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December 13, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Saturday Seahawks links and notes: Is the Seattle-San Francisco rivalry on life support?

An inescapable theme of the week is the possibility (probability?) that this could be the last time Jim Harbaugh coaches the 49ers in a game in Seattle and what that might mean to the rivalry.

Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer weighed in on that topic for Saturday’s paper, writing in part:

On Sunday, San Francisco returns to Seattle, and it feels like an ending. There’s much speculation that the 49ers will break up with coach Jim Harbaugh, the man who ended the franchise’s nine-year playoff drought, led San Francisco to three consecutive NFC title games and nearly won the Super Bowl following the 2012 season.

And that:

That would be an awful thing for the rivalry. The Seahawks and 49ers have never been this good and this heated at the same time, and Harbaugh is the star of the bitter feud. For a while, Harbaugh was Pete Carroll’s nemesis in college and the NFL. Harbaugh is the 49er that Seahawks fans love to hate. Without him, those twice-yearly meetings won’t be the same.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee weighed in on the rivalry from the 49ers’ perspective, saying:

That white-hot intensity of 49ers-Seahawks is sure to cool off if, as expected, Jim Harbaugh moves on after the season.

My take? The departure of Harbaugh, which also would likely mean some reconfiguring of the 49ers’ roster — dare we say rebuilding? — would inevitably change the tenor of the rivalry. But having watched the Seahawks since their inception and seen the way that the rivalries with the Broncos and Raiders took off in the late ’70s an early ’80s — and then endured despite inevitable changes in personnel and team standing — I think it will always be a game that’ll have a little different feel. For now, it may be best to make sure to enjoy one last game with Harbaugh on the sidelines.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made clear Friday he’s not looking past Sunday with all that remains on the line for Seattle and all that has happened between Seattle and the 49ers in the past

“This is an excellent football team,” Carroll said. “They’ve got all kinds of players on both sides of the ball. They can make all kinds of things happen. They’ve had tremendous success over the years. They know how to do this. We have tremendous respect for this football team and the way they bring it, and we’ve tried to prepare with that in mind throughout. I hope we’ve done our part of it.”

Now for a few links. …
  • Jayson Jenks examines the polarizing opinions of Russell Wilson’s game against the Eagles.
  • Seahawks.com with a nice story on the special visitor at practice Friday.
  • And Seahawks.com with some thoughts on the progress of Jordan Hill.
  • Russell Wilson talks about the game to NFL.com.
  • Doug Farrar wonders if the Seattle defense is even better this season.
  • Chris Cluff on how the Seahawks can keep the band together after this season.
  • ESPN on this week’s mutual admiration between Harbaugh and Carroll.
  • ESPN previews the game.
  • San Francisco’s offensive line will be banged up again.
  • WR Stevie Johnson will also miss the game for the 49ers.
  • Anquan Boldin likes the team’s mindset heading into the game.
  • The New York Times previews the game.
  • Quite a difference in the cornerback corps of the two teams.
  • Lindy’s breaks down the game.

Remember the toy drive Sunday:

Finally, here’s our latest poll on the game:

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