The early feel from CenturyLink Field

2012 49ers-Seahawks Comparison

SEATTLE -- There's a playoff-type feel at CenturyLink Field while the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks are warming up for their prime-time matchup.

The pressbox is abuzz with activity as a larger-than-usual media contingent featuring NBC's Cris Collinsworth and an NFL Films crew takes advantage of the pregame buffet. Roast turkey is on the menu, for those seeking additional pregame flavor.

Scouts from the St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers have been credentialed for this game.

49ers fans wearing red are lining the tunnel leading to the visiting locker room. They're also visible behind the 49ers' bench. Most of the Seahawks fans won't make their way into the stadium until closer to kickoff.

Sidney Rice, questionable on the Seahawks' injury report, appears to be running well. He just caught a pass while running through the end zone. There has been no sign, to my knowledge, of injured 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith.

The Chicago-Arizona and New York Giants-Baltimore games are playing on monitors in the pressbox. Giants-Ravens is the one up on the main stadium video board. Those games aren't all that compelling for the Seahawks or 49ers.

The playoff picture is clearer after the earlier games in Week 16.

The Seahawks can clinch a playoff spot with a victory over the 49ers. They cannot clinch a playoff spot Sunday if they lose to the 49ers. But a defeat would not knock them from contention, either. The 49ers can secure the No. 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round playoff bye if they win their final two games. They can clinch the NFC West crown and no worse than the third seed with a victory over Seattle.

I'll be back soon with an item on which players have been named inactive for this game.