49ers NFC Championship report: Picking a winner in this one is a real hair splitter

by David Zizmor

SANTA CLARA–For the third year in a row the San Francisco 49ers are playing for the NFC title and in the last two years their 1-1 so their going for their second trip to the Super Bowl and last Sunday they played a great game against the Carolina Panthers with a few bobbles early but the 49ers righted the ship later in the second quarter and really cruised to a victory and beat Carolina in the end 19-17. The game wasn’t particularily close.

Which is refresing because prior to that the previous three or four weeks there have been some nailbiters for San Francisco and they didn’t have to play a game that went down to the final seconds against Carolina going for the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks their nemisis, their arch rivals, a team they hate, a team they played already twice this season, a team their looking to win the rubber match against this Sunday at Century Link Field.

They have the season series split so they’re going to play the third and deciding game up in Seattle where the 49ers have had as much trouble winning and it would be facinating to see how San Francisco comes out and approaches this game. This is going to be a tough one. These are the two best teams in the NFL and either way nobody here should be an extreme favorite even if you think one team has a better chance of winning.

You have to admit that one team doesn’t have a bigger advantage over the other these two teams are the in the NFC if not the NFL and your going to see a really tight game and it’s going to be a rough game with a lot of good football. Some people give the 49ers a slight edge and their simply playing better right now over the last month and a half. Seattle’s offense has been in the doldrums part of it is that their passing game has been rather anemic.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson was not as great as he was like in October and November when he was lighting up the league. The Hawks have come back to earth a little when it comes to the offensive side of the ball and course they still have Marshawn Lynch whose been running everyone over in the last several weeks in the playoffs but against a team like the 49ers you can’t expect him to do it all by himself.

We saw in December when the 49ers played Seattle for that win the Niners were able to contain the running game and the 49ers had a good passing game for that razor thin victory. The 49ers Michael Crabtree wasn’t much of an impact player in that game. This is a 49ers offense that’s been getting better each and every week in the playoffs and really down the stretch in total. 49ers running back Frank Gore had a great week last week against Carolina, Crabtree and Anquan Boldin have had good games in these playoffs.

Running back Vernon Davis has a handful of touchdowns like he always does, having all those guys healthy and ready to go has made a big difference for this 49ers offense. In everyone of these meetings the 49ers have had the full compliment against Seattle. This is really going to be the first time the 49ers are really going to be at full strength against them. It might make a difference then it might not, Seattle’s defense is really, really good and they have the best secondary in the NFL.

So the curtain raises on Sunday in Seattle at Century Link Field for the NFC Championship, we’ll see whose the best team out of this contest.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk radio

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