The Seattle Seahawks begin their 2011 season with a road trip to play the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers visited Seattle to open the 2010 campaign, and despite being heavily favored, they lost by a score of 31-6.
The two teams have split their divisional series for the last three seasons, with the home teams winning the last four games.
The two teams are materially different this year, though. The 49ers have a completely new coaching staff, and over half of the starting defense is new.
Their offensive personnel is mostly the same, save a change at center and the addition of Braylon Edwards. The 49ers are hoping Edwards will give Alex Smith an actual No. 1 wide receiver threat.
Seattle's starting defense has maintained its primary players while adding much better depth. The unit started off very strong in 2010, but injuries (primarily to the defensive line) led to some very poor performances. They have much better depth this season.
The Seahawks offense is virtually brand new this season. They have added a new offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, from the Minnesota Vikings. He brought Tarvaris Jackson and Sidney Rice with him from Minnesota.
Tom Cable took over as offensive line coach, bringing Zach Miller and Robert Gallery with him from the Oakland Raiders. This unit has much to prove, though, and poor offensive line play hindered their preseason production.