The San Francisco 49ers visit the Seattle Seahawks for the third time in two years on Jan. 19. The 49ers can't afford for their third visit to go like the last two, when the Seahawks utterly humiliated San Francisco and Colin Kaepernick. But if the third time is the charm, the 49ers will reach their second straight Super Bowl after all and have the best kind of revenge.
When the Seahawks blew out the 49ers in December 2012 at Seattle, they were playing for a playoff berth while San Francisco already on its way to a divisional title. Then in September 2013, the Seahawks destroyed the 49ers again before San Francisco really got going. Yet this time around, the 49ers are at their peak with everything to play for.
Seattle now has to face a San Francisco club that is on an eight-game winning streak, has won two road playoff games this season, and won last year's NFC title in a hostile environment at Atlanta. Of course, the Seahawks' decibel shattering environment is the most hostile in the NFL, where only one road team has won at in the last two seasons -- and the 49ers were never close to being that team.
With the 49ers rounding back into Super Bowl form while the Seahawks have struggled in the last month, this is the best possible chance for them to win in Seattle. Kaepernick hasn't always been the same quarterback he was last season, but he does know how to win with a Super Bowl berth on the line, unlike the Seahawks' Russell Wilson. In addition, this is the 49ers' third straight NFC title game with Jim Harbaugh at the helm, while this is newer territory for the Seahawks.
This month, San Francisco has already beat a Green Bay Packers club with a healthy Aaron Rodgers in zero degree temperatures, as well as a Carolina Panthers squad that ended the regular season on an 11-1 run. With that in mind, finally solving the Seahawks in Seattle has to look less daunting, especially since the 49ers have waited all season for this shot.
The 49ers will take that shot at 6:30 p.m. est on FOX.