Given Roman's propensity to keep a few aces hidden for the playoffs, can we expect more for this game or just grinding it out? #Channel49— Andy LoFaro (@CNasty5682) January 17, 2014
Expect more. How much more? The game flow and situations the 49ers offense are in will dictate that. This is no time to hold back anything if Roman and company believe that a certain hidden ace of a play could be a home run. There will be no trying new plays for the sake of just implementing them, they will be used when it's time for a strategic strike. We have seen some new plays and formations since they playoffs began, and that trend will continue for hopefully the next couple of weeks.
Look for another empty formation or two Sunday, it worked well against the Packers. I expect some new run plays to be called as well as new plays out of the pistol. The 49ers have shown on their win streak they don't need to do a whole lot different, They have been putting up points each week and have drove down the field effectively more often than not. So not a lot needs to be changed or added, but if something new can be used to exploit the Seahawks, I'm all for it.
You will not see a no huddle from the 49ers unless they are down in the game late, or it's a two minute situation before halftime. No huddle isn't the 49ers type of football, it takes away from winning the time of possession battle. What I do expect to see is an up-tempo offense from the 49ers. Last week Colin Kaepernick was able to consistently snap the ball off near ten seconds left to go on the play clock early on in the game. Getting to the line quickly will be crucial in this game, which will help Kaepernick get into the right play, as well as keep the Seahawks defense on their toes. The only way to shut this crowd up is to score points, but getting to the line quick will help lead to points.
How do we contain Lynch? #channel49— Ali-son (@Alison_Redden) January 17, 2014
I defer to Navorro Bowman on this one, he'd know better than anyone how to contain Lynch.
"Him being as physical as he is when he runs the ball, you don’t want to shoot your gun," Bowman said. "You want to gather yourself and make sure you have him in front of you. If you can do that, you can definitely get him down or have a better chance of doing it. But a lot of guys shoot their guns, thinking he’ll fall down from that. But he does a good job of fighting through and breaking tackles."
From what Bowman is saying, it sounds like if you tackle soundly fundamentally and square him up you have a chance.
#channel49 does Fangio dare to have Whitner play 5-7 yds off LOS to shut down Lynch? Or stay status quo?— Kaleo Hocson Jr (@LeftCoastLivin) January 17, 2014
Whitner can cover a lot of ground playing as deep as he usually plays. But against Lynch, getting a little greedy wouldn't be the worst idea. If Whitner was to play a little closer up it would have risk in the passing game, especially on a play action fake. The 49ers would be asking their corners to not make a big play mistake, which is why I don't expect a lot of Whitner close to the box. If that strategy was to be used, it would mean they are going to make Russell Wilson beat them, and I believe that will be the strategy, but not to this extent. However, there will be times when you see the safeties inching up closer than usual in this game I'd expect.
Both are under the same amount of pressure. Each team is made up of 53 men and a staff, all of which have dreamed of going to the Super Bowl since they were kids. All the hard work, dedication, time spent, sweat, blood, aches. All of it has lead them to this game. What matters is how they deal with this pressure. Will the pressure cause them to lose focus, or will it fuel them, and make them play the best game they've ever played before. The 49ers have been here, which is why I like their chances, why I believe they can handle this big moment better than the Seahawks will tomorrow.
How big of an impact will the refs have in this game? #Channel49— Alex (@SavageSanchez) January 17, 2014
Good or bad, the referees will have an impact on the game. As we witnessed this season with the horrible call on Ahmad Brooks roughing Drew Brees, sometimes one bad call can decide a game. The 49ers have to play a game that couldn't be potentially decided by one momentous call. Going up to Seattle in that hellish environment (for them), they can't expect calls to come their way. The 49ers as a team do not bend rules such as the Seahawks do, which is why I expect a few bad non calls to benefit Seattle and not the Niners. The best case scenario is the 49ers always have a healthy lead and any bad call won't hurt them. I'd like to think the officials will have a stellar game, but my hope of that happening is dim at most.
@Woods49ers frank 20+ carries this Sunday?— #SeahawksHavePeaked (@49ersAsDieHard) January 18, 2014
I'm going to say.... yes. If Frank has twenty or more carries that means the 49ers are winning the game and running the clock out. In the Harbaugh era, the 49ers are 17-2-1 (including playoffs) when Frank has twenty carries or more.
Offensively, it's a tie between Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore. Both players are going to need productive days against a stingy defense. The ground game must get going somewhat if the 49ers are to win this game. Frank will need to make some big plays as well as convert on third and short situations. Kap is the quarterback, by default he has to be an x-factor in a championship game. No matter how well Gore does, Kaepernick still will have to make some clutch plays, with both his arm and feet.
Defensively, let's go with the Defensive Player Of the Year (let's hope), Navorro Bowman. Almost every game this season Bowman has been the best player on the field, and there's no reason to think he won't have yet another big game while making huge contributions. He can hurt you in so many ways, be it stopping the run, playing in coverage, or blitzing the quarterback. I don't know in what facet of his game Bowman will make his biggest contribution tomorrow, but he's going to do something that will make you jump off your sofa.
I'll go with under. I'm going to be amp'd up for this one folks. The only thing that remains to be seen is why I am shouting. Will it be for a bad call? A good play by the 49ers defense? A quick touchdown by the 49ers offense? Richard Sherman just being Richard Sherman? We will see tomorrow!