Can anybody slow down the side from America’s north-west?
Where: Candlestick Park
When: 21.25 (GMT)
Watch live: Click here to watch on NowTV from Sky!
With a playoff spot already secured, the Seattle Seahawks can focus on achieving some loftier goals.
Though the San Francisco 49ers have been dominated by their division rivals in the last two meetings, they’ll have more than revenge on their minds Sunday.
Looking for an eighth straight victory, the Seahawks can clinch the NFC West and a first-round bye while trying to avoid a fifth consecutive road defeat to the 49ers.
Owner of the NFL’s best record, Seattle (11-1) earned a playoff berth after running its home win streak to 14 games with Monday’s 34-7 rout of New Orleans.
Looking for a single-season franchise-record sixth road win, the Seahawks can clinch the division and a first-round bye with a tie or a third straight victory over San Francisco (8-4). They need only split their final four games to earn home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
However, the Seahawks likely don’t expect their next challenge to be easy.
Seattle has held the 49ers to 520 total yards while outscoring them 71-16 in the last two meetings, but both came within the deafening confines of CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks, on the other hand, have been outscored 109-54 during their four-game skid at Candlestick Park.
While the 49ers can use that home success as a confidence-builder, avenging the last two losses in the series won’t be their major means of motivation.
Colin Kaepernick has done a solid job managing the 49ers offense by completing 65.4 percent of his passes while throwing four touchdowns and no interceptions over the last two weeks. However, during the 29-3 loss at Seattle on Sept. 15, he was 13 of 28 for 127 yards with three interceptions and a fumble while being sacked three times. He did rush nine times for 87 yards.
Teammate Frank Gore ran for 131 yards and caught five passes for 51 during last season’s 13-6 home win over the Seahawks, but was held to 44 yards on 15 carries and one catch for 14 in the last two at Seattle.
The Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch has totaled five touchdowns in the last two games against the 49ers and averaged 104.8 rushing yards in the last four. The Seahawks have rushed for 348 yards in the last two versus San Francisco, which ranks 11th in the NFL against the run (105.5 yards per game).