Overlooked area favors 49ers vs. Seahawks

I'm as eager as anyone to see the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks tangle Sunday night in a nationally televised slugfest featuring ascending young quarterbacks.

Their game in Seattle last December was memorable even without Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson behind center.

2012 Yards Per Carry Allowed

The 49ers prevailed, 19-17, in a game featuring two run-oriented teams with punishing defenses. Both teams have become more dynamic in their passing games, but the part about two punishing defenses invites another look.

San Francisco has been the team more apt to delivering crushing hits on defense recently, even outside the rules. 49ers safety Dashon Goldson has six penalties for personal fouls this season. Seattle counterpart Kam Chancellor, heavily fined last season, has zero in 2012. Goldson and fellow 49ers safety Donte Whitner lay out opponents regularly. I haven't seen the same level of violence from Seattle this season.

The 49ers' run defense has also been much tougher lately. Seattle has fallen from second in yards per carry allowed through Week 6 to 32nd in that category since Week 7, when San Francisco rolled up 175 yards rushing against the Seahawks.

Both teams' offenses rank among the league leaders in rushing.

Seattle ranks second and San Francisco fourth in rushing yards gained from Week 7 to present. The 49ers are second and the Seahawks third for the full season.