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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 10:00 PM

It’s bubbled up quickly…but the brewing rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks looks like it will go on for quite some time. The first of two 2013 regular season meetings occurs Sunday Night on NBC in the loudest stadium in the league in the Pacific Northwest. It’s conceivable that this is the first of THREE meetings this season because the teams are currently co-favorites in the NFC to reach the Super Bowl. We may be getting an early preview of the NFC Championship.

Could this become the defining rivalry of the current era?

*Both teams have very young quarterbacks who seem destined for stardom

*Both teams have emotional coaches who live for drama and intensity

*Both teams have elite defenses, the kinds that thrive in the postseason

*Both teams already have identities or cultures that mean something to the players

*Both teams have electric fan bases who rise to the call for championship contenders

The NFL is in the latter stages of Manning/Brady. It may be in the early stages of Kaepernick/Wilson. Great backdrop for what could be a great game!

Let’s run the matchup through our gauntlet of indicators. This will be our last weekend referencing numbers from 2012. We start first with what happened in last week’s openers…

 

Last Week’s Scores

San Francisco (-5) beat Green Bay 34-28

Seattle (-4) beat Carolina 12-7

Both teams earned wins over strong opposition. Both teams barely covered their spreads in the process. San Francisco was at home vs. a likely playoff team (and at least a fringe Super Bowl contender this year). Seattle was on the road against what is probably a Wildcard hopeful. Good results in what could have been a look-ahead for either team.

 

Last Week’s Yardage

San Francisco outgained Green Bay 494-385

Seattle outgained Carolina 370-243

Wow…both NFC powers were more impressive in yardage than they were on the scoreboard. San Francisco made a run at 500 offensive yards (rare in an NFL game) with a differential over 100. Seattle shut down Cam Newton, and was also better than +100 yards.

 

2012 Standings/Turnovers/Schedule

S. Fran: 11-4-1, +9 turnover, #3 ranked schedule

Seattle: 11-5, +13 turnovers, #2 ranked schedule

The 49ers got the nod last year by the barest of margins. Seattle took a few games to get going in 2012 (remember, they lost their season opener at Arizona). The teams were virtual equals come playoff time. And, most respected Power Ratings and analytic metrics had them as Super Bowl caliber. San Francisco did reach the big game, losing a heartbreaker to Baltimore. Seattle couldn’t quite overcome the hindrance of being a Wildcard and having to play on the road.

 

Yards-Per Play

S. Fran: 6.0 on offense, 4.7 on defense

Seattle: 5.8 on offense, 5.1 on defense

Edge to the Niners. But, again, the teams were very similar when it mattered most. Two elite teams.

 

Third Down Conversions

S. Fran: 35% on offense, 33% on defense

Seattle: 40% on offense, 38% on defense

This is where San Francisco can run into problems. They prefer to punt the ball rather than risk a turnover…so many third and longs because conservative plays with little chance of getting the needed yardage. When they NEED points against a STRONG DEFENSE, that can be an issue. That’s part of why the Niners lost so badly on this field last year. They just couldn’t move the ball.

Current Line: Seattle -3, total of total of 44.5

Home field advantage is worth three in the NFL, though some places believe that it’s worth 3.5 or 4 at this site. The market is either telling you the teams are even, or that San Francisco is one-point better on a neutral field. The total may seem high. San Francisco’s been skewing high against playoff caliber opposition of late.

JIM HURLEY knows you want to WIN WHILE YOU WATCH the biggest NFL game of the week. Check the details of his Sunday card to see if 49ers/Seahawks made the cut. You can always purchase game day BEST BETS and big TV PARLAYS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, talk to a NETWORK representative at 1-888-777-4155. (Don’t forget to magnify your profit potential with Pennant Race baseball!)

Back with you tomorrow to discuss Pittsburgh/Cincinnati in this week’s Monday Night Football showcase. The season is already off to a flying start. Don’t miss a single winner from JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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