Just two days now until the revival of what has become one of the NFL’s better, and most bitter, rivalries.
Jayson Jenks takes a look at how the Seahawks-49ers matchup — typified by the feud between coaches Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh (above in a John Lok photo) — got to this point in this story for the Friday paper.
Also an eye-catching story today is this from Fox Sports asking if the 49ers might be unimpressed with Russell Wilson. Here is an excerpt:
Whereas many see the Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback as one of the better caretakers of the football, Donte’ Whitner sees a guy who gives the defense a chance to make a play.
“He does,” the San Francisco 49ers safety told FOX Sports this week, following a practice in preparation for Sunday night’s NFC West rivalry game between the teams. “Whenever you play that style of football where you’re running around and some guys get open sometimes by (Wilson) running, you’ll give (defenders) some opportunities.”
Though the Seahawks’ defenders have been careful to say all the right things about 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick this week – “When you have a guy like that, he will put you in a lot of great situations to win,” Seattle safety Earl Thomas told Bay Area media – the ever-confident Whitner has a swagger befitting the defending NFC West and conference champs.
Whitner hasn’t been shy in his assessment of Wilson, from his saying “through film study all week, we know where he wants to go with the football in every coverage” to noting the moments when Wilson takes some chances with the ball.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Here’s our weekly stat geek feature;
— And our story on the 49er fans who may actually be undercover cops Sunday;
— Seahawks.com reviews what happened at the VMAC Thursday;
— Adam Schefter with an interesting look at how the Seahawks and 49ers have each been able to use low salaries for y0ung QBs to stockpile talent elsewhere;
— Here’s all of ESPN’s coverage of the Seahawks;
— The San Jose Mercury News notes that Justin Smith didn’t play against the Seahawks last September;
— Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami picks the Seahawks to win a close one;
— The San Francisco Chronicle on how the 49ers plan to try and stop Marshawn Lynch;
— The Chronicle also examines how noise may play a factor;
— The San Jose Mercury News wonders if Kaepernick will break out more of the zone-read game this week;
— The Sports Network picks the 49ers 24-17
— SI.com’s Jim Trotter breaks down some of the changes in Kaepernick’s game;
— SF defensive coordinator Vic Fangio says the 49ers need to tackle better Sunday;
— ESPN looks at how Lynch has grown during his time with the Seahawks;
— Here’s an AP preview of the game;
— The Sporting News breaks down the game from a gambler’s perspective.