The San Francisco 49ers have allowed 218 points this season. The Seattle Seahawks have allowed 219. They are the toughest two defenses to score on in the NFL.
The 49ers have gained 2,280 rushing yards this season. The Seahawks have gained 2,250. That's good for second and third in the league.
This is the story of the NFC West, suddenly home to the NFL's two toughest teams. San Francisco narrowly leads Pete Carroll's crew, but the teams are mirror images. And Seattle is closing fast.
"I think we are similar," Carroll said this week. "I can't help but see that. Because they believe in playing big-time defense, which we do. They believe in the running game, which we do. They have a very strong emphasis on special teams, which we do.
The Seahawks have one middle linebacker in their 4-3 defense, but rookie Bobby Wagner already is approaching the level of Willis and Bowman. Seriously. He has a different style of playing -- flying all over the field -- but he's a ton of fun to watch. Just keep an eye on him Sunday night, and you'll see. He's our pick for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
This could be one of the defining quarterback rivalries of the next decade. Kaepernick and Wilson aren't going anywhere.
Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers no longer is the toughest rivalry in football. The AFC North no longer is the toughest division. Seattle and San Francisco both have enough firepower to make it to the Super Bowl, but first, they have to decide what team will hit the NFC playoffs with huge momentum.