From Claire Farnsworth of Seahawks.com
The satellite TV feed aboard their Delta Airlines charter flight provided a chance for some early scouting of the Seahawks’ opponent in their nationally televised home opener on Sunday night at CenturyLink Field.
“I watched until like halftime, then I feel asleep,” All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas said in the locker room at Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Monday.
“I didn’t watch too much of it,” All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said. “I saw the highlights.”
What? Are the Seahawks overconfident? No, it’s just that they’re not overly concerned with what the 49ers might have done against the Packers – even Colin Kaepernick, who passed for 412 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday after running for 181 yards in a playoff game against Green Bay in January.
They plan to channel their efforts into watching video from a different 49ers game.
“We didn’t watch the Green Bay game last year, I don’t think we’re going to watch much of it this year,” Sherman said. “I think we’ll watch our tape and see how he did against us. We’ll judge it from there.”
The Seahawks faced Kaepernick only once last season, because Alex Smith was still the starter in the Week 7 game the 49ers won 13-6 in San Francisco. By the time the 49ers came to CenturyLink Field on Dec. 23, Kaepernick wasn’t just the starter, but he was starting to take the league by storm.
But the Seahawks held him to 31 yards on seven carries and a 19-of-36, 244-yard passing performance. Kaepernick did throw a TD pass, but the Seahawks also intercepted him, sacked him and hit him four times. They also got two touchdown runs by Marshawn Lynch, two TD catches by Doug Baldwin and Sherman’s 90-yard scoring return of a field goal attempt that Red Bryant blocked in their 42-13 victory.
“We’re going to focus on what we can control and get back to the basics,” said Thomas, who played a huge role in limiting Panthers QB Cam Newton to a career-low 125 passing yards on Sunday.
“I’m excited for another opportunity to show how good we are. Both teams have made this a great rivalry and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
The game at CenturyLink Field last December was the last one the 49ers would lose until the Super Bowl. It also was victory No. 4 in the Seahawks’ five-game winning streak to close the regular season. The Seahawks won seven of their last eight regular-season games and then tacked on the franchise’s first road playoff win since 1983 in a wild-card game against the Washington Redskins.
The secret to the Seahawks’ late-season success wasn’t a secret at all; it was taking each game as it came and focusing only on that game. Pete Carroll preached it; the players then went out and practiced what their coach was preaching.
It might be a new season – and one with heightened expectations – but some things never change.
“It’s always one game at a time, and this is a perfect example of it,” Sherman said. “It’s just another game, another chance for us to put some good tape out there and play disciplined.”