(By Daisy Barringer)
Well my friends, the biggest game of our season is upon us. Seattle comes to San Francisco on Sunday with an 11-1 record and something to prove. They've already clenched a spot in the playoffs, so this isn't about that. (Although if they do win on Sunday, they clinch the division. Boo.) Rather, it's about their newfound hatred for the 49ers. A rivalry that's recent, but very, very real.
I hate the Seahawks. Like possibly more than I hate the Cowboys. Actually, definitely more than I hate the Cowboys. In fact, now that I think about it, the Seahawks are my most-hated team in the NFL. (That is subject to change at any moment based upon my many whims.) I can't stand the players. The coach. Ugh, Pete Carroll and his stupid gum. Choke on it, already, wontcha? I hate their stupid stadium. The fact that they clearly pump in noise to create “The 12th man” and that all of their fans are bandwagon losers. Mostly, I hate that they're having a phenomenal season and have managed to win games they clearly deserved to lose.
But my hatred isn't what matters. What matters is that Seattle is coming to San Francisco for an NFC West matchup that everyone will be watching. And we have to win. Seriously. If we don't win, I don't think I'll get out of bed all week. And I might pick a fight. And that can't happen because the new and improved Daisy is a good fan who is nice to all people, regardless of the fact that they like the dumbest team ever.
So yeah. A win is imperative. Here's what to look out for:
Home field advantage. I should probably caveat this because I am certain there will be a TON of stupid Seattle fans at the ‘Stick on Sunday. They all live here because they're techies and SF is way better than Seattle and if they don't live here, they have friends here so they flew down for the game and it's going to be so annoying I already want to punch someone. BUT. Still. It's our house. Our field. We will control the noise and there will be no “12th man.”
Short week for Seattle. Seattle played on Monday night. That's one less day they had to prepare for us. I'll take it.
Aldon Smith. I expect him to have a huge game for no reason other than the fact that I want him to. Also, he sacked Seattle QB Russell Wilson twice in September and I just really relish the thought of watching Wilson writhe on the ground.
Joe Staley. I have no idea how or why, but Staley was back at practice and is expected to play on Sunday. I promise that if I sprained my MCL I would need bed rest for a month. And by bed rest, I mean lots of wine and reality television. Anyway, lucky for everyone, I am not on the team. And Staley is. Glad he’ll be playing on Sunday. His very presence makes the offense better.
Crabtree is back. Thank god. The receivers had a really hard time getting open when we played Seattle in Week 2 and we cannot have that happen again. Luckily, in Week 2 the only receivers were Kyle Williams, Boldin and Davis. Crabtree should open things up a lot.
Seattle WR Percy Harvin has been sitting out of practice and it doesn’t look like he’s going to play on Sunday. CB Brandon Browner is also injured and sat out of practice. In addition, he’s waiting to hear about his possible suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy. CB Walter Thurmond is also serving a suspension. Those Seahawks really love their drugs!
Our defense. The D struggled against the pass in Week 2, but the changes they’ve made since have been significant and I expect them to excel in all areas on Sunday.
Frank Gore. I miss him. He had a crappy game in Seattle this year—carrying the ball nine times for 16 yards. I know everyone thinks that Seattle is going to hold him to low yardage again this week, but my psychic powers tell me he’s actually going to have a big game. That’s right. Other sports writers use facts to write their columns. I use my psychic powers.
Kaepernick. My psychic powers also tell me he is going to have a big game. I see him running a lot. And passing. Ok, my psychic powers might just be optimism but still. He has receivers. He has legs. If he can just not turn the ball over, we can win this.
Richard Sherman. I detest Richard Sherman. DETEST. He’s an arrogant a-hole and just The Worst. But I expect to him to be all over Anquan Boldin making it difficult for Boldin to have a performance like last week.
Marshawn Lynch. Skittles were my favorite candy. NOW I HAVE NOTHING. Also, the run defense better amazing because we cannot let this guy have a 100+ yard game.
Kaepernick needs to stay calm and not panic if his first option isn’t open.
Seattle has literally signed almost every 49ers player cut from the squad this year. They don’t keep the players around for long, but clearly they milk them for as much intel as possible before sending them on their way.
Seattle is good. I hate to say it but those are the facts. They’re going to come in tough and strong and looking for a win.
The Rest of It
That stupid letter that the 49ers put out this week about fan behavior. A letter like that was definitely needed, but not for the season ticket holders. It’s needed for people who’ve never been to a football game before. Who don’t understand to be quiet on offense and loud on defense. Regardless, the letter was poorly written—in literal execution and in style—and basically made 49ers fans look like complete morons. Which most of them are (not YOU, duh), but still. Really bad timing. Horrible. (Also, I actually didn’t receive a letter like that so I’m not sure who it went to or if it actually went to anyone at all. Unfortunately, that no longer matters.)
Jim Harbaugh vs. Pete Carroll. I love this rivalry just because it’s so dumb. However, Harbaugh has to win this one otherwise Pete Carroll will get his third straight win against him and his first win in SF. If I have to watch that smug SOB shake hands with Harbaugh after a Seattle win, I will cry.
This game is crucial for the 49ers playoff hopes. A loss will drop us to 7th in the NFC and leave us fighting even harder for a wild card spot. It’s a must-win. The Seahawks haven’t won in SF since 2008. Let’s keep it that way.
Watch SAN FRANCISCO vs. Seattle Sunday at 1:25 p.m. on FOX.