy and deep? Perhaps as good or better then 2011 D. Dorsey is more comfortable in the system (anyone hear Tomsula’s interview today?), so is Reid. The Smith Brothers seem to be back. Oh, and Brooks is having a career season.

    In the first game SeAdderal only had 5 points at the half despite cheap-shotting Ian and losing Reid to concussion. Expect the 49ers to pound them.

    Prediction: 49ers 17, Seattle 10.

    1. That said how can the 49ers stumble?
      - Kaep fails to see underneath coverage throwing to his left and gets picked
      - Poor ball security
      - Abandoning the run too soon (despite a close score)
      - Great defense on 1-2 downs, but SeAdderal converts several 3rd-and-longs and tires out the 49ers D.

      1. If Washington keeps tanking the Rams have a shot at drafting Clowney. Looney vs Clowney twice a year sounds like entertaining football.

  6. Can’t find anything to argue with here since I am predicting a Niners loss by the tune of 32-27. But I have never heard of a home crown before. :-D

  7. Now that Lattimore is officially on IR and Lacy has shown to be a good back behind porous line, I think Lattimore was a terrible draft decision.

    1. The plan from the beginning of the year was to “red shirt” Lat this year and ride Gore one more year while Lat rehabs completely. So your conclusion is a year premature.

      1. SF49fan, you said it better than me, yes we are both great minds, haha Are you from England? My English friends use brilliant quite often?

  8. It may just be my homerism kicking in, but I believe Seattle is due for a game where they don’t get the majority of the bounces and Wilson looks like an inexperienced qb. 34-10 with the niners jumping out to a big lead with 2 forced turnovers that lead to a defensive touchdown early and set up a short field td for the offense. AND the play calling doesn’t go conservative due to the bad blood between the teams…

    1. That is kind of what I have been thinking or maybe hoping will happen. It is like they are blessed by the perfect bounce every week.

      1. Im not trying to take anything from Seattle , they are talented and well coached but my god have you ever seen a luckier team? Every thing seems to go there way..Even what looks like sure picks from Wilson get tipped in the air and go for 60 yrd touchdowns..Jesus

  9. I grow weary of the stat gurus and their defeatist pamphlets. The defending NFC Champions are the better team. If as you say the 49ers have desperation running through their veins, I would submit sometimes that’s as powerful an inspirer as genius. San Francisco Desperado’s the rest of the season and throughout the playoffs is fine with me…..

  10. Did anyone really think Grant was going to pick the 49ers? I think he has picked them to win like one game all season. Whatever. Niners win tomorrow going away and everyone will ask whether the Seahawks are that good, etc. Remind anyone of last years game, when Niners had nothing to play for? Fact is, no team will beat Seahags at home during playoffs. Another fact is that they will lose to the AFC champion in SB. They are not the same team away from home and they will get caught up in to SB drama more than a lot. Look at their personalities…they will be Culliver times 5.

  11. I expect the SeaChickens to put up a good fight.. but..
    it will be in vain .
    I’m takin’ Crabs to torch them a few times …
    (what say you, Crabs ?)

  12. If you had a punt catching drill with each player receiving 50 punts, who would drop the most… Kyle Williams or LMJ?

    I’d say LMJ. I’m nervous as a cat watching him catch punts.

  13. I think Lattimore was a terrible draft decision as well. It’s not the 4th round pick that bothers me, it’s the roster spot, the cap hit and the emotional investment the city is making in a guy who has one jacked up knee. Baalke again got too cute with Lattimore.

    Regarding Colin Kaepernick and the recent comments by Joe Montana, I think there’s a lot of old Alex Smith fans who almost don’t want Kaep to be great. For me personally, I don’t see the point in trading Smith is you’re going to run a power run game all day and never even try to create unique passing plays. Two years ago the offense was fresh and unique with wheel routes, wham plays, two calls at the line, etc. Now the league has caught up to all of that, with or without Smith and Greg Roman has no answers.

    If you want Kaep to get better as a pocket passer, you have to pass the ball more than Roman and Harbaugh are currently. You can’t get into a passing rhythm running 3 out of 4 times every four downs. And I don’t think at all that Greg Roman is the guy who should be teaching Colin Kaepernick how to be an NFL qb. Maybe part of Montana’s criticism of Kaep was aimed at Roman, I don’t know. But with a show of hands, I’d like to know who thinks Greg Roman, the old run game coordinator at Stanford, is a good candidate to teach Colin Kaepernick how to be an NFL qb, or at the very least design passing plays for a second year qb. Not me.

    I completely agree with those who’ve offered that Kaep has radar lock, but there’s more to it than just Kaep. Good coaching helps a player to make good decisions with excellent “can’t miss,” play calls. Good coaching can pick out one thing to work on and then have the right play calls designed to emphasis or work on a weakness. If I was Roman, I’d use the rub route all night long (gross!). I watched the Patriots / Bronco game and Josh McDaniels had one drive where he called rub routes all the way down the field. Seems like Roman can’t call one of those plays to save his life. As fans we’ve called for more screens, with Matt Maiocco explaining that our O line isn’t good at screens. What’s next? We can’t call rub routes because Boldin isn’t physical enough to set a pick? Horse cookies!

    The reason screens don’t work is because Greg doesn’t know how to use them. For a screen to work, you have to have called numerous passing plays in a row with several seven step drops that have been successful. The D has to feel like the OC is going to pass all night long, and the DEs need to be hunting the qb, rushing hard up the field, along with the DTs. When the pass rush is just about getting home, and the OC is calling a lot of passing plays, that’s when you call a screen, to cool the rush. But if the OC calls 75% run plays, screen won’t fool anyone because the screen is all about slowing down a pass rush. Again, to get a screen to work, Colin Kaepernick has to be able to sustain a drive all the way down the field by throwing the football, but Greg Roman won’t even try that, and worse yet, with Greg Roman’s passing attack that flat out sucks, Kaep can’t sustain long passing drives because Roman’s route combos and passing plays all suck.

    If I was the OC, I’d have Colin Kaepernick working on his play action fakes. Peyton Manning has some of the best play action fakes in the game. He extends the ball in one hand, runs as fast as he can to the running back, and then pulls it away at the last minute. Peyton’s handoffs and fakes look very similar. But Colin Kaepernick doesn’t fully extend the football, doesn’t race to the running back like he’s committing to the handoff, and the end result is just wasted time in the pocket when Kaep does fake and then look to throw. There’s a lot to be cleaned up there, but that’s not on Kaep – it’s on the coaches. I don’t think Greg Roman recognizes the importance of a good play action fake, nor does he know how to fix Kaep’s non-commitment to play action.

    In addition, I don’t think Greg Roman anticipates the blitz very well. So, because Greg doesn’t have a good feel for the blitz, it results in Kaep getting sacked pretty regularly. But again, to get that feel for the blitz, and to call a good passing game, you have to actually pass the football to get the qb into a rhythm.

    A lot of people are claiming Kaep isn’t playing well. I think Greg Roman is a really bad offensive coordinator, and I hope he gets fired at the end of the season.

    1. Totally disagree about Lattimore. He was the top rated rb, way better than lacy. We have a great rehab plan in place and kid looks like a stud prospect. There is risk of injury with every player, remember a guy named frank gore? There is something special about Lattimore!

      Niners Forever

    2. Lattimore is a gamble. The roster was packed. There was a good chance a 4th rounder wouldn’t make the squad, so why not draft and stash on the Non Football Injury list?

      Does a 4th rounder eat much salary cap? Year 1-4 players come dirt cheap under the new rookie salary system.

      Lattimore’s been NFI all year, so he doesn’t count against the 53 man roster.

      1. Yeah, Lattimore may be a gamble…bu then again the same thing was said about Frank Gore when he came out of Miami…I believe the only difference is that Frank had two bad knees….I see the Niners making a run at Toby Gerhart during the FA period. I think he’d be a good fit, and he’s got fresh legs after palying behind Adrian Peterson…..

      2. The roster is not packed with great running backs, James will be traded to Phili next year, Niners still don’t know how to use him, his former college coach does.

      3. The overall roster was packed. Not all all positions of course (like WR).

        Yup, LMJ will be gone. Dixon too. It might be Gore, Hunter and Lattimore (depending on health)… with Hampton fighting for a roster spot against a rookie RB.

        In the future I’m expecting the 49ers to platoon more… at least 3 active game day RBs.

        I see the Niners chucking/gambling mid round picks on RBs every year, hoping for diamonds in the rough.

  14. Go away Grant ! You are almost as bad as the Seahawk fans who troll Niner articles. You are trying way to hard to be Daddy’s boy.

  15. Thanks Grant. Now throw all that crap out the window because it’s time to play. Time for talking is over, it’s time to execute.

    Go 9ers!!

  16. “If the 49ers lose this game, there is a good chance they will fall behind the Cowboys or the Eagles in the wild-card race at least for one week, maybe permanently.”

    This is not true. The Cowboys and Eagles would have to both win for one of them to 1) not be in first place in their division and 2)have the same record as the 49ers but have the tiebreaker this week. If the 9ers beat the Bucs in Week 15 and the Falcons in Week 16 they again have the 6th playoff seed regardless of what the Eagles or Cowboys have done.

    The Eagles and Cowboys are also still playing each other in Week 17, meaning that the team in the NFC-E that is competing for the wild card still probably has another loss coming their way

  17. ^^^^ Point being that provided that the 9ers beats two of the Hawks, Bucs, Falcons, Cardinals, the hopeful wild card team from the NFC-E could win out (save for week 17, when they can’t win, almost by definition, as the Cowboys and Eagles are playing each other and the loser of that game is hoping for the wild card) and the 49ers would still be the #6 WC team over the NFC-E entrant.

  18. I dont know who Grant likes or roots for..I could be wrong but Im assuming he grew up in the Bay Area.Now if you grew up here and dont root for the Raiders or the Niners its pretty simple..Your a spineless no pride having SELLOUT!

    1. MidWest ..
      Sometimes, I get the “mobile” page .. even though
      I’m not mobile …

      Refresh the page half a dozen times, and
      the usual page pops up

  19. What really is at stake is the SB.
    If the nines lose, they’ll never make it to the SB because tomorrow is almost as important as the SB.
    If they win they prove that they can beat a very good team at a time that it mattered with something at stake.
    Sunday is showtime.
    do or die.

  20. The way I look at it, it really doesn’t matter what the experts and critics have to say in what the outcome of the game is going to be, between the Seahawks and 49ers this Sunday… The bottom line this game is meaningless to the Seahawks. Whether the Hawks win and clinch the NFC West title or they lose this game to the 49ers, the 49ers will have to go back to Seattle and play the Hawks and the 12th man again, if they make the playoff… And everyone knows how tough it is to play at Seattle. The 49ers found it out in their two previous blowout loss to the hawks, so did Brees and the explosive Saints offense.

    There’s no argument that the 49ers have the home field advantage, but in reality, the Seahawks are a lot better team now since they last played the 49ers at the stick, which the 49ers won 13-6. The Seahawks are a much improve team in both side of the game and their second year Qb Wilson is playing like an elite Qb. Who can probably take the hawks team deep in to the Playoffs and to the SB.

    1. The bottom line this game is meaningless to the Seahawks.

      And now you know the reason why the Seahawks will never win the Super Bowl. There is no such thing as a meaningless game in the NFL, and any team that thinks otherwise doesn’t have a prayer.

      1. Neal, Bay Losers,

        I’ll bet you’re enjoying your toilet bowl party before the game starts. Both of you might as well bring two box of Kleenex it might come handy after the game…

      2. Its a bird, its a plane it is Capeman, formerly known as a former 49er fan. No tissues for me Capeman, this is far from life or death. How many Lombardi Trophy’s does the Seahawks have? Matter of fact your new adopted city, just one championship, and that was your basketball team, but oh yea, you lost that team, great fan support in Seattle.

  21. Also why does cape,an spend so much time trolling 49ers articles. It’s kind of a perfect example for the whole Seattle fan base. Insecure and wanted recognition.

  22. niners will loose, they have something special they don’t wanna use untill they meet again in the playoffs at seattle, even if they win, most likely they will travel to seattle in the playoffs, niners basically have the sixth seed, they’ll go all the way…

  23. Note to Coach Harbaw (postgame protocol).
    1. Approach Mr. Carroll in a gentlemanly manner.
    2. Make eye contact (do not scowl).
    3. Wait for him to extend his hand to you.
    4. Grasp and shake his hand warmly.
    5. Allow him to release your hand/end the handshake.
    6. Pause and listen to what Pete will say to you.
    7. Once you have allowed him to finish his thought…
    8. then you may saw a congratulatory word. And smile.
    9. Stand your ground, square your shoulders.
    10. Allow Coach Carroll to be the one to turn and go,
    on his way to the winning locker room.
    11. Go spend 15 minutes alone in a small office…
    trying to digest the meaning of the game which you just lost.

    1. Will the Yorks negotiate a new contract with Harbaugh is he loses this game? What is the proper etiquette for them in that case?

      1. They will offer him a new extension, during the off season, Harbaugh is not a great coach yet, but he is better then all of the coaches before him, except for Seifert and Walsh.

      1. Live on camera, Toyota Kawasaki reporting from Bill Walsh Field, 2 assailants apprehended by undercover police. Allegedly 49er fans known as ‘Bay & Prime’ began a brawl, which culminated with a roll of twisted bodies down the aisle. More information later on the 10 o’clock news hour…..

      2. That would be quite a sight. These two have made enough blog ‘cred’ for themselves that don’t need to be carried onto the streets.

        I sincerely hope that Bay does not seek out Prime and that they both have a good time cheering for their favorite team.
        Quit the 49er on 49er violence! (lol)

      3. In other developments, County Mental Health authorities (assisted by Animal Control Officers with nets) captured, subdued and institutionalized a man wearing only red knee socks and a multi-colored jester’s hat who was screaming unintelligibly about Alex, Kaep and somebody named HarbClaw.

  24. Will homefield advantage be “enough”…?
    The oddsmakers say no:
    Niners are only 2.5 point favorites.
    Note to Kaep:
    Time to score early and score often, fella.
    If Mr. Wilson jumps out ahead of you,
    the crowd advantage will soon be muted.

  25. The Seahawks will no doubt be a tough challenge. However, between the Niners defense playing at a championship level and the return of Crabtree (and an effective passing game) it’s silly to expect the Niners to lose today.

    24-17 Niners

  26. I believe that a 49ers win today is extremely essential.
    A loss to the c-hawks not only gives them an insurmountable lead for a division title that at this point of the season is pretty much a given, but more importantly, it gives the c-hawks a huge psychological edge over us that may prove to be damaging for years to come.

    As I said last week, we could lose this game and still have a good chance of making he playoffs with an 11-5 or possibly 10-6 record, but if we have to face the c-hawks at home the task of beating them on their home turf becomes even more daunting because of the psychological wall we would need to overcome.

    That being said, I believe that we will win this game because we are a much better team than the one which lost 29-3 in week two.
    CK has made some increment improvements in the pocket, some key offensive players are returning, we still have one of the best defenses in the league and the home field crowd will be raucous.

    I will stay with my original score of:
    24-17 49ers

    1. Hakuna Matata, I can say it For You….Kaepernick is the one we’ve been waiting for, and he will bring the Seahawks down to Chinatown.

      1. “49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has never beaten the Seahawks. (More accurately, he’s never not been blown out by the Seahawks.)”

      1. Right, Razor. And as every Oenophile knows, those beautiful DRCs needed a little time to lose the rough edges and evolve to the sublime.
        They continue to improve for a number of years.

  27. Anyone else notice how similar Grants and Lowells articles are? Almost like they wrote them at the same time in the same room

  28. The Seadderall Cheathawks are the better team this year, but luck has had a ton to do with it. While the Niners have had nothing go right at the end of close games, Seattle has had every bounce, tip or call go their way. We could easily be tied in records or atop the division right now. Sometimes these things happen, but I wouldn’t lose all faith in this team just yet.

    For those people saying the Cheathawks have nothing to play for-you’re dead wrong. The 49ers are one if inly two teams (Carolina) who could give Seattle trouble in the playoffs. The rest are pretenders. Why wouldn’t Caroll want to do whatever he can to keep the Niners outside the playoffs. This game is also a ‘kick your head against the curb while you’re down’. If Seattle wins this one, it starts to get into the minds of the 49ers players this year and next. Think Dallas vs San Fran early 90s and GreenBay vs San Fran later.

  29. The 49ers have the Titans 2014 3rd rounder. They finish at Denver, Arizona, Jacksonville and Houston. I’m expecting 7-9. That’s nice compensation, especially if Tank works out.

    On the other hand if Justin Hunter turns out to be a great WR…

  30. If it’s a close game in the 4th quarter, I think Seattle finds a way to pull it out. They have shown more mental toughness right now.

    On one hand, Colin then gets a chance to show if he can pull out a close game in the closing minutes of a critical game.

    And if he fails then this team, on the offensive side, really needs a lot of work.

    1. Fan,
      Even if the 49ers win there is always room for improvement going forward.

      Like you, I too want to see CK have a good game, but I also want to see our WR’ getting open and beating the c-hawks DB’ at their own game which is being physical.
      I need to see our O-line opening some running lanes for F.Gore along with giving CK the needed protection to go through his reads and make throws.

      I definitely want to see a more pronounced pass-rush from our defense and I need our defense to keep M.Lynch from achieving beast-mode.

      Our Special Teams need to play a big factor in this game and our coaching needs to make the right calls and make quick adjustments when their plan hit’s a wall.

      Oh, did I mention that CK needs to have a good game?
      Yes I did.
      But today, it will take a total team effort to beat the c-hawks.

      1. Niners, despite the presence of Sherman, should have an edge at WR against the Seahawk corners. Bolding and Crabtree have a big edge in experience over the other Seattle corners. VD should be an edge at TE for the Niners, too. Sherman can cover only 1 player at a time.

  31. Sadly I agree, Grant, but as always as a fan I can psyche myself up to come with a plausible scenario where we win. Here’s the good news: this time the Seahawks have to face Justin Smith with two healthy arms, Aldon Smith with fresh legs, 4 LBs playing like Pro Bowlers, and a revamped secondary where a starter-quality player (EW) is our third DB. This time, and for the first time this season, the Niner D plays like a SB Champion, shuts down Lynch and Wilson, and we win 19-13. (Ok, covering the spread may be a bit much, but it *is* sunday and football just gets the animal spirits going…)

    The Niners have something to prove today. I think they do it.

  32. According to Maiocco, Snyder gets the start….I really wanted to go with Looney and his nasty intangibles….Experience seems to be the trump card.

  33. Grant- Keep your objective style. Nobody should be looking for a cheerleader type blog. Boring. With regard to Seattle, this is really THE test of the year for Kap. He’s coming off 2 good performances, albeit against poor teams. This game will be the game Kap will be measure by for 2013. My sense is that Kap is improving, and quickly. He’s getting it. Montana is right, he has to get better in the pocket. That’s why Harbaugh has resisted the arguments in this blog to turn Kap loose. Although Harbaugh’s decision to let A. Smith go was awful, he knows QBs and this game will give us an idea whether Kap has benefited from Jim’s coaching.

      1. Geez,Crab

        Face it, it WAS an awful decision…There’s nothing wrong with being a Kap fanatic, but get real…look at their stats side-by-side. To bring up the ‘circle’ statement, “be a niner fan, not a Kap fan”. It’s not Kap’s fault; he was thrown in about two years too early.

      2. OregonNiner- You are spot on. Being any kind of ‘fanatic’ diminishes your ability to think clearly, meaning no offense to others on this blog. I’m a Niner fan but, hey, it’s ok to constructively criticize.

      3. Oregon – To each his own but my family and friends ALL suffered miserably for 8 years watching Alex suck. It’s my prerogative to voice my opinion.
        Kap has sucked 4-5 GAMES so far not 8 YEARS.

      4. As Greg Cosell said, every NFL scout and every NFL general manager, would take Kaep over Alex Smith. Not even a argument, let these dummies, say that next year when Kaep gets better. Alex Smith can’t take you to the promise land, and Andy Reid will notice that as well. Maybe Roman can get the Houston or Washington job, although I doubt they will be calling.

      5. I made this money you didn’t! Right Ted?
        We outta here!! …………It’ my……it’s my…… it’s my…… it’s my……it’s my…..my my my my my my my my myyyyy………..it’s my prerogative.

    1. 38-10 at the half. Yikes!

      23 Jordan, care to comment?

      Oh right. Alex Smith 10-13 for only 108 yards at the half.

      Skins pass d is really bad so that doesn’t count.

  34. Re Maiocco… inactive are Patton, Baldwin, Brown, Iupati, Celek, Dial, Carradine.

    This means VMac might be well enough to play. Today would be the perfect time for a breakout game.

  35. Dang, with most of my fantasy leagues entering their first week of playoffs this wasn’t the best time for Brady to have a bad day.

    1. Mark, they should test Gore for Peds! You’re right, maybe at half time he got some shot, that’s why he broke a 51 yard run… It was Just a sarcasm remark.

      I acknowledge it. Yesterday the better team won the game, but the game didn’t affect the standings in anyway. Hawks still 1st, the 49ers is still 6th seed in the NFC. That’s what I meant by it being meaningless.

      Hats off to the 49ers they were the better team yesterday, but the Best team in the NFL loss yesterday. And the loss yesterday is just going to motivate the Seahawks when they meet each other in the Playoffs.

      We’ll all find out in the playoffs when the 49ers come to Seattle and face Hawks and the 12th man again, and it will be in different circumstances…. Everyone already knows in the last two previous meeting between these two teams who have the edge playing in Seattle.

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