Here it is, the rematch of the NFC championship NBC chose as its Thanksgiving-night showcase. And it's going to be more alley fight than familial holiday.
While Colin Kaepernick was in Santa Clara Monday saying about 10 variations on "it's another game we have to win if we want to get to the playoffs," the Seahawks were in Renton saying there is obvious extra juice to this week's showdown than, say, October at Carolina.
"I think the physicality," Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said of Seattle-San Francisco games. "I think over the years you look at these defenses have been the most physical in the conference, so we just look forward to the challenge."
Wagner's got that right. The Seahawks (7-4) and 49ers (7-4) are 1-2 in the NFL in total defense.
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That totally fits this rugged rivalry.
Here is the opponent information box that is appearing in Tuesday's News Tribune:
SEAHAWKS’ NEXT OPPONENT
SAN FRANCISCO 49ers
5:30 p.m. Thursday, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
Against the Seahawks: Seattle leads the series 16-15. That includes the last meeting, the Seahawks’ win in the final seconds of January’s NFC championship game at CenturyLink Field. Seattle, though, hasn’t won on the 49ers’ home field since Oct. 26, 2008. San Francisco has won the last five home games in the series.
What to know: San Francisco has won three in a row and is doing it the way Seattle usually does it: with defense. The 49ers have the league’s second-ranked defense, allowing 300.1 yards per game. The only unit ranked higher? The Seahawks’, which is allowing 296.8 yards per game. … The 49ers are No. 2 in the NFL in pass defense and lead the league with 16 interceptions. That’s part of their plus-8 turnover margin, tied for fourth-best in the league. Perrish Cox’s four picks are tied for third-most in the league. … Curiously, though, the Niners – like Seattle -- don’t have anyone in the top 48 in the NFL in sacks. Ahmad Brooks’ 4 sacks are tied with Seattle’s Cliff Avril for 49th. … Opponents have found room to run some on San Francisco, which is 13th in rushing defense. … Colin Kaepernick had his 18th consecutive game with a touchdown pass as the 49ers broke a 10-10 tie after three quarters before beating Washington at home 17-13. Kaepernick is completing 61.7 percent of his throws, above his career percentage of 61.4. He’s thrown 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He threw eight interceptions all last season. Kaepernick is still running; he has 336 yards rushing and is about on pace with his ground work last season. … San Francisco’s offense has dipped to 22nd in passing and 19th in total yards.
Quotable: “I’ll throw to whoever’s open.” – Kaepernick on Monday when asked about throwing or not throwing in Richard Sherman’s direction. Kaepernick did that on San Francisco’s final play the last time they met, and the All-Pro cornerback tipped the pass in the end zone away from Michael Crabtree into Malcolm Smith’s hands to secure the Seahawks’ trip to the Super Bowl.