When the 49ers and Seahawks meet for the third time this season the stakes could not be higher. The winner will move on to the Super Bowl, while the loser will have to deal with falling just short of the big stage and to make matters worse at the hands of their hated division rival.
Seven of the 46 previous Super Bowls ended with MVP awards going to defensive players. That includes 2001, when Baltimore’s Lewis was honored; it hasn’t happened since 2003, with Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Dexter Jackson.
Arguably the NFL’s most-feared linebacking tandem, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman helped lead the San Francisco 49ers back to the Super Bowl on Sunday against Baltimore for the first time in 18 years.
Defense wins championships. But these days it’s a certain kind of defense. Check out our NFC all-pro defense to see who excels.