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Mark Harrison / The Associated Press

Fans of the Seattle Seahawks, known as the 12th Man, get their screaming lungs in shape during a rally for the team Friday at Westlake Park in Seattle.

Huddle up: Here’s the game plan

Published: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 - 10:48 pm
Last Modified: Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 - 11:12 pm


•  Opponent: at Seattle

•  Time: 3:30 p.m.

•  Line: Seahawks by 31/2

•  Records: 49ers 12-4 (2-0), Seahawks 13-3 (1-0)

•  TV/radio: FOX40 (Joe Buck play-by-play, Troy Aikman color), 680, 1320


Seahawks free safety

Earl Thomas vs. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick

Thomas is perhaps the best safety in the game, and the Seahawks give him plenty of responsibility. He is the lone deep safety in many of their formations, which allows the team’s strong safety, Kam Chancellor, to scoot closer to the line of scrimmage to assist in the run game. Thomas was a menace in Week 2 when the 49ers had only one legitimate threat, Anquan Boldin, at wide receiver. Now they have two. Kaepernick’s objective will be to win the chess match with Thomas by hitting Boldin, wide receiver Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis at the right times. That will force the Seahawks to move both safeties back into coverage. And when that happens, Frank Gore will have more room to run.


• The 49ers have gotten off to quick starts in their first two playoff games. That’s imperative against Seattle’s opportunistic defense and a raucous CenturyLink Field crowd. Early mistakes in that environment could be costly.

• On defense, the 49ers will follow their Week 14 game plan against Seattle: Stop Marshawn Lynch on the ground and take their chances with Russell Wilson through the air. Wilson had a nice game – 199 yards – on Dec. 8, but the Seahawks scored only 17 points.

• Statistic from the last two seasons against Seattle: When the 49ers win the turnover margin or break even, they win the game. Kaepernick must be careful with the ball – more than he was against Green Bay and Carolina – vs. the Seahawks defense, which led the NFL with 39 takeaways this year.

• Stick with the run. The 49ers had just 25 rushing yards in the first half against Carolina. But their persistence paid off in the second half when the offensive line began shoving the Panthers around and Gore began picking up yards in chunks.

• The 49ers’ normally stout coverage units gave up big returns on both a punt and a kickoff against Carolina. In a game in which points will be at a premium, a return-game lapse is something the 49ers can ill afford.

– Matthew Barrows



•  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)


•  Out: WR Percy Harvin (concussion)

•  Questionable: DT Jordan Hill (groin)

•  Probable: RB Marshawn Lynch (not injury related), LB K.J. Wright (foot)


Date Opponent Results
Sept. 8Green BayW, 34-28
Sept. 15at SeattleL, 29-3
Sept. 22IndianapolisL, 27-7
Sept. 26at St. LouisW, 35-11
Oct. 6HoustonW, 34-3
Oct. 13ArizonaW, 32-20
Oct. 20at TennesseeW, 31-17
Oct. 27at JacksonvilleW, 42-10
Nov. 3BYE
Nov. 10CarolinaL, 10-9
Nov. 17at New OrleansL, 23-20
Nov. 25at WashingtonW, 27-6
Dec. 1St. LouisW, 23-13
Dec. 8SeattleW, 19-17
Dec. 15at Tampa BayW, 33-14
Dec. 23AtlantaW, 34-24
Dec. 29at ArizonaW, 23-20
Jan. 5at Green BayW, 23-20
Jan. 12at CarolinaW, 23-10


Date Opponent Results
Sept. 8at CarolinaW, 12-7
Sept. 1549ersW, 29-3
Sept. 22JacksonvilleW, 45-17
Sept. 29at HoustonW, 23-20 (OT)
Oct. 6at IndianapolisL, 34-28
Oct. 13TennesseeW, 20-13
Oct. 17at ArizonaW, 34-22
Oct. 28at St. LouisW, 14-9
Nov. 3Tampa BayW, 27-24 (OT)
Nov. 10at AtlantaW, 33-10
Nov. 17MinnesotaW, 41-20
Nov. 24BYE
Dec. 2New OrleansW, 34-7
Dec. 8at 49ersL, 19-17
Dec. 15at New York GiantsW, 23-0
Dec. 22ArizonaL, 17-10
Dec. 29St. LouisW, 27-9
Jan. 11New OrleansW, 23-15

Read more articles by Matthew Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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