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Grant Cohn: 49ers have home field and motivation -- will it be enough?

  • Justin Smith shares his joy after getting a sack against Seattle. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

I think the Seahawks will beat the 49ers on Sunday. But I’m going to make a case for the 49ers because they are a good team with a good chance to win. And it’s important to look at an issue from all sides.

Almost everything works in the 49ers’ favor:

The Seahawks could have an emotional letdown after Monday night’s boisterous 34-7 victory against the Saints. It will be next to impossible for them to take so much enthusiasm on the road, unless maybe the Candlestick crowd boos them enough.

If the Seahawks have any chance to win, they have to withstand the emotional surge the 49ers will get from the home crowd during the first 10 minutes of the game. They may not withstand the surge. Other teams haven’t. Without the noise of their home crown, the Seahawks are a different team.

The Saints couldn’t handle the first 10 minutes of the game Monday night in Seattle, and look what happened. The Saints were down 10-0 before they could blink. They couldn’t overcome the momentum the Seahawks seized and fed on the entire first half. The Seahawks really didn’t do much in the second half once the adrenaline wore off. By then it didn’t matter.

The Seahawks have one less day of rest than the 49ers and one less day to prepare. They played Monday night. Plus they fly on Saturday. All of this will have an impact.

The 49ers are desperate. Don’t underestimate desperation.

If the 49ers lose this game, there is a good chance they will fall behind the Cowboys or the Eagles in the wild-card race at least for one week, maybe permanently.

But even if the Seahawks lose, they easily can lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC with wins against bad teams down the stretch. They already clinched a playoff spot. The 49ers haven’t clinched anything. The Seahawks have less to play for than the Niners.

The 49ers typically play well at Candlestick against the Seahawks. The Seahawks haven’t beaten the 49ers at Candlestick since 2008. History is on the 49ers’ side.

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