NFC Championship Game preview

  • Updated: January 18, 2014 - 5:29 PM


San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

When: 5:30 p.m.

TV: Ch. 9 (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver)

Line: Seahawks by 3½

The skinny

This one should be reminiscent of old-time, smash-mouth football. There’s no hotter team in the NFL than the Niners, who have won eight in a row, including playoff games at Green Bay and Carolina. Jim Harbaugh is the NFL’s first coach to take his team to three conference championships in his first three seasons. There might not be a better secondary — or defense — in football than Seattle’s No. 1-ranked unit. The Seahawks are 8-1 at home this season and have won 16 of 17 home games since 2012, which happens to be QB Russell Wilson’s first season. Solid communication through the chaos at CenturyLink Field will be paramount for 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. This is the 49ers’ 15th conference title game, which ties an NFL record. It’s the Seahawks’ second.

The series

The NFC West foes split their 2013 regular-season meetings, each winning at home. In their last meeting, the 49ers beat the Seahawks 19-17 on Dec. 8, 2013, in San Francisco. In Week 2 the Seahawks won 29-3. In that game, Kaeper-nick had a career-worst 20.1 passer rating. The Seahawks have outscored the 49ers 71-16 and forced seven turnovers in their past two wins at home.

playoff star

49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks has 4½ sacks this postseason. No player has more than six in a single postseason since sacks became official stat in 1982.


The NFC title game has been decided by seven points or fewer six years in a row. Three of those games went to overtime.

When 49ers have the ball

The Seahawks secondary will be challenged by 49ers wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis. Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman led the league with eight interceptions, and safety Earl Thomas had five. Cornerback Byron Maxwell has been a real find.

When Seahawks have the ball

Seattle’s offense has slumped in recent weeks, but it also has made big plays when needed. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 140 yards last weekend against New Orleans. This week he faces the best linebacking corps in the NFL.

news services

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


question of the day

Poll: Who would you rather have on your team?

Weekly Question


Texas - WP: N. Martinez 5 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 4
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 3 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 4
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 9 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 5
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 8 FINAL
Oakland - LP: J. Samardzija 5
Atlanta - LP: D. Carpenter 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: M. Melancon 3
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 5 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: D. Huff 2
Arizona - LP: E. Marshall 2 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 3
LA Angels - WP: C. Rasmus 8 FINAL
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 3
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 6 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0
Cincinnati - LP: J. Cueto 3 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: L. Lynn 7
San Francisco - WP: J. Peavy 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 3
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 4 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 3
Cleveland - WP: T. House 5 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 0
Kansas City - LP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa 5
San Diego 4 Bottom 8th Inning
Los Angeles 1
Pittsburgh 8/21/14 6:30 PM
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Colorado 3
San Jose 1 FINAL
Seattle 1
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters
Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon