Coming into the season, the two top teams in the NFC were perceived to be the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. After an entire regular season and two rounds of the playoffs, the two remaining teams in the NFC are the Hawks and Niners. Rarely have the two top teams at the start of the season faced off in the Conference Championship Game and even more rarely do those two teams come from the same division. Seattle-San Francisco has become the best rivalry in the NFL.
Fans are treating the rivalry as such as Seahawks playoff tickets have an average price of $843.58 on the secondary market. Seattle had the most expensive average home ticket in the NFL during the regular season, but NFC Championship tickets are almost 300 percent above the regular season average at CenturyLink Field. The current get-in price of $308 is even above the average ticket price during the regular season. This game features the highest average price for the NFC Championship Game since the 2011 game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints ($744 average price) and the overall most expensive game of the NFL season. The past two NFC Championship Games had an average price under $400.
The Seahawks and the 49ers split the two games during the regular season with both teams winning at home. The Week 2 game in Seattle featured a 29-3 Seahawks blowout with the Niners winning a closer 19-17 game in Week 14 at Candlestick Park. San Francisco won the last matchup, but needed a field goal with 31 seconds remaining in the game to win while trailing 17-16. It should be expected the third meeting of the season will look more like the close game than the 26-point margin of victory from the beginning of the season.
Both of these teams feature two of the toughest and most physical defenses in the league, which could lead the game to remain close. If people thought the 49ers players were getting a little chippy against the Carolina Panthers during the Divisional round, the Seattle defense, especially the secondary, will not have a problem getting physical with players like Anquan Boldin.
These teams also have two of the most dynamic young quarterbacks in the league. The matchup between Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick could be turning into the next generation of Manning/Brady. Even if they’re not there yet, there’s little doubt this NFC Championship Game won’t be a closely-contested, entertaining battle between two division rivals.
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