A look at the Seahawks’ NFC Championship matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, including five matchups that could impact the outcome:
When: Sunday, 3:30 p.m., CenturyLink Field
Records: Seahawks were 13-3 during the regular season to win the NFC West and clinch the NFC’s No. 1 seed in the postseason; 49ers were 12-4 to finish second in the NFC West and wrap up the No. 5 seed.
Postseason: Seahawks beat the No. 6-seed New Orleans Saints 23-15 in the divisional round last Saturday; 49ers beat the NFC North Champion and No. 4 seed Packers in Green Bay 23-20 in the wild-card round and then beat the NFC South Champion and No. 2-seed Panthers in Carolina 23-10 in the divisional round last Sunday.
What’s at stake: The winner advances to Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 to play the winner of Sunday’s AFC Championship game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots.
TV: FOX (Q13), with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver and Erin Andrews
Radio: 710 ESPN and 97.3 KIRO FM, with Steve Raible, Warren Moon and Jen Mueller
One to watch
The Seahawks offensive line vs. the 49ers’ front seven: The Seahawks will have a difficult time running or passing if they can’t control the 49ers’ defensive line and linebackers, especially the Pro Bowl duo of inside linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis. They combined for 339 tackles during the regular season and have added 50 in the postseason. Bowman and Willis are capable of clogging the running lanes that Lynch is so good at exploiting and also applying pressure on QB
Fun to watch
One tough task
Colin Kaepernick vs. CenturyLink Field: The 49ers’ QB has gotten it done with his arm and his legs in the playoffs the past two years. He ran for 181 yards against the Packers last season, and has five rushing touchdowns in the postseason. He passed for 302 yards in the 49ers’ Super Bowl loss to the Baltimore Ravens. This season, he had a 14-yard average as a runner against the Packers in the wild-card round and had TDs rushing and passing last week against the Carolina Panthers in the divisional round. But at CenturyLink Field, Kaepernick has not had nearly as much success. In two games, Kaepernick the passer is 32 of 64 for 371 yards, with one TD pass and four interceptions; while Kaepernick the runner had 87 yards in Week 2 this season, but 31 on seven carries in the Week 16 game last season. And, he has yet to do his biceps-kissing celebration in the either end zone. The Seahawks’ defense has had a lot to do with this. So has the noise generated by the 12th Man crowd.
This is the first postseason meeting between the Seahawks and 49ers. … The regular-season series is tied 15-15, with the 49ers winning five of the past seven meetings and the Seahawks outscoring the 49ers 139-58 in winning four of the past five games in Seattle. … The 49ers are one of only 12 teams since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger to play in the conference championship game in three consecutive seasons; and Jim Harbaugh is the first coach since 1970 to do it in his first three seasons. … Kaepernick is 4-1 in the postseason. … Gore had his seventh season with at least 1,000 rushing yards, a franchise record. … Davis has seven postseason TD catches, tying him with Dave Casper for the most in NFL history by a tight end. … During the regular season, the Seahawks led the NFL in turnovers (39), interceptions (28) and turnover differential (plus-20), as well as average points (14.4), yards (273.6) and passing yards (172.0) allowed. … The Seahawks have a six-game home winning streak in the postseason. … Lynch has 451 rushing yards in the postseason, second in franchise history behind Shaun Alexander (564). … MLB