Cyber surfing: Saturday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Dec. 24:

 

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at how similar the approach to how they want to play is for the Seahawks and 49ers as they prepare to play each other at CenturyLink Field today: “The Seahawks and 49ers share a style of play that starts with a big-bodied defense, includes a hardheaded insistence upon running the football, and continues through a fixation on turnovers that could be diagnosed as clinically obsessive. That’s the blueprint that has taken San Francisco to its first division title since 2002, and it’s the recipe that explains how Seattle has rebounded from a 2-6 start. ‘The formula has been very similar,’ coach Pete Carroll said. That’s what makes Saturday’s game at CenturyLink Field so very intriguing. Something’s got to give.”

 

O’Neil also has his “Keys to the Game,” including this one: “Get an early lead. That doesn’t happen often against San Francisco. The 49ers have allowed just 29 points in the first quarter this year and have faced a halftime deficit just three times. The 49ers’ conservative play-calling is a reason why they’ve committed so few turnovers, but it’s also why it’s hard for them to make up ground in games like their Thanksgiving loss to Baltimore. If the Seahawks can get a lead, that will force the 49ers to decide whether they’re going to open up and take some chances.”

 

Eric Williams at the News Tribune stays with the “something’s got to give” angle: “The immovable object vs. the unstoppable force. Two high-powered, efficient units will decide this afternoon’s game at CenturyLink Field between NFC West rivals Seattle and San Francisco. The 49ers have the league’s best run defense and haven’t given up a rushing touchdown all season. But Seattle’s run offense, led by Marshawn Lynch, has been on a second-half tear. Lynch has rushed for 748 yards in the past seven games, the most of any running back in the NFL. And he’s in the midst of a 10-game scoring streak.”

 

John Boyle at the Everett Herald looks at how the Seahawks’ home finale as playoff significance for the second season in a row: “When the Seahawks play host to the 49ers today, both teams will have plenty to keep them motivated beyond the fact they are division rivals and their coaches have a bit of a contentious relationship going back to their Pac-10 days. For Seattle, which has won five of six since posting a 2-6 record in the first half of the season, this game is a must-win for its wild-card hopes. The Seahawks need some help to make the playoffs even if they win their final two games, but a loss today renders all postseason discussions moot. The 49ers, meanwhile, long ago clinched the NFC West, but with an 11-3 record they are still battling New Orleans for a first-round bye, and they even have an outside shot at the No. 1 seed if Green Bay stumbles down the stretch. It’s not as simple as last year’s winner-takes-the-NFC-West game between St. Louis and Seattle, but this is still a game with big playoff implications for both parties.”

 

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at how the Seahawks really do have something to appreciate on Fan Appreciation Day: “ ‘Absolutely, we are greatly appreciative of our 12th MAN, and all the 12 jerseys, and the ‘Value of 12’ and whatever other acronym of 12 they have that’s out there that’s in our stadium,’ said cornerback Roy Lewis, who also played at the University of Washington and is in his third season with the Seahawks. ‘They do a fantastic job of getting us fired up. We feed of the energy they create. And when we stoke that energy, they reward us even more. So it’s been an honor to play in front of those fans.’ ”

 

We’re also got a look at the turnover factor in today’s game in “Friday in Hawkville,” as well as a closer look at the game in our “Matchup box,” and Tony Ventrella’s video preview.

 

Mike Sando at ESPN.com has his “Final Word” on the NFC West, including this: “About those playoff scenarios: The Cardinals and Seahawks must win Saturday to remain in contention for the fifth or sixth seed in the NFC. But if Detroit beats San Diego and Atlanta wins against New Orleans, both NFC West teams are out regardless. That is because all scenarios placing an NFC West team in the postseason require the NFC West team going 2-0 while Detroit and/or Atlanta goes 0-2. The Falcons and Saints do not play until Monday night, so the Seahawks and Cardinals could remain in suspense all weekend even if they win. Update: The Falcons directly affect the Cardinals’ eligibility for postseason; they affect only the Seahawks’ ability to claim the fifth or sixth seed.”

 

For a look at the rest of the league, there’s Clark Judge’s “Peek at the Week” at CBSSports.com; and John Czarnecki’s “Countdown to Kickoff” at FoxSports.com.

 


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