When: Sunday, 1:05 p.m., Candlestick Park, San Francisco
Records: Seahawks 6-6 and tied for first in NFC West; 49ers 4-8 and third in the NFC West
TV: KCPQ/13, with Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick and Chris Myers
Radio: 97.3 FM and 710 ESPN, with Steve Raible, Warren Moon and Jen Mueller
Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch vs. the 49ers’ defense: The 49ers have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in their past 18 games, the second-longest streak in the league. Not that Lynch has to crack triple figures, but he does need to do his part to keep the running game going in a positive direction after the Seahawks rushed for a season-high 161 yards against the Panthers last week. Lynch had 83 of those yards, and a career-high three touchdowns. Justin Forsett added 60 yards, on only six carries. The Seahawks have to stay out of third-and-long situations to keep the 49ers’ pass rush from getting after QB Matt Hasselbeck. The 49ers had four sacks in last week’s loss to the Packers in Green Bay, including three by pass-rushing outside LBs Ahmad Brooks (two) and Travis LaBoy.
One to watch
The crowd at Candlestick when Alex Smith throws his first incomplete pass: Remember the Sunday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles? The hometown fans let the 49ers’ QB have it, and then some, despite a 25-of-39, 309-yard, three-TD performance. Well, he’s back for more, after coach Mike Singletary made the move from Troy Smith back to Alex Smith this week – even though Troy Smith was 3-2 as the starter while subbing for Alex Smith when he was out with a sprained shoulder. Even Alex Smith had to question the timing of the decision. The fans will do more than question the move if Alex Smith doesn’t “give us the best chance to win,” as Singletary put it.
Fun to watch
Seahawks DE Chris Clemons vs. 49ers OT Anthony Davis: The 49ers’ rookie starter has been inconsistent and is playing with a sore back. But he’s also coming off solid efforts against the Cardinals’ Darnell Dockett and the Packers’ Clay Matthews, who leads the NFC with 11½ sacks. Clemons has a career-high 8½ sacks from the “Leo” spot for the Seahawks, but only three in the past six games. He needs to use is relentless style of play to get into the rookie’s head, to help him get to Alex Smith.
One tough task
Covering Vernon Davis: Whoever the assignment falls to on any given down is up against it, be it SS Lawyer Milloy, OLB Aaron Curry or CBs Roy Lewis and Jordan Babineaux in the nickel and dime packages. The 49ers’ Pro Bowl TE is a tough cover because he’s bigger (6-3, 250) than anyone the Seahawks can throw at him and faster (4.38 seconds for 40 yards) than anyone his size should be. Davis had a career-best 126 receiving yards on four catches in last week’s loss to the Packers in Green Bay. That eclipsed the 111-yard receiving effort he had against the Seahawks at Qwest Field last season, on six catches. He also had an eight-catch, 73-yard outing in this year’s season opener.
Hasselbeck is 10-4 in his previous starts against the 49ers, with 3,380 passing yards and 25 touchdowns. … He also needs one more win to reach 70 for his career, which will tie the franchise record set by Dave Krieg. … Alex Smith is 2-5 in his previous starts against the Seahawks, with both wins coming in 2006. … The 49ers’ Davis has 18 touchdown receptions over the past two seasons, which ties for the most in the league by a tight end. … MLB Patrick Willis leads the 49ers in tackles (118) and also has a career-high five sacks. … OLB David Hawthorne leads the Seahawks in tackles (79), and has 53 in the past five games.