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Kragthorpe: Seahawks right where they want to be

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Best player you’ve never heard of

Kam Chancellor, safety. That’s strange to say about a player who merited All-Pro consideration, but he’s sometimes overlooked among the big personalities in Seattle’s secondary, with Sherman and Earl Thomas.

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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Local connections

As key pieces of the Seahawks’ 2012 draft class, former Utah State teammates Bobby Wagner and Robert Turbin are thriving in Seattle. Wagner, the middle linebacker, led the team with 120 tackles (including five sacks) in the regular season.

Turbin, Lynch’s backup, is used frequently in pass protection on third downs and gets about five carries a game. Paul McQuistan, a veteran from Weber State, is a reserve offensive guard.

Reasons to cheer for them

Wagner and Turbin were driving forces of USU’s football recovery, leading the Aggies to their first bowl appearance in 14 years. The Seahawks are refreshing, reflecting former USC coach Pete Carroll’s college-style enthusiasm, and Seattle has never won a Super Bowl.

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Reasons to cheer against them

Carroll and the Seahawks are quite likable, unless you’re a Jim Harbaugh fan. And while the 49ers are playing in a third straight NFC title game, possibly deserving another Super Bowl opportunity after last year’s failed comeback against Baltimore, this is Seattle’s first appearance on this stage in eight years. The Seahawks will have more chances, beyond this season.


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