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Monday in Hawkville: In the NFC, the West is obviously the best

Posted Jan 13, 2014

Not surprisingly, Sunday’s NFC Championship game features two teams from the same division that have been chasing each other not only this season but also last season in the Seahawks and 49ers.


A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Jan. 13, which was “Tell The Truth Monday” as the players and coaches reviewed Sunday’s win over the Saints but also began preparing for this week matchup against the 49ers in the NFC Championship game:

WORD OF THE DAY: FAMILIARITY

To say the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers know one another heading into Sunday’s rematch in the NFC Championship game doesn’t begin to scratch the surface on how deep this rivalry goes.

STAT DU JOUR: BEAST MODE, TIMES THREE

Marshawn Lynch’s 140-yard rushing performance against the Saints set the Seahawks’ postseason record, and gives him three of the top four playoff performances in franchise history:

Player, (season, opponent) No. Yards Avg. TD
Marshawn Lynch (2013, Saints) 28 140 5.0 2
Marshawn Lynch (2012, Redskins) 20 132 6.6 1
Shaun Alexander (2005, Panthers) 34 132 3.9 2
Marshawn Lynch (2010, Saints) 19 131 6.9 1
Dan Doornink (1984, Raiders)  29 126 4.3 0
Curt Warner (1983, Dolphins)  29 113 3.9 2

The Seahawks won the NFC West in 2010. The 49ers captured the division title in 2011 and 2012, by half a game over the fast-closing Seahawks. This season, the Seahawks recaptured the title, by a game over the fast-closing 49ers.

In the postseason, the 49ers have knocked off the NFC North champion Packers in Green Bay and the NFC South champion Panthers in Carolina. The Seahawks advanced by beating the wild-card New Orleans Saints on Saturday after having a bye in the wild-card round.

But the prowess of the NFC West isn’t a top-heavy situation. The division’s four teams lost a combined 21 games this season, and 12 came against teams in the division. The Seahawks were 13-3, with two of the losses to the 49ers and Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers were 12-4, with one of the losses to the Seahawks. The Cardinals were 10-6, with four of their losses coming against the 49ers (two), Seahawks and St. Louis Rams. The Rams were 7-9, with five of the losses coming to the Seahawks (two), 49ers (two) and Cardinals.

“I think this matchup is exactly what everybody is looking for,” coach Pete Carroll said. “It’s an exciting one, with a lot of background. I’m grateful that it’s coming from our division. I think our division really made a statement this year about how good we were.

“So when you look at it, this is a fantastic matchup with a great opportunity for both teams. And we’re really thrilled about going for it, and love that it’s coming home.”

INJURY UPDATES: K.J. WRIGHT HAS A CHANCE TO PLAY

YOU DON'T SAY

“The stadium will be a factor in the game for sure. You have to play in it to understand. You don’t want that crowd to get hold of the game.”

Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell to Peter King, in his “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com.

Carroll said he’ll know more on the status of wide receiver Percy Harvin later in the week. Harvin left Saturday’s game in the second quarter with a concussion and did not return. It was only the second game this season for Harvin, who had hip surgery Aug. 1.

“Wednesday and Thursday will be the important days to figure out what’s going on,” Carroll said.

As for linebacker K.J. Wright, who has missed the past four games after having surgery to repair a broken foot, Carroll said, “K.J. Wright has a chance. We’re going to take a look at him on Wednesday. He ran well (Monday) and over the weekend. He’ll get a rest day (Tuesday) and he’ll come back out on Wednesday and we’ll see where he is. He has a chance. We’re excited about that for him.”

TICK, TICK, TICKETS: SUNDAY’S GAME SOLD OUT

The limited number of tickets available for Sunday’s NFC Championship game sold out in minutes Monday morning. Most already had been purchased by season-ticket holders. This will be the Seahawks’ 96th consecutive sellout.

YOU DON'T SAY

“The Seattle Seahawks want to bring something special to the city. To do that, we have to play the best 60 minutes of our lives.”

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

FOR TICKETS: NFL Ticket Exchange

UP NEXT: PLAYERS ‘OFF’ TUESDAY

The players will have their “off” day on Tuesday, when the coaches will be finalizing the game plan for the 49ers. The players return Wednesday to continue their on-field preparations for Sunday’s NFC Championship game.

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