Sunday night’s heavyweight matchup between NFC West rivals San Francisco and Seattle was the most talked about game by NFL observers when the league released the schedule in April.
And for good reason — it pits two of the most talented young rosters against each other in a game that likely will have playoff ramifications later this season.
Still, head coaches for both teams are doing their best not to provide any bulletin board material.
“We’re pretty placid in here,” joked Seahawks coach Pete Carroll when asked if his players were as excited as the fans for Sunday’s game at CenturyLink Field. “(We’re) kind of flatlining around here. It’s a good thing. We’ll need that.”
San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh was just as stoic in talking about the 49ers traveling to Seattle this weekend.
“There’s good football teams that we’re playing right out of
the blocks here,” Harbaugh told San Francisco-area reporters this week. “Seattle’s an outstanding football team and will be a great test for our team. We know the challenge that’s ahead of us.”
Seattle faces San Francisco in the Seahawks’ home opener in front of a nationally televised audience on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
The Seahawks have won nine of their past 10 home openers dating back to the 2003 season. Seattle’s only loss came against this week’s opponent, the 49ers, in a 33-30 overtime loss in 2008.
Seattle holds a 37-26 record in prime-time games. And the Seahawks are 17-11 in Sunday night contests. In Seattle’s last appearance on Sunday Night Football, they defeated the 49ers, 42-13, on Dec. 23 of last year.
“An NFL football game at CenturyLink is an incredible experience,” Carroll said. “And we get to do it a bunch of times. This happens to be the first one (this season). And so we’re going to try and live it up, and have as much fun as you can playing football in there.”
While the two coaches did their best to remain neutral, quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson made an unusual wager during the filming of a Madden NFL 25 commercial.
“You know what we should do — whoever loses has to shave an eyebrow,” Wilson tells Kaepernick in the commercial.
“All right,” Kapernick tells Wilson, as the two shake hands. “I hope you don’t like your eyebrow.”
The Seahawks are encouraging fans to raise a 12th man flag on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 12:12 p.m. to celebrate the team’s home opener.
And a group of Seahawks fans called “Volume 12” is organizing an effort to break the Guinness World Record for “loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium” at Sunday night’s contest.
The current record was set at Turk Telecom Arena in Istanbul during a soccer match between Galatasaray SC and Fenerbahce SC. The crowd reached 131.76 decibels.
The Seahawks have documented a mark of 112 decibels at CenturyLink.
SEAHAWKS’ NEXT OPPONENT
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1-0)
5:30 p.m., Sunday, CenturyLink Field
Against the Seahawks: This will be the 29th meeting between Seattle and San Francisco, with the teams splitting the previous 28. San Francisco has won eight of the past 14, and five of the past eight. Seattle snapped the 49ers’ four-game winning streak with last year’s 42-13 victory on Dec. 23. The Niners are 4-7 overall at CenturyLink Field.
Stats and stuff: Frank Gore has 1,210 career rushing yards against the Seahawks — his most yards against any team in the league. With 8,883 yards, Gore is San Francisco’s all-time leading rusher. In 11 games against the Seahawks, wide receiver Anquan Boldin has totaled 74 receptions for 938 yards and two touchdowns. Boldin finished with 13 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown catch in San Francisco’s season-opening win over Green Bay on Sunday. Colin Kaepernick set a 49ers franchise record for most passing yards in a season opener by throwing for 412 yards and three touchdowns against the Packers on Sunday. A six-time All-Pro selection, middle linebacker Patrick Willis has 122 tackles, two interceptions, a TD, a fumble recovery and six pass deflections in 11 games against the Seahawks. Seahawks fourth-round draft pick receiver Chris Harper, released during final roster cuts and added to the team’s practice squad, was signed by San Francisco to the team’s active roster. Former UW tight end Reggie Davis serves as the 49ers’ tight ends coach. Former UW defensive coordinator Ed Donatell coaches the 49ers’ secondary. San Francisco offensive line coach Mike Solari worked as Seattle’s offensive line coach in 2008-09. Former Washington State University head coach Paul Wulff works as a senior offensive assistant for San Francisco.
Quotable: “We always look at the next game as being the most important game of the year. Winning that game, whenever the next game is, is the most important game on the schedule.” — San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh on Sunday’s game versus Seattle.
Sept. 8 49ers 34, Packers 28
Sunday at Seattle
Sept. 22 Indianapolis
Sept. 26 at St. Louis
Oct. 6 Houston
Oct. 13 Arizona
Oct. 20 at Tennessee
Oct. 27 at Jacksonville
Nov. 3 bye
Nov. 10 Carolina
Nov. 17 at New Orleans
Nov. 25 at Washington
Dec. 1 St. Louis
Dec. 8 Seattle
Dec. 15 at Tampa Bay
Dec. 23 Atlanta
Dec. 29 at ArizonaEric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams firstname.lastname@example.org