49ers-Seahawks Preview: San Fran Shuts Down Punchless Seahawks

Jeffrey BoswellAnalyst ISeptember 10, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 14:  Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers in action against the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park on December 14, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

San Francisco @ Seattle (+2)

Pete Carroll is back in the NFL, taking over the Seahawks job that was vacated when Jim Mora, Jr. was fired just minutes after Seattle's 5-11 2009 campaign ended. Carroll was heavily courted for the job, and will be paid handsomely for it with a five-year, $33 million contract.

"Heavily courted? Paid handsomely?" Carroll said. "What, more talk about Reggie Bush's recruitment at USC? I've said it once, and I'll say it again, this time with a straight face, that I knew nothing of the improprieties that occurred while I was in charge at USC."

"The only thing I have in common with Reggie Bush is a sex tape. Oh, how'd I'd like to add 'with Kim Kardashian' to that, but sadly, I can't. It's just another example of the lengths some coaches will go to bring a player to USC."

The 49ers are the favorites in the NFC West, and their defense, led by All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis, is expected to be one of the NFL's best.

"I think there are great things in store for this team offensively as well," Willis said. "We've got a great running back in Frank Gore, maybe the league's fastest tight end in Vernon Davis, and a quarterback, Alex Smith, who has really improved. I'm not kidding myself when I say that Alex reminds me a great deal of Joe Montana...from those 'Joe Montana for Shape-Ups' commercials."

Willis and the 49ers' defense offer up a rude awakening to Carroll, shutting down a Seahawk offense in dire need of firepower.

San Francisco wins, 24-13.