Colin Kaepernick vs. Russel Wilson.
Get used to hearing it.
Sunday marks the second time the two will go head to head and the showcase of two burgeoning young quarterbacks will be featured on primetime television.
Wilson won the first meeting the week after the 49ers had a cross-country trip to take on the Patriots. How will the 49ers fare after a Week 1 win at home against the Green Bay Packers?
In this week's "Teddy Football" podcast, Ted Robinson and I discuss how things may change this time around.
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I know that no 49ers player or coach would say this because it would sound like an excuse. That wasn't the real 49ers team that played in Seattle last year. The schedule had a lot to do with that. It doesn't excuse the fact that it was a blowout. It shouldn't have a been a blowout, but the 49ers had just come back from a thoroughly exhilarating and equally exhausting performance to beat the Patriots in Foxborough. Nobody had done that in December in a decade. The travel was brutal - it was like going to London to play a game. It was that kind of travel.
When the 49ers came out for that Sunday night game in a Seattle, they were without Justin (Smith). They weren't the real 49ers. Credit to Seattle, they took advantage, they kicked the 49ers tail. That's what they should have done given the circumstance. I don't think in any way that game reflects the relative closeness of the two teams.
Let's put that aside. This has always been a tough place to play. In 2011, when the 49ers were streaking toward 13-3 and Seattle had Tavaris Jackson quarterbacking, it was a tough place to play. There's nothing you can do to take the crowd out of it. The only way you can minimize the crowd is to jump out in front. If you think back last year, on the first or second offensive play of the game, they ran a deep ball to Manningham up the left side of the field and Colin just overthrew him by a yard or two, but I thought that was exactly what the intent was. It's no surprise, you want to get up early. If you try to get a quick score, you slow down the crowd, but that pass missed. Seattle scored and once they jumped ahead by two scores, then the crowd goes nuts.
We all marvel at Greg Roman and the other offensive coaches putting together that game plan last week. They lined up and let the Packers think there was going to be a lot of running and the 49ers said, "No, we're not going to run as much. We're going to throw," and they beat them through the air.
Seattle's secondary is on a whole other level than Green Bay's secondary. The question is going to be, can the 49ers get Frank running as they used to against Seattle. These last two years, Seattle's defense has become much improved. Can you get Frank or can you get a running game going against Seattle to force them to bring an extra guy, and not to allow Sherman and Browner (if he plays) to just stand out there and bang? How do the 49ers get Anquan Boldin free? You don't want to leave Anquan Boldin out there on an island against press coverage from (Richard) Sherman. That's going to be tough.
The 49ers did a great job against Green Bay getting Boldin releases off the line of scrimmage. I'm sure that's been an emphasis of the game planning this week, to do the same thing on Sunday night.
What? Say that to me again!
Come on, it doesn't affect us other than we understand what an incredible atmosphere it was. Last December, it became a cacophony of unwelcome noise. The Seahawks crowd went delirious, they were piling it on. The Seahawks fans have a hatred of the 49ers. It's like the Giants fans towards the Dodgers and it's not reciprocated. Dodgers fans don't have the same hatred of the Giants. I think it's the same way. The 49ers Faithful don't look at Seattle like Darth Vader is coming to town. When we go to Seattle, that's the way Seahawks fans look at the 49ers. If they get ahead, if they win the game, they're going to smack you with it.
I would love to have a raspy throat at the end of the game. That means I would have the chance to say "Touchdown 49ers" maybe four times? That would be okay.