Countdown to kickoff

Greeting from Candlestick Park, where some of the Seahawks already are on the field stretching and warming up for today’s game against the 49ers.

It’s a beautiful day by the Bay for what should be a physical game between two former finesse teams that have taken on the personalities of their defensive-minded coaches – Jim Mora for the Seahawks and Mike Singletary for the 49ers.

The winner of this Week 2 game will take sole possession of first place in the NFC West, but it’s also important for other reasons.

Mora looked at last week’s shutout victory over the Rams at Qwest Field as a validation for everything he has been teaching – and preaching – since taking over for Mike Holmgren in January. Singletary, who stepped in last season after Mike Nolan was fired, wants to win this home opener for the same reasons.

Whether middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane play remains to be seen. Tatupu strained a hamstring against the Rams, while Mebane strained a calf in practice on Wednesday. If they can’t go, David Hawthorne and Craig Terrill will start.

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