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Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) tackles St. Louis Rams' Zac Stacy (30) as Seahawks' Red Bryant (79) closes in during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Kragthorpe: Seahawks right where they want to be
First Published Jan 15 2014 09:29 am • Last Updated Jan 15 2014 11:15 pm

The Seattle Seahawks are right where they want to be, playing in the NFL’s best environment and facing their biggest rivals for a trip to the Super Bowl.

In advance of Sunday’s NFC championship game vs. San Francisco, a look at the Seahawks:

At a glance

Editor’s note

This is the second in a series previewing Sunday’s NFL championship game contestants.

Thursday » Seattle Seahawks.

Sunday’s NFL title games

O AFC Championship

» New England at Denver, 1 p.m., Ch. 2

NFC Championship

» San Francisco at Seattle, 4:30 p.m., Ch. 13

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Team’s theme

They feature a modern-day, dual-threat quarterback, but the Seahawks are a classically structured NFL team, relying heavily on their defense, running game and home crowd.

How they got here

The Seahawks went 13-3 to earn the NFC’s No. 1 seed and beat New Orleans 23-15 in a divisional playoff game.

Super Bowl-bound if

story continues below
story continues below

The NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense keeps making game-changing plays and running back Marshawn Lynch can gain chunks of yardage against another of the league’s toughest defenses.

Homeward-bound if

An offense that wobbled in December, producing only 17 points in a defeat at San Francisco and 10 in a home loss to Arizona, can’t hit the 20-point mark against the 49ers.

Biggest variable

Quarterback Russell Wilson. Seattle’s standard sequence of plays is Lynch, Lynch and then, what can Wilson do on third down? He passed for only 103 yards against New Orleans and will have to exploit the 49ers’ aggressive defense to sustain drives. Percy Harvin’s availability would be a big help, after the receiver left last weekend’s game with a concussion.

Best player

Richard Sherman, cornerback. Seattle’s defense is loaded with talent, and Sherman is the centerpiece of the secondary that will try to lock down San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin.

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