Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Seattle Seahawks fans participate in a rally for the NFL football team at Westlake Park on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, in Seattle. The Seahawks play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday for the NFC championship.(AP Photo/seattlepi.com, Joshua Trujillo) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; SEATTLE TIMES OUT; TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
Game of destiny arrives

San Francisco-Seattle matchup in the NFC title game seemed inevitable at the start of season.

First Published Jan 18 2014 09:21 pm • Last Updated Jan 19 2014 08:28 pm

Seattle • From the first kickoff back in September, the 49ers and Seahawks seemed destined to meet for the NFC title.

Time to get it on.

At a glance

NFC championship

San Francisco at Seattle

Sunday, 4:30 p.m.

TV » Ch. 13

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

With the conference’s most physical, relentless defenses, adept at forcing turnovers and making opponents think twice about, well, just about anything, Seattle (now 14-3) won the NFC West by one game over San Francisco (now 14-4). The offenses, while not nearly as imposing, have the right elements for a champion: strong running games, efficient and sometimes dynamic quarterbacks, and staunch lines.

Their coaches have the proper pedigree, as well. Jim Harbaugh has led the 49ers to the NFC championship game in all three seasons in charge, making the Super Bowl last year. Pete Carroll had a 28-23 record in three seasons as Patriots coach, then went to the college ranks and built a powerhouse at Southern California, with two national titles.

That there’s no love lost between Harbaugh and Carroll dating back to when they both were working in college — Harbaugh at Stanford, where he ran up the score on Carroll’s Trojans — adds plenty of spice.

The sum total on both sides should be a worthy conference champion to meet either Denver or New England in two weeks in the New Jersey Meadowlands for the NFL crown.

Even if both teams are playing down the drama they figure to provide before an ear-shattering wall of noise at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.

"I think it’s pretty much, the game’s a bigger stage and gets you to the Super Bowl obviously," said 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith. "But I think for the most part how we’ve gone into every game in the year’s past is we try to be as regimented as possible in how we do things. We’re not going to get all caught up in ‘This game gets us to the Super Bowl or this and that.’ We all know. There’s nothing that needs to be said or a special meeting or anything."

Just football.

"It’s like every game," Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson confirmed. "Every game is no different even though it’s a championship game and all of that.


story continues below
story continues below

"We talk about playing one every week, and the game doesn’t change.

"It comes down to not turning over the football, being in the plus in that situation, having a limited amount of penalties; you’re going to get some penalties, especially in a game like this, but not having too many of them.

"The biggest thing is just staying on schedule."

The schedule brought these teams together in September and December. Seattle won 29-3 at home in Week 2, then lost 19-17 at San Francisco on Dec. 8.

CenturyLink Field might be the toughest venue in the NFL for visitors, with architecture that not only keeps the noise inside the stadium, but funnels it toward the field itself. Wilson became a starter as a rookie in 2012 and went undefeated.

He won his first six home starts this season before a stumble against Arizona, but then Seattle defeated St. Louis to finish off the regular season, and New Orleans in a divisional-round playoff last weekend.

"That’s pretty spectacular and it just shows how amazing our fans are, how much energy the city has for our football team," Wilson said of the supersonic sound levels the 49ers can expect to deal with when they have the ball. "That’s what we’re looking forward to, and we want to bring something special to this city, and to do it we have to play one play at a time and see what happens at the end of the game."



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.