49ers know they'll have to deal with the noise of CenturyLink Field
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - It's a noisy place, the San Francisco 49ers' training field, under a takeoff pattern from San Jose International, alongside tracks where trains rumble by frequently.
But it's nothing compared to the decibel level at Seattle's CenturyLink Field, where the Niners meet the Seahawks on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.
"They want to make it uncomfortable for the visiting team," 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers said Tuesday about fans at CenturyLink, "but we can't worry about that.
"We're going to have to be our own fans, if that's the case."
Outnumbered, certainly, and outshouted, definitely. Opposing teams seem to spend all their time recording illegal procedure or false start penalties because of their inability to hear the quarterback's snap count.
"Other teams may approach it differently," San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said about not getting rattled by the noise. "You've got to be able to communicate without being able to hear very well.
"You can simulate that somewhat in practice. Signals, hand signals, verbal signals, body language, reading lips . . . We've been in some of those environments, as you know."
The last two times they played in Seattle, last season and earlier this season, they not only lost both but were outscored a combined 71-16.
"We've got to strike fast, that's the main thing," Rogers said. "Offense, defense. We can't let them come out and drive the ball. They're like a basketball team making runs. You've got to stop them. And our offense can't go three and out. We've got to make positive plays."
Which has been virtually impossible at CenturyLink, where the Seahawks have won 15 of their last 16, the loss in December to the Arizona Cardinals snapping a 14-game streak.
"We've watched it," Rogers said of game video. "Those guys [Arizona] got in their faces, especially [quarterback] Russell Wilson. We got to do that. Can't let him stand around and make plays."
The standing is one thing, the running and throwing another. And then there's Marshawn Lynch, who has crashed through and into the 49ers, pounding out yardage.
Adding their last regular-season game along with the postseason, Sunday's game will be the 49ers' fourth in a row on the road.
"We built this," said Rogers, of the wild card template that, after the final league game at Arizona, has put them in Green Bay, Charlotte and now Seattle.
"We got to come from the bottom and keep going on the road to get the wins. We know what to do. Once you start winning, put the first points on the board, that will take all the fans out of it."
He can only hope. Quietly.