The San Francisco 49ers will kick off at the Seattle Seahawks this evening and one group will have their hands full: the officials. NFL.com reports that the NFL and VP of Officiating Dan Blandino has sent the 49ers, Seahawks and officiating crew video of the 49ers-Carolina Panthers matchup from last week with clarification on what will and will not be tolerated. No one doubts that this game will be intense. For the sake of fair play and a good game, I hope the officials are able to keep control of this game from the outset–as difficult as that may be.
Which team does chippiness help? I would say the extremely physical Seattle secondary would benefit should the officials not call the game correctly. If the game is kept in hand, I think the 49ers may have a bit of an edge that they would not otherwise have. I do hope that the game does not come down to officials and close calls, as the 49ers lost a painful one to the New Orleans Saints on a questionable call earlier in the season. No matter what, I know that many around the nation–and outside of it, in my case–are looking forward to an exciting night of football.