When Greg Roman looks at the teams, including his own, that have bested the Seattle Seahawks in recent seasons, he sees one "common thread."
"They're going to make some chunk plays against them," Roman said.
Enter Michael Crabtree.
Based on the 49ers wideout's performance in Week 13 – his 60-yard catch-and-run helped San Francisco beat St. Louis – Roman now has one of his best "chunk" threats at full capacity for the stretch run.
Of Crabtree's two-reception, 68-yard season debut against the Rams, Roman said Thursday, "It kind of played out like we thought it would, but he did a really good job and I think he's just going to keep getting better from there."
San Francisco sure hopes so. The team could use Crabtree, who missed the first dozen weeks this season because he tore his Achilles torn in May, for Sunday afternoon's tilt with the 11-1 Seahawks.
Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman this week called Crabtree "a big-time weapon" but said he'd still likely be covering another pass-catcher. Sherman held veteran Anquan Boldin to one seven-yard reception in their last meeting, at Seattle in Week 2, when Crabtree was watching from the sidelines.
Crabtree has 23 catches in seven career games against the Seahawks. He's looking for his first touchdown against the division rival.
If not a scoring play, something like the 60-yard connection between Crabtree and quarterback Colin Kaepernick would go a long way toward the 49ers securing their ninth win.
"We felt really good about him doing it for sure and really saw something that alluded to that being a good play," Roman said of the St. Louis play-call. "And really it was really good by Colin and Crab kind of having the Jedi thing going on that play.
"That was something they talked about in the meeting. We talked about it, they got a feel for it, and it happened on the field. So that was really good to see."
For more storylines surrounding the team, check out this edition of Morning Tailgate links, presented by State Farm.
Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury Newswrote that defenses will be the story Sunday.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee compared Colin Kaepernick to Russell Wilson.
Taylor Price of 49ers.com quoted Joe Montana on the progress of Kaepernick.
Bill Williamson of ESPN.com* *provided updates on 49ers injuries, news and notes.
Janie McCauley of the Associated Press* *featured Glenn Dorsey's play at nose tackle.
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