NFL Young Guns Face Off In Wild West Shootout

Image courtesy of Greule Jr/Getty Images
Russell Wilson is reigning Rookie of the Year. Image courtesy of Greule Jr/Getty Images
Most of the attention was on Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III heading in to last season when it came to young quarterbacks. By season’s end, Colin Kaepernick had steered San Francisco to the Super Bowl and Russell Wilson had taken Seattle to within two points of Atlanta in the Divisional Playoffs while collecting the Rookie of the Year title, confirming the NFL currently has one of its most exciting crops of QBs ever to come through. Apparently Kaepernick and Wilson have made a bet that whichever goes down in their first meeting of the year on Monday morning (AEST) has to shave an eyebrow.

The 49ers pipped the Seahawks for the NFC West crown – their second in a row – by just half-a-game last season, and there is plenty of feeling between the teams. It’s in part due to the actions of Niners coach Jim Harbaugh who criticised the Seahawks for having five players suspended for taking performance-enhancing drugs in 2011, then allegedly honked his horn at Seattle’s bus after San Fran’s 13-6 win in Week 7 last year.

Kaepernick let his game do the talking last week with a stunning performance in the 34-28 victory over Green Bay. He completed 27 of 39 passes for a career-high 412 yards and three touchdowns, to boot. It didn’t take long for him to make recruit Anquan Boldin his favourite target as the former Ravens receiver logged 13 catches for 208 yards and a TD in his NFL debut in a Niners uniform.

Wilson had a career-high four touchdown passes in the Seahawks’ 42-13 thumping of San Francisco in Week 16 last year. He continued that hot form in to the postseason throwing for 385 yards in the playoff loss to Atlanta, which is a rookie record. After a 1-5 start last weekend, he connected on 24 of his next 28 throws as Seattle overcame Carolina 12-7 on the road.

The birds will need more out of running back Marshawn Lynch, though. He was held to just 43 yards on 17 runs by the Panthers. He has been very productive of late against San Francisco racking up 321 yards on 66 carries in his past three matches.

Seattle has one of the best home records in the NFL and it is on a five-game winning streak at CenturyLink Field. It has also won seven of the last 10 against San Fran at home. In saying that, the Niners have won four of the past five between these teams, although three of those victories came at Candlestick Park.

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