WHEN 49ERS RUN
The Seahawks looked vulnerable against the run in their playoff win against the New Orleans Saints last week, allowing 108 yards and it could have been more if New Orleans hadn’t fallen behind early. Niners running back Frank Gore had a 51-yard run that clinched the win against the Seahawks at Candlestick Park on Dec. 8, but managed just 16 yards rushing in the early-season loss in Seattle.
WHEN 49ERS PASS
The Seahawks were the best team in the league this year at defending the pass, allowing a paltry 172 yards per game. The 49ers ended the regular-season ranked 30th in passing yards per game at 186.2. In the two games against Seattle this season, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick was a combined 28-of-57 for 302 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions.
WHEN SEAHAWKS RUN
The 49ers’ run defense has been solid all year long, allowing just 95.9 yards per game. Their one Kryptonite the past two years though has been the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch. “Beast Mode” has averaged 96 yards rushing and has scored six total TDs, four rushing, in the past four games between the two NFC West rivals. If Lynch gets loose again, the 49ers could be in trouble.
WHEN SEAHAWKS PASS
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is completing 51 percent of his passes and has totaled just 383 yards passing over Seattle’s past three games, including last week’s playoff win against the Saints. Meanwhile, the 49ers secondary hasn’t skipped a beat in two playoff wins without injured corner Carlos Rogers. San Francisco has nine sacks in those two games.
Both Seattle’s Pete Carroll and San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh came straight from college and turned around what were downtrodden NFL franchises into contenders. While their past history would indicate they likely won’t grab a postgame beer together, both are fiery competitors that aren’t afraid to show their emotions throughout the game.
The Niners’ Phil Dawson and Seahawks’ Steven Hauschka are two of the most accurate kickers in the NFL, while punters Andy Lee and Jon Ryan both more than hold their own. Neither team offers much in the form of a dynamic returner, unless Percy Harvin is recovered from his concussion and the Seahawks decide to stick him back deep.