1. Seattle defense wins battle of trenches.
Ends Chike Okeafor , Antonio Cochran tackles John Randel, Cedric Woodard and Norman Hand must stop running back Garrison Hearst and get pressure on 49er quarterback Jeff Garcia. The 49ers will try to pound the ball early and then try to stretch the defensive secondary with play action passes. Green Bay used the same strategy last week and it worked to a tune of 35 points.
2. Balanced offense.
The Seattle offense needs to get going early with a balanced running and passing attack.
Shaun Alexander has a knack for big games when the states are high. He will need to have early success to keep the 49ers from being blitz happy. The 49ers defense is 4th in the NFL against the rush and 9th on pass defense.
The tight ends Jeremy Stevens, and Ituli Mili will have to produce if Matt Hasselbeck is to have any success. Wide outs Koren Robinson and Darrell Jackson need to get downfield .
3. Seahawks secondary must be disciplined and healthy.
Rookies Marcus Trufant(right knee) and Ken Hamlin( left foot) missed most of the weeks practices. The secondary will need to play it's best game of the year in order to stop Terrell Owens and Tai streets. Cornerback Ken Lucas and strong safety Reggie Tongue will need to stay in their assignments. Seattle will probably use multiple zones, and man packages to offset the speedy Owens.
San Francisco has outscored Seattle 136 to 109 in Seattle. The 49ers have won five of the last six contests against Seattle. The 49ers are 4-1 against Seattle on the road.
Seattle lost both game to the 49es last year.