Pete Carroll: ‘No better matchup’ than Seahawks-49ers

Jan 13, 2014, 4:28 PM | Updated: Jan 18, 2014, 2:56 pm
LISTEN:

By Brady Henderson

The only thing that stands between the Seahawks and the Super Bowl is their bitter rival, the hottest team in football and one of only three opponents who beat Seattle during the regular season.

Coach Pete Carroll kind of likes it that way.

“I think it’s a great matchup. I think it’s the matchup that everybody would like to see, and we don’t mind it one bit, either, and they don’t mind it one bit, either. So it will be a great one,” he told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” Monday morning when asked about hosting the 49ers in next weekend’s NFC Championship Game.

44948bcc-980a-4e8a-ab92-d29b412468f5
“Gosh, they’ve looked good,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says about the 49ers, who have won eight straight heading into the NFC Championship Game against Seattle. (AP)

“… There’s no better matchup, I think, that you could find in the NFC right now, so we’re really thrilled about it.”

That’s not to say it’s the easiest one for Seattle considering the 49ers have won their last eight games, finishing the regular season on a 6-0 run before beating Green Bay and then Carolina on the road to advance to the title game. One of San Francisco’s eight straight wins came against Seattle at Candlestick Park in Week 14, a game the Seahawks were in position to win before allowing a 51-yard run by Frank Gore that set up the 49ers’ game-winning field goal.

“We shoulda won the game down there,” Carroll said.

This one will be at CenturyLink Field, where the Seahawks beat the 49ers 29-3 in Week 2 and have outscored San Francisco 71-16 in the last two meetings. The 49ers lost by 20 points at home to Indianapolis following that Sept. 15 loss in Seattle, then won 11 of their final 13 games. Their two losses during that stretch came by a combined four points.

“They’ve played really well. Gosh, they’ve looked good,” Carroll said. “I’ve watched them a lot all through the end of the season and they’ve played very consistent football with the running game and mixing the throwing game. The quarterback has really been effective, the receivers have been obvious – the play-making that they do – their defense is the same as it’s always been in terms of they’re always really good, and they’re kicking the ball well. They’re doing all of those things really well.

“So it’s a really well equipped football team coming in against a really well equipped football team and it’s going to be a great match.”

It will mark the seventh time these teams have met since 2011, when coach Jim Harbaugh left Stanford for San Francisco and brought with him a history with his Seahawks counterpart. The 49ers have a 4-2 edge in the series over that span, but the point differential actually favors Seattle by 28.

It’s only fitting that the NFC title game will showcase what is becoming the league’s best rivalry, one defined by chippy and physical meetings, offseason sniping and what appears to be genuine dislike by some of the parties involved.

There’s plenty of familiarity and not much love lost.

“They know us and we know them and we know what we’ve done well against them and not. Same for them,” Carroll said. “So now you’re playing the chess match of what is the right way to emphasize certain things and try to take advantage of certain things they’ve done to us – that’s the game that we’re playing. That’s why the hours are short in terms of sleep right now.

“… It’s a blast. It’s a blast. To be this deep into the playoffs and playing home and all of the opportunity, the 60 minutes between now and going to the Super Bowl, it’s just a thrill to be in this setting. And the fact that we do have this familiarity, it makes it a really cool matchup – it really does – for both sides. We’ll all be deep into it and we’ll see what happens come gameday.”

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.

Brock and Salk podcast

Brady Henderson

Rees Odhiambo, a 2016 third-round pick, will compete with Matt Tobin to start at left tackle. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Tom Cable: Rees Odhiambo, Matt Tobin are Seahawks’ preferred LT options

Tom Cable brought a bit of clarity to the Seahawks' plans at left tackle in the wake of George Fant's season-ending knee injury, saying Tuesday that Rees Odhiambo and newcomer Matt Tobin are the top two options.
5 years ago
Left tackle George Fant suffered an injury in the first half of Friday's preseason game. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Seahawks injury updates: George Fant set for surgery, K.J. Wright returns

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that left tackle George Fant is expected to be back by next season from the knee injury that will sideline him in 2017.
5 years ago
Matt Tobin, 27, started 21 games over seasons with the Eagles. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Seahawks acquire OL Matt Tobin in trade with Eagles

The Seahawks have acquired offensive tackle Matt Tobin in a trade with the Eagles, making another move to shore up their offensive line after losing left tackle George Fant for the season.
5 years ago
Luke Joeckel played left tackle for his first three NFL seasons. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Luke Joeckel? Rees Odhiambo? A look at the Seahawks’ LT options with George Fant out for the season

The Seahawks need a new plan at left tackle with George Fant out for the season. Moving Luke Joeckel there is one option, writes Brady Henderson.
5 years ago
Michael Bennett on Justin Britt standing by his side during the national anthem Friday night: “I ...
Brady Henderson

Justin Britt stands by Michael Bennett during national anthem: ‘A very emotional moment’

Seahawks center Justin Britt showed his support for teammate Michael Bennett Friday night, standing by him as Bennett remained seated during the national anthem.
5 years ago
Left tackle George Fant suffered an injury in the first half of Friday's preseason game. (AP)...
Brady Henderson

Seahawks’ George Fant needs ACL surgery, likely out for season

The Seahawks' offensive line was dealt a massive blow with left tackle George Fant suffering a knee injury Friday night that will likely keep him out all season.
5 years ago
Pete Carroll: ‘No better matchup’ than Seahawks-49ers