Sunday

NFL FootBall Preview: San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks



Colin Kaepernick and Anquan Boldin put on quite the show to lead San Francisco to a Week 1 victory last weekend.It wasn't as pretty for Seattle, but Russell Wilson and company still got the job done in their opener.The two NFC West rivals clash on Sunday night at CenturyLink Field looking for big 2-0 starts.The 49ers and Seahawks were two of the three NFC West teams to win their openers, joining the St. Louis Rams. With the former clubs expected to duel for the NFC West crown, this matchup in Seattle will put one in the driver's seat early on."It's football, it's competition, it's winning," said 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, who became the only coach in franchise history to win opening-day games in each of his first three seasons. "There's good football teams that we're playing right out of the blocks here. Seattle's an outstanding football team and will be a great test for our team. We know the challenge that's ahead of us."San Francisco won two straight and six of its first eight en route to winning the NFC West last year and earning a first-round bye before marching all the way to the Super Bowl.Seattle, meanwhile, won five straight down the stretch and bested Washington in the first round of the playoffs before losing by two points to Atlanta in the divisional round.Always a tough team to play at home, the Seahawks know the advantages of finishing as one of the top seeds ahead of the playoffs and are looking to knock off the defending NFC champion Niners to make a statement."We have a lot of unselfish guys on this team that have the bigger picture in mind," said Seattle wide receiver Sidney Rice following a Week 1 win over Carolina. "It starts one game at a time. This is the first one and we'll put it behind us (Monday) after we watch film and then move on to the 49ers."What the Seahawks will see as they prepare for this weekend is a clinic put on by Kaepernick and Boldin in a 34-28 win over the Green Bay Packers.Making his first opening day start, Kaepernick threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns, building quick chemistry with Boldin, who was making his San Francisco debut. The wideout hauled in 10 passes for 208 yards with a score.After torching the Packers on the ground in the postseason last year, Kaepernick did it with his arm last Sunday."He did exactly what we know he is capable of doing," Boldin said of Kaepernick. "He did exactly what he needed to do. I keep telling people how good of a quarterback he is, everybody looks at how athletic he is and that he's a 'running quarterback' but he is a quarterback first. Being able to run is just a bonus for him."Seattle needed a late touchdown pass from Wilson to secure a 12-7 win over the Panthers. The quarterback came through, finding Jermaine Kearse for a 43-yard score 4:47 into the fourth quarter and the defense took over from there.
The Seahawks picked up the first road-opening win since 2006 and have not won two in a row to begin a season since opening that campaign 3-0.Sunday's victory was one that head coach Peter Carroll took pride in."The thing I love about it was our guys hung tough and we made the plays when we really needed them," he said. "We finished the game with the ball in our hands, which we always like and we came out of our first game on the road with a win, which is so hard. It's so difficult. I thought they played really well."The Seahawks have won nine of their last 10 home openers, with the lone loss in that span coming versus the 49es in 2008.The all-time series between these rivals is tied at 14-14, with the Niners winning four of the last five meetings. That includes a 42-13 loss at Seattle on Dec. 23, when Marshawn Lynch ran for 111 yards and a score, and wide receiver Doug Baldwin caught two of Wilson's four touchdown throws. Lynch also caught a TD pass.

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