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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll shares the keys for his team vs the 8-0 49ers

Pete Carroll's Seahawks will have their hands full on Monday against the undefeated 49ers. (Getty)

Arguably the best rivalry in the NFL during the mid-2010s was between Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks and Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers.

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Hard-hitting slugfests were the norm, culminating in the 2013 NFC Championship game between the two rivals that saw Seattle come out on top on its way to the franchise’s second Super Bowl. The Hawks would beat the Broncos 43-8 for the championship, and the next season, Seattle went to its second-straight Super Bowl.

In San Francisco, however, the 49ers dropped to 8-8 and missed the playoffs in 2014. That was also Harbaugh’s last as 49ers head coach.

Since Harbaugh left, the rivalry has been fairly one-sided in Seattle’s favor. Additionally, the 49ers have not finished a season at .500, but things may be changing.

The team is assured to finish at least at .500 this year, as the 49ers are back in playoff contention as the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL at 8-0.

The Seahawks aren’t too far behind at 7-2, and a win in San Francisco on Monday night would pull Seattle within a half game of the 49ers in the NFC West standings.

During The Pete Carroll Show on Friday, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM’s Dori Monson found a stat that shows how big of a matchup Monday’s game is. Per Monson, Monday’s game has the third-best combined winning percentage between two teams playing on Monday Night Football on week 10 or later in NFL history.

What did Carroll think of that?

“That’s good. We like that,” Carroll said. “That’s good stuff.”

Despite the history between these two franchises, especially under Carroll’s tenure in Seattle, Carroll is keeping the “1-0 each week” mentality and isn’t talking about rivalries.

“We consider every opportunity and every game to the maximum, and that’s a discipline in itself, of course,” Carroll told Monson, “to do that week-in, week-out, to consider every game is a championship game and you need everything you have to win the game.”

Carroll was asked about what he sees in 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who has helped lead the team to an 8-0 start, to which he replied that one of the key takeaways is the talent around Garoppolo, which makes it so he doesn’t have to do too much.

“He’s doing a really good job. He’s playing on an excellent team,” Carroll said. “The team is beautifully balanced with their defense and their running game, and he does not have to throw the ball much, but when he does he’s very efficient.”

On the other side of the ball, the 49ers feature one of the best defensive lines in football, highlighted by rookie defensive end Nick Bosa.

To keep them neutralized, Carroll said there’s more to it than just pass protection for Russell Wilson.

“That will start with us running the football,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to (mix things up) and keep them off balanced so they can’t just come after us. In the games they do that, they’re not very close.”

If Seattle can establish the run, Carroll thinks it will make the game a lot harder for San Francisco’s defense.

Listen to The Pete Carroll Show at this link or in the player below.

Follow’s Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

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