49ers focused on ball security


SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers aren’t giving away any playbook secrets when they say their top priority in Sunday's NFC championship game at Seattle is to protect the ball.

CenturyLink Field is by far the loudest stadium in the NFL. It has been a nightmare for opposing teams -- including the 49ers who have been outscored by a combined 71-16 in their last two games there -- to operate offensively.

The result is often turnovers. San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh made it clear he is emphasizing ball security with his players.

"Remind them to protect the ball, daily and hourly," Harbaugh said Wednesday. "The Seattle defense is looking to get the ball at all times. Create turnovers in any situation, generate them on all downs, to looking to take the ball away."

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick got the memo. He threw three of his eight interceptions this season in Seattle in Week 2.

"We do have to protect the football," Kaepernick said Wednesday. "That's something that we haven't done very well up there. I think going into this game we have to make sure we do that so we can come out with a win."