Posted: 8:36 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014
By David Fucillo
The 49ers and Seahawks will square off on Sunday for the right to go to Super Bowl XLVIII. The weather is looking fairly decent for this one, which hopefully removes that as an excuse for poor play from either team. There are no excuses for this one. New to Niners Nation?Sign up here and join the discussion!
The San Francisco 49ers head north to face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, and it appears the weather should be a relative non-issue. The weather could very well change between now and Sunday, but the current forecast is a high of 50 degrees, a low of 38, and some clouds but no rain.
In case you forgot, the 49ers last two games in Seattle have had their fair share of weather issues. In September, lightning resulted in an hour-long delay late in the first quarter. The game itself was incredibly sloppy as neither team was overly impressive in the first half. The Seahawks scored the first touchdown of the game in the third quarter, and pulled away in the fourth quarter. Last season, the 49ers were blown out on Sunday Night Football on December 23, amidst cold and rainy conditions.
I don't think the weather was the deciding factor in either game, but it had some kind of impact on the game as a whole. This time around we are hopefully going to have a game played in fairly normal conditions. The 49ers are prepared for adverse conditions, but I like the idea of having the game played without issues that could provide excuses to the losing team.
And that really sums up things for the 49ers heading into this game. Even with a few injuries of note, this 49ers team is coming into the NFC title game in really good shape. In September, they faced the Seahawks without Michael Crabtree. In 2012, they faced the Seahawks in Seattle without Justin Smith. We don't know that the 49ers would have won either game had those two players been present, but it certainly would have helped their cause.
More importantly, the 49ers head into this game with as much depth as they have had in some time. The wide receiver corps is the deepest it has been under Jim Harbaugh. Even without Ian Williams, Tony Jerod-Eddie's emergence, alongside the play of Demarcus Dobbs, has created noticeable depth behind Justin Smith and Ray McDonald. The running backs remain deep. The secondary is showing decent depth with Carlos Rogers on the sideline. The linebackers remain all world. The offensive line showed some improved play last week, particularly Mike Iupati.
This game is more or less a toss-up given that the Seahawks are themselves plenty deep, and playing at home. The 49ers can win this game because of that depth, and because they are in about as ideal a position as they can be having to go on the road to beat Seattle. There are no excuses.