by Ken Gimblin
SANTA CLARA–The 49ers had a lot of trouble whenever they had to play the Seahawks in Century Link and they lost their last two contests when they had to play there including the second game of this season where they just got demolished. It was a little closer than it appeared because the Niners were only trailing 12-3 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Niners weren’t really in that game running back Vernon Davis got injured, Ian Williams got knocked out and the team just could not move the ball at all on offense. A large part of that was obviously the Seahawks fantastic defense and it was the insane crowd in Seattle that is just so loud that the offensive players can’t hear anything.
The Niners couldn’t hear the snap count, they couldn’t hear their teammates, it made it really hard to get off the ball in a timely manner. It gave a huge advantage to the Seahawks who take advantage of that communication along the lines and getting an extra push out of it. There’s a reason that the Seahawks haven’t lost at home in a couple of seasons is because of that crowd gives them a huge homefield advantage.
The Seahawks are not the same team on the road as they get ready to come to Candlestick this Sunday against the 49ers that advantage they have at home completely vanishes and they become a slightly more beatable team. This year they only lost once and that was to the Colts in Indianopoilis. The Colts are one of the few teams to have beat the Niners and the Seahawks.
Just because the Hawks lost the one game on the road doesn’t mean their not going to lose any games on the road they still have the best record in the NFL and the 49ers certainly will have their hands full when they play them this weekend. The home field is the biggest thing and the Niners and the Seahawks match up very well we’ve seen the last couple times they played at Candlestick which is a good home field for the 49ers but it doesn’t offer any distinct advantage.
It’s not a dome stadium, it’s not artificial turfed that makes it a little faster for the Niners, there’s no advantagous noise factor going in there. When the Niners play anybody there yeah they have the homefield advantage but it’s not the same as a stadium like Seattle. I wouldn’t call Candlestick a neutral ground but it’s a much more balanced location for anybody to play.
For the Niners and the Seahawks, yes the 49ers won the last few games at the Stick against Seattle all of those games have been close tough defensive battles, their not high scoring affairs it’s where you see how evenly matched these teams really are and that’s what the Niners have to look forward to.
David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio