NFL reporters, analysts and columnists from around the country are predicting the outcome of Sunday’s Seahawks-49ers game. The one thing that comes across again and again is that it will a very close, low-scoring game.
The majority of experts pick the Seahawks because they’re playing at home – 47 of 67 that I found, 70 percent. The Seattle Times’ reporters and columnists favor Seattle, 3-1.
But no one seems to think it will be a blowout. Many are choosing Seattle to advance to Super Bowl but not to cover the 3.5-point spread. That means the Seahawks would win by one, two or three points.
That’s agonizingly close. A field goal, safety or missed extra point could be the difference.
Three of four pick the Seahawks
Jerry Brewer: In a classic game, Russell Wilson proves more reliable than Colin Kapernick. Seahawks, 20, 49ers 19
Larry Stone: It’s really a pick ‘em game, but I expect Colin Kaepernick to play much better at CenturyLink than he has in the paste. If Percy Harvin was playing, I’d go with Seattle. 49ers, 27, Seahawks 24.
Bob Condotta: This is the situation the Seahawks wanted – a home conference title game to get to Super Bowl – and the CenturyLink crowd should be enough one more time. Seahawks 17, 49ers 13.
Jayson Jenks: If this game were at a neutral field, I’d pick the 49ers. But I just can’t pick against the Seahawks at home. Seahawks 17, 49ers 16.
Don Banks: The Seahawks made one of the NFL’s most accurate throwers, the Saints’ Drew Brees, look like he was a scout-teamer for the first three quarters of last week’s divisional-round game. The Seahawks are going to aim Marshawn Lynch at the heart of the 49ers defense and hope he can move the pile all game long. But Seattle needs more than last week’s 103 yards passing and nine completions from quarterback Russell Wilson, and at some point in Sunday’s fourth quarter he’s going to have to produce the same kind of difference-making pass he completed to receiver Doug Baldwin to seal the win against New Orleans. When the moment arises, Wilson and Seattle will find a way to get it done. Seahawks, 24, 49ers 23.
Nine of 11 pick the Seahawks.
Four of seven pick the Seahawks.
Seven of nine pick Seahawks
Three of five pick the 49ers
Matt Barrows, Sacramento Bee reporter: Yes, the 49ers are on a roll and are better equipped than ever for the Seahawks’ formidable defense. But Seattle’s home-field advantage is worth 10 points minimum, and the 49ers didn’t come close to that in their past two visits. Seahawks 19, 49ers 17
Three of six pick the Seahawks.
Jordan Raanan, NJ.com: If this was being played on a neutral field, I’d take the 49ers. But it’s not. It’s in Seattle. All that hard work during the regular season will pay off for the Seahawks, who win again on the strength of their defense forcing key turnovers and their running game. Seahawks 23, 49ers 21.
Four of six pick Seattle
Mike Ufford: The argument against picking the 49ers is simple: they’ve been outscored 71-16 in their last two trips to Seattle. My argument for the 49ers is that they’re the hottest team in football and in recent years, the hottest team has been winning the biggest playoff games.
Elliot Harrison: I spoke with former sack man Shawne “Lights Out” Merriman, and he feels Lynch will be the key to the game. If the 49ers dedicate a safety in the box to stop the running back, Wilson obviously will have some one-on-one matchups to exploit in the secondary. Can the quarterback capitalize? The Seahawks‘ wide receivers aren’t overly scary, though a healthy Percy Harvin would bring a unique element to the mix. 49ers 24, Seahawks 20.
Vinny Iyer: Jim Harbaugh has won the most rounds from Pete Carroll since their Pac-12 days, but in the Pacific Northwest, the Seahawks will use their homefield advantage to get to Super Bowl XLVIII. Prediction: Seahawks 20, 49ers 17
John MacMullen: Getting home-field advantage means everything for Seattle. If this game is in San Francisco or on a neutral field you would almost have to pick the 49ers, who have taken off with Crabtree back in the lineup. That said, 16-1 over the past two seasons is as daunting as it sounds and don’t be surprised if the people of Seattle set off the Richter scale yet again while celebrating a berth in Super Bowl XLVIII. Seahawks 21, 49ers 17
Phil Sims, CBS Sports/Showtime: Picks the Seahawks
Chris Collingsworth, NBC Sports/Showtime: Picks the 49ers
Joe Montana, 49er great: Picks the 49ers
“It’s going to be tough and a close game, but down the stretch, the experience of what they went through last year is going to pay off for them, and they’re going to win it in the end,” Montana said on Showtime’s “Inside The NFL.”
Tedy Bruschi, ESPN: “I’ll take the team with the dominating front seven. That’s the San Francisco 49ers.”
“They (Seahawks) are big time. They are tough. I’ve got a lot of admiration and respect for them. … In the end they have the personnel to but if there is a team that can go up to Seattle and knock off the Seahawks and prevent them from going to the Super Bowl, it’s the 49ers.”
“I don’t believe the 49ers can go up there and beat these guys. These guys have their number, clearly, in Seattle. ”
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