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Defenses uniformly stellar in Seahawks/Niners title game

Yesterday we examined the offenses of the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers and found them to be twins of each other. Today we look at the defenses...and may well come to the same conclusion.

Patrick Willis will keep his eyes on Seattle's offense
The NFC's Championship Trophy

The Seahawks have, according to Head Coach Pete Carroll to Fox Sports, "No weaknesses on defense." While Carroll by nature could give Monty Python instruction on singing "Look On the Bright Side of Life" this time he is speaking the truth. The Seahawks have the best defense in the game, and defend flies like a Shell No Pest Strip. Seattle gives up an average of 172 yards through the air. That's an amazing number in an era when seemingly every quarterback in the league falls out of bed and passes for three bills Sunday after Sunday.

San Francisco is no slouch in defending flying footballs either. The Niners give up 221 yards per game through the air, good for 4th in the conference. But where the Hawks completely outshine San Francisco is in not only swatting down passes, but picking them off. Seattle leads the free world in interceptions with 28 during the regular season. The 49ers intercepted 18 passes during the '13-'14 season.

The 49ers actually have a statistical edge defending the run. Known for their stout front seven, San Francisco yielded only 95 yards per game on the ground. Seattle gave ground only slightly less grudgingly. Opponents rushed for 102 yards per game against the Seahawks.

So the offenses could switch jerseys and no one would know. The defenses are close with a small edge to the home-standing Hawks. That leaves special teams, coaching and intangibles. Five days to go until this Sunday's Clash of the Titans, and 12th Men all over the Puget Sound are mixing face paint and practicing their feral howl. Who can't wait for this?

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