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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

January 17, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Seahawks vs. 49ers: What national media are saying as kickoff nears

Take 2-minute drill continues its hurry-up offense all week as the countdown continues to the Seahawks games against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.

Stories focus on everything from the Seahawks’ defense, Russell Wilson’s recent struggles to Seattle owner Paul Allen.

Don Banks, SI.com

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.

Jeffri Chadiha, ESPN.com

What makes Harbaugh special is that he knows how to utilize that underdog nature better than anybody in the business. It’s almost like it’s second nature to him. The more the odds are stacked against him, the more he likes doing business under those circumstances. That’s how he finds out what he’s working with on his roster. It’s also how his teams learn what they’re dealing with in regard to him.

Terry Blount, ESPN.com

Tony McDaniel played in 95 NFL games before finally getting a chance to take part in the playoffs. It took Michael Bennett 66 NFL games to get here. And Cliff Avril only played in one playoff game in his five seasons at Detroit.

All three men are veteran defensive linemen who signed with the Seahawks in the offseason as free agents. Seattle needed to shore up its defensive front and add pass rushers, and the Seahawks had something to offer this trio besides money.

They all came to Seattle for the same reason — a chance to play in the Super Bowl.

Kevin Clark and Shira Ovide, Wall Street Journal

Not surprisingly, the two football teams are dominated with tech veterans.

Paul Allen, a Microsoft co-founder, owns the Seahawks. In San Francisco, team president Gideon Yu is a Facebook FB -0.71% alum who hired a handful of high-tech ex-pats as team executives. The Seahawks mascot, Blitz, has a day job as a Microsoft employee. The Seahawks home stadium, CenturyLink Field, is named for a local cable-and-Internet provider, while Microsoft’s Bing search engine bought naming right to the Seahawks training camp.

Jerry McDonald, Bay Area News Group

There’s only one thing missing from the hottest ongoing rivalry in the NFL between the 49ers and Seahawks:

History.

Sunday’s NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field is sure to provide a nice first chapter. Whether it vaults the series toward a status rivaling what the 49ers had with the Dallas Cowboys in the early 1990s remains to be seen, but it’s a start.

Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle

But Seattle? That’s just weird. For San Francisco it’s like hating your twin sister. Like looking in the mirror and despising what you see.

Gorgeous, hilly, waterfront city? Check.

Food-obsessed, coffee-addicted population? Check.

Hipster, techie vibe? Check.

Liberal, green politics? Check.

Rich rock ‘n’ roll history? Check.

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times

For Seattle fullback Derrick Coleman, the Seahawks’ home field is the loudest stadium he’s never heard.

Coleman is legally deaf, and has been since he was 3, so he won’t have need for earplugs Sunday when the Seahawks play host to San Francisco in the NFC championship game.

“I feel it, I don’t exactly hear it,” he said of the noise at CenturyLink Field, where twice this season the Seahawks “12th Man” set Guinness Book records for being the world’s loudest crowd at a sporting event.

Ebeneezer Samuels, New York Daily News

Richard Sherman didn’t take any shots at San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Wednesday, and he didn’t talk about brash Niners receiver Anquan Boldin.

 Instead, the leader of the Seahawks’ Legion of Boom secondary lowered the boom on just-retired Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.
That’s right. The first war of words of this NFC championship week pitted the NFL’s preeminent cover corner against Gilbride, for something Gilbride said in mid-December, when he’d dared to suggest that the Seahawk ‘D’ had “perfected the art” of defensive holding.
“I think he’s a guy that’s a little bit bitter, and his team didn’t score,” Sherman said, recalling the Seahawks’ 23-0 shutout win at MetLife last month. “You find a way to explain that to save yourself.”

The Seahawks’ defense is not planning a surprise party for the 49ers.

There will be no wrinkles. No adaptations. No tweaks to compensate for this specific opponent. The way the Seahawks play under defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has nothing to do with tricks or gimmicks.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

It figures to be another physical defensive grind for the familiar foes where every yard will be earned and the big plays will be few, Wilson has the weaker receiving corps vs. the weaker secondary, while Kaepernick has the stronger receiving corps vs. the stronger secondary.

That’s been the difference when teams get together in Seattle. Kaepernick has his mightiest struggles there, as Richard Sherman and the Seahawks’ cover men make it rough on him. The pass rush and the crowd noise are obvious additional factors in forcing him to give away the ball.

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