Seahawks Insider

5 questions, 5 answers with a 49ers beat writer

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on Jan. 18, 2014 at 2:16 pm with 70 Comments »
January 18, 2014 2:16 pm
Colin Kaepernick has a chance to put his struggles at CenturyLink Field behind him this Sunday. / AP photo
Colin Kaepernick has a chance to put his struggles at CenturyLink Field behind him this Sunday. / AP photo

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle was good enough to answer five questions for us. You can follow him on Twitter at @Eric_Branch.

1. Colin Kaepernick has not played well in CenturyLink Field. Why do you think that is and how do you expect him to play Sunday?
Reason 1: The Seahawks have the NFL’s best secondary.

Reason 2: The 49ers have not handled the noise well. Even in home games, they’ve had issues getting plays called in a timely manner and the din in Seattle has only exacerbated those clock-management issues. They’ve never found an offensive rhythm.

Reason 3: His supporting cast has been less-than-stellar. By the end of the 42-13 loss in 2012, Michael Crabtree was his only reliable target because Vernon Davis and Mario Manningham had exited with injuries. In Week 2, Anquan Boldin was his only available wide receiver with more than 38 career receptions. Kyle Wiliams, the No. 2 wide receiver in that game, was waived in November.

With Crabtree, Boldin and Davis available, I expect Kaepernick to offer a respectable-but-not-put-the-offense-on-his-back performance. Even in the 49ers’ win over Seattle in December, his passer rating (67.5) was his lowest in his past nine games.

2. When you look at the Seahawks, what’s the toughest thing for the 49ers to deal with from them?
Their secondary. In their past four meetings (1 start by Alex Smith, 3 by Kaepernick), the 49ers quarterbacks have three touchdowns, six interceptions and haven’t posted a rating above 75.0. That’s not very good. Runner-up selection: Marshawn Lynch. He’s accounted for four of the top six rushing performances against the 49ers in the Jim Harbaugh era.

3. And the reverse. Toughest thing for the Seahawks to deal with from the 49ers?
Frank Gore and their running game. It’s hard to call it a weakness, but Seattle’s run defense is obviously the area to attempt to exploit. In their past two wins against Seattle, the 49ers have done so successfully. Gore has 100-yard performances in both games and has saved his best for the second half: he’s averaged 86 yards in the final two quarters.

4. Despite what they say, do you think the rivalry between Harbaugh and Carroll is authentic?
I think they genuinely respect the other’s football principles and coaching chops. They both lead hair-on-fire teams fueled with a strong running game and nightmare defenses. Personally? They probably bug each other because they are, in many ways, alike: enthusiastic, smug, player’s coaches who still derive an unusual amount of pleasure from throwing a football around.

5. What’s your pick and why?
Seahawks 20, 49ers 16. I saw 42-13 and 29-3. At this point, I think the 49ers are playing better than the Seahawks, but I’m not convinced they can completely stop the CenturyLink snowball from rolling again. A critical fourth-quarter turnover will be the difference.

Leave a comment Comments → 70
  1. Hawkjitsu says:

    Bottled up in the 1st game and taken care of for most of the 2nd, until that LUCKY 51 yard scamper in the 4th quarter. Frank Gore is not Seahawk kryptonite, as much as he would like him to be. He’s just another RB…as far as the front 7 and the LOB are concerned. Doubly so for me.

  2. Dukeshire says:

    I don’t get that picture. Who on earth is “Smith” wearing what looks like a number that ends with a 4? The only Smith on the roster is Malcolm, and he’s 53. I’m obviously missing something; can someone help me with this? (Jared Smith is a guard and is on the PD/injured list)

  3. I’ve been defending mostly – but our passing games against AZ and NO does scare me — if RW and the passing attack can be as effective tomorrow as he was in the last game against SF, I bet we win this one.

  4. DreadHawks says:

    I’m nervous as heck about tomorrow, even went out and washed my car which only gets done when it’s really bad. Looks great tho in it’s Seahawk Blue with the sun shining down and the Hawk car flags to top it off. I’m with pdway, if our O plays like we know it can, color this a victory. I keep waiting for Bevell to say NOW Russell. Here’s to a W tomorrow and a blowout by us would be just fine by me. No drama needed.Go Hawks!!

  5. montanamike2 says:

    This would be a good game to let Russell loose.

  6. Very nervous about the game – I hope that we can get going early and the 49ers don’t…..

  7. 24 hours, 12 minutes to go

  8. sluggo42 says:

    We need to do some different things. I sure hope Bevell pulls out the stops

  9. DreadHawks says:

    Would love to see a swing pass to Mike Rob or a couple of screens to Beast just to keep the 9er D guessing.

  10. Time to be a fan.

    We’ve had everything analyzed every which way. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

    Time to scream, yell, cheer and create earthquakes.

  11. Todd Dybas says:


    That’s DT D’Anthony Smith, who has been on and off the practice squad throughout the season. He was active for the game in Week 2.

    – Todd

  12. Dukeshire says:

    I don’t know about Mike Rob, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a wheel route to Turbin, if the opportunity presents itself. They haven’t run one this season, but last year ran 2 and he got behind the D on both (only hit on one, however).

  13. sluggo42 says:

    Are you sure we have analyzed everything?

    I think it’s time for some self-analysis.
    What are you going to do tomorrow to do your part? What preparations have you made to ensure you do ALL the necessary rituals that help to ensure the outcome?

    I have my seahawks coffe cup washed and ready. I have my seahawks sweats and shirt washed and ready. I will buy fresh bananas at 7:45 pm tonite for my wife’s cereal tomorrow morning. Her seahawk sweatshirt is washed and ready.

    Have you taken all to the nth degree? Are you ready for some football?

    Go hawks

  14. Dukeshire says:

    Sluggo – I wore the same thing to work yesterday I’ve worn every Friday all season. Tomorrow I’ll follow the same routine I’ve followed all season: wake at 5:30. Gym by 6. Home by 7:30. NFL Gameday until the first game. I’ll be wearing the same ‘Hawks gear I’ve worn all season, on Sundays. Routine. Like Wilson says, every game is a championship game. Lol

  15. 23 hours, 28 minutes to go…..

  16. UltimateHawk says:

    I could easily see Todd saying this:

    “Personally? They probably bug each other because they are, in many ways, alike: enthusiastic, smug, player’s coaches who still derive an unusual amount of pleasure from throwing a football around.”

  17. jkashlock says:

    Help?! I got sent on business to London this weekend? Any chance anyone here knows a good bar or pub to watch “American football” at 11:30pm on a Sunday? Hoping to feel the earthquake all the way out here!

  18. “Have you taken all to the nth degree? Are you ready for some football?”

    don’t think for a second that I haven’t thought about every single superstition I have in place for a Hawks victory. my kids all know the deal too . . .

  19. A friend of a friend said he had a dream, with SF winning 15-7. If that turns out to be the correct score, I will disassociate on the assumption he had some disreputable other-worldly communication.

    Hey, I might do the same on any SF win. . . .

  20. Get up early, check the pas report see if I have to adjust my take off time stop at Fred Meyers get 1 oz travel scope mouth wash for half time throat.Stop in Issaquah get subway meatball sandwich.Go to lucky parking garage 8th floor ends stall.


  21. I’m really impressed by a 49ers beat writer who can objectively pick the Seahawks to win.

    Thanks, Todd — One of the best things posted this week

  22. Well said Stevos…I agree and like his prediction. 20-16 sounds great!

  23. 20-16 works, covers the spread too. Seahawk flag is up in Vegas. Veggie tray, booze and pizza at the ready…going to see if we can put some cracks in the ceiling.

  24. I too really enjoyed that SF interview.

    I am hoping that our players have been coached to take the high road and get on the good side of the refs. I know it will be physical as hell but cheap shots and retaliations resulting in penalties could turn the refs one way or the other and greatly affect momentum.

  25. Jkashlock – think you have it bad, I’m in Bangkok. I have to find a bar open at 6:30am to watch it.

  26. mengland says:

    I’m watching last weeks game again. The fans can do better. I remember the last NFC championship game- we definitely took it to a higher level from Redskins to Panthers. Leave it all in the stands and on the field! Nice that Monday is a holiday!

  27. It may not quite be, but this does feel like the biggest Seahawk game ever.

  28. Vegas, it’s gotta be right up there!

  29. You may be able to watch the game online on FOX if you have cable in America and can login. At this link:

    Or you can watch it online at this link:

    Click on the football icon, then click on the link for the Seahawks Niners game. Close whatever pop up ads appear. Under the link you clicked on, click on “Link 1″ under “Primary Flash Stream (English)”.

    More pop ups will appear; close them. A window will suggest you install the “media player” but you dont have to, so close that window and or wait for the ad to go away.

    This really works. My brother in KY watches Seahawks games at that link when they are not on tv out there. Just close all the pop ups, and do not install the media player even though it will say you need to.

  30. I thought I just saw Ken Bering at the Barrett Jackson auction on tv. Is he still alive? I know, who cares. Just think how far our team has come since those days!!!!!!!!!

  31. jkashlock, I see that they have a Sea Hawkers chapter in England. I don’t know where but they would have info.

  32. Dukeshire says:

    Todd – Thank you! I couldn’t come up with it for the life of me and I didn’t want to “cheat” be looking it up on line and pretending I did know. lol

  33. I bet our wr’s & qb are going to have an extra large chip on their shoulders for this one with all the talk about our passing game being our biggest weakness. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a really good game from them.

  34. Advanced NFL Stats have given the NY Times the win probabilities for the Conference Championships:

    .29 NE@DEN .71
    .31 SF@SEA .69

  35. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Chip or Boulder.

    I predict that Baldwin makes three big plays. Lockette makes one, and our special teams will be the difference.

  36. Go Hawks! Just follow Michael Bowie to victory!

  37. Pilot–Justintv might work. The sites a pain. As per usual, dont click on the tricky popups, try multiple streams, and dont download any media players.

    Also, FirstRowSports used to work. These are .com sites…

  38. montanamike2 says:

    Sharper is toast, with that much bail they must have substantial evidence.

  39. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Says one blogger-

    “He should of went to target and got 2 jars of Vaseline® and “changed his clothes in the parking lot” instead.”

  40. One last comment before the game tomorrow…

    Go Seahawks!!!

  41. So Prisco is calling it 21-20 with the Hawks winning on a late field goal. What…does he think we’ll get to 21 by kicking seven field goals?

  42. “As evidence, Simms shared his favorite Carroll anecdote: “Practice was a little flat early on and he yelled, ‘Enthusiasm! Enthusiasm! Enthusiasm! And if you don’t feel enthusiastic, then fake it.’ Now it’s there every day. That enthusiasm he brings creates an unbelievable atmosphere.”"

    Time proven positive thinking practice.

  43. VNHLNFAN says:

    31-6 Hawks win..

  44. I am numb with excitement at this point in the evening, out here in NJ. Good God. Can this time between now and game time move any faster? Maybe I just need to go to sleep, and wake up in my Largent jersey. GO SEAHAWKS!!

  45. Dear Seahawks,

    Please win!



  46. montanamike2 says:

    Me too.

  47. Dukeshire says:

    Bob, remember, “they have to deal with us.”

  48. pretty please.

  49. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    Hey pfah, I feel your pain.

  50. I just have this awful feeling that if we don’t get a defensive score we won’t win this game :(

  51. SeahawkInKorea says:

    @dukeshire The Smith he referred to is former QB Alex Smith

  52. trout_hound says:

    So I was skiing today at Whitefish Mountain Resort and was in the summit house sporting my Hawks beanie at lunch, and a big boisterous guy in a 12 jersey was leading Seahawks! chants there. I gave him a high five and he told me he had a dream last night that Seattle was playing Denver in the Superbowl. In his dream, Richard Sherman ran up to Peyton Manning for a sack, and grabbed Peyton’s arm and ripped it off, ball and all, and ran it back for a touchdown. Go Hawks!

  53. Less than 17 hours to go… and, yes, they do have to deal with “us.” Wish I could be there to scream my lungs out!

  54. Less than 16 hours to go… cannot sleep!!!

  55. Yes.

    “When you come in here, you got to deal with US.”
    - E.T.

  56. I have a 6-pack of Hoppy Ending chilling in the fridge for tomorrow. It’s brought the wins throughout the season, most recently for the Saints last week (Safeway was out of it before the @SF game — “we’ll have some on Tuesday” they said, “Tuesday? I kinda need it now” I said — a look what happened).

    Please, please, please pull out a win. The Bay Area is insufferable right now.

    Go Hawks!

  57. JoeinKirkland says:

    I can not remember being so excited and amped up for a game. My son and I will be sitting in our regular seats in section 301 cheering loud enough to represent all of you who aren’t able to be there.

    I see three possible outcomes: Seahawks win a close one, Whiners win a close one, or Hawks win handily. The only thing I can’t imagine happening is a Whiner blowout.

    After last week my heart can’t handle another nail-biter. Come on Hawks, get out to an early lead and put the pressure on them. Crapernick will fold if he has to carry the load on his shoulders.

  58. Less than 15 hours away… and for me in the Central Time Zone (it’s 2:31 a.m.)…

  59. Lets go!!!

  60. Macabrevity says:

    Did anyone else catch Jamie Dukes on Total Access talking about Percy Harvin yesterday?

    Awesome stuff, he said; (rough quote here, but this is NOT a typo)
    “SHE’s been somewhere on the bench all season, you didn’t need HER to get where you are, you don’t need HER now”

    Hilarious, reminds me of Bill Parcells talking about (I think it was) Terry Glenn; “She’s a pretty good player”

  61. Macabrevity says:

    Vegas56 – my worries exactly

  62. My wife just called Holmgren to raise the flag

  63. Newborough says:

    I’ll be in training for the Super Bowl, watching the game on NFL Game Pass from 12.30 am to 04.00am, before grabbing 2 hours sleep and heading into work!

    It worked well before, against Carolina the last NFC Championship game, so I’m hoping for a similar result this time. Go Hawks!

  64. Dukeshire says:

    Seahawkinkorea – Incorrect

  65. Macabrevity says:

    Newborough, I’m on gamepass too, same time zone, same start time for work even.

    Go Hawks!

  66. Jamie Dukes is the same idiot who said that it will be hard for the Seahawks to beat the 49ers 3 times this year. He is a tool.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0