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2012 Record: 11-5
Point Differential: Plus-167
Last Meeting vs. SF: 42-13 W (2012 Week 16)
Justin Smith was hurt, the Seahawks were a win away from a clinching a playoff berth, and it was a Sunday Night Football showdown in Seattle.
Even with those factors giving the 'Hawks an edge in Week 16, no one expected a 42-13 beatdown.
Russell Wilson was nearly flawless, Marshawn Lynch eclipsed 100 yards rushing, and Seattle's defense held the 49ers offense without a touchdown for the first 58 minutes of the game.
In the offseason, the Seahawks added wide receiver Percy Harvin and defensive end Cliff Avril, among others. They should make Seattle even better.
The Week 2 matchup in the Emerald City will be as tough as it gets for San Francisco.
Without Michael Crabtree, Colin Kaepernick will have to find a way to complete passes against stud corners Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner and Antoine Winfield. He'll also have to deal with deafening crowd noise that helped the Seahawks go undefeated at home last year.
The Week 14 matchup should be easier for San Francisco, but don't assume it will be a walk in the park. Although the Seahawks were just 3-5 on the road in the regular season last year, they won at Washington in the playoffs and followed that with a gut-wrenching 30-28 loss in Atlanta.
The Seahawks are arguably the best offensive and defensive team on San Francisco's schedule. There's no question they will be the toughest team to beat in 2013.