In my story today, the first time Seattle played San Francisco this season in Week 7, the Seahawks had the No. 2-ranked run defense in the league, giving up just 70 yards a game on the ground.
However, the 49ers gashed Seattle’s defense for 175 rushing yards, effectively using the trap play to exploit the middle of the Seahawks defensive line.
Seattle’s nemesis, running back Frank Gore, ran for 131 of those yards. Including the San Francisco game, the Seahawks have given up at least 132 rushing yards in six of their last eight contests.
Heading into Sunday’s contest, the Seahawks are No. 10 in the league in run defense, giving up 106.3 yards a contest.
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Facing San Francisco a second time this season, the Seahawks will have the added element of dealing with an explosive, nimble quarterback in Colin Kaepernick.
The 49ers have incorporated some of the offensive concepts of the “pistol” offense Kaepernick ran with much success at Nevada. The result has been Kaepernick running for 379 yards this season, adding the threat of the option to an already potent San Francisco run scheme.
However, Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright said he’s more concerned about the traps and toss plays the 49ers can run, rather than Kaepernick’s ability to hurt them with his feet.
“I think with the option we can handle that fine,” Wright said. “We’ve got a defense for it, so the option, I’m not really concerned about it. It’s just the run game with Frank Gore and all of those guys pulling.”
Dave Boling of The News Tribune gives credit for San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh for pulling the trigger on Colin Kaepernick, which so far has proved a good decision.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com talks with practice squad receiver Corbin Louks, who played with Colin Kaepernick at Nevada, to compare San Francisco’s starter with Russell Wilson. “Both of them can throw the football well and they both can run the football well,” Louks said. “It adds another dimension, and you can see it in Russell’s success and in Kaepernick’s success. They both have done big things with their feet and with their arms.”
Larry Stone of The Seattle Times writes that have both Seattle and San Francisco have improved offensively since the first contest between the two teams in Week 7.
Brock Huard of 710 ESPN Seattle breaks down Seattle’s toss back trick play against Buffalo, where Russell Wilson hit Golden Tate for a big gain in the first half in this video link.
ESPN’s Mike Sando compares Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson’s statistics against the same four defenses.
Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports writes that the Seahawks and 49ers are mirror images of each other.
Brian Burke writing for the New York Times Fifth Down blog gives Seattle a 53 percent win chance against San Francisco.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee notes that Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh are focused on Christmas cards heading into Sunday’s game. Asked if he remembered any “hallmarks” from Carroll-coached teams, Harbaugh dead-panned: "I don't remember getting any cards from him at the holidays.”