As is well known, the Seattle Seahawks come into Candlestick Park for the last time this Sunday to take on the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams have talented duel-threat quarterbacks, running backs with arguments for the Hall-of-Fame, and extremely stingy and determined defenses. Neither team likes the other, with the coaching rivalry between Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll going back to what used to be the Pac-10. Nevertheless, the teams are made in the near-spitting image of one another.
Something will have to give, however. In Seattle, the incredible sound of the stadium combined with Colin Kaepernick‘s lack of receiving weapons to help the Seattle defense utterly destroy the 49ers offensive line, sacking Kaepernick 3 times, intercepting him 3 times, and forcing a fumble. The 49ers offense could not do anything, placing their defense in bad situation after bad situation.
This game, without the infamous “twelfth man” in Seattle, will allow Kaepernick to communicate with his offense — one that has two good receiving options that were previously missing. Seattle is now missing DB Walter Thurmond (Brandon Browner missed the last matchup too). These factors will all play a role in the game, but if the 49ers offensive line cannot stop Seattle’s pass rush, the game is already over. That’s why Joe Staley and his compatriots on that line, even without Mike Iupati, will make the difference in this game.