By Matthew Asher
Depending on who you ask, athletes of all ages are either “superstitious” or simply follow a “game day ritual” when preparing for their upcoming opponent. For the Seahawks, this means ignoring the San Francisco/Green Bay video as they get ready to host the 49ers.
On the flight back from Carolina to Seattle, the players did have the ability to watch the game live, but it wasn’t a priority or even a necessity for the majority of the team.
“I watched until like halftime, then I fell asleep,” said Earl Thomas.
At least Thomas saw the first half of the game, others didn’t make it that far.
While first hearing this may sound like the Seahawks hubris has gotten the better of them, there is a reason. Depending on your belief of superstition vs game day ritual, you may agree or disagree. The last time San Francisco played Green Bay was one day before Seattle’s playoff game against Atlanta. The Hawks didn’t watch the game even though their game with Atlanta wasn’t until the following day.
“We didn’t watch the Green Bay game last year, I don’t think we’re going to watch much of it this year,” Richard Sherman said. “I think we’ll watch our tape and see how he did against us. We’ll judge it from there.”
Seattle has good reason to revisit their one game against Colin Kaepernick last season. When the two teams met December 23 last year, Kaepernick was well on his way of taking the NFL by storm. The trip to Seattle cooled Kaepernick off quite a bit as the Seahawks blew out the 49ers 42-13. Kaepernick was limited to just 31 rushing yards on seven carries and completing 19 of 36 passes for 244 yards. The Hawks also intercepted Kaepernick once and sacked him.
So far Seattle has a simple, but smart plan for dealing with the 49ers this week.
“We’re going to focus on what we can control and get back to the basics,” said Thomas.
With Seattle’s defense limiting Cam Newton to a new career-low 125 passing yards last week, it’s definitely possible for them to do the same to Kaepernick and his receiving targets. Limiting Kaepernick to 125 passing yards might be a little unrealistic, since he just torched the Packers for more than 400 yards through the air, but limiting his effectiveness is doable.
It may be early in the season, but this game could decide the eventual NFC West champion. “I’m excited for another opportunity to show how good we are,” Thomas said. “Both teams have made this a great rivalry and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
For more Seahawks news and updates, visit Seahawks Central.
Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.