SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Sunday night’s game between the 49ers and Seahawks is one of the most anticipated of the weekend. John Madden told the KCBS morning crew there are many more big games ahead between Seattle and San Francisco.

“Since both of them are relatively young clubs in the same division (and) they’re going to play each other twice a year every year, this is going to be a real rivalry,” Madden said. “Pretty young players and good coaches — this is going to go on for a long time.”

Seattle is 9-5, but hasn’t lost a game at home this season.

“I’m one of those guys that said the field doesn’t have anything to do with it, the field has never won a game in the history of the game, it’s the team and the players that win and lose the game,” the former coach said. “But doggone it, the more I watch that Seattle and that 12th man and all that stuff, the more I’m starting to believe it. I don’t think it means you can’t win there, but I think it means a little.”

Despite Seattle’s home field advantage, Madden said he likes the 49ers chances.

“The 49ers are a better team than Seattle… (but) the Justin Smith thing, I think, is a concern.”

The star defensive tackle missed the second half of last weekend’s game after injuring his arm, and the coach hasn’t said whether he’ll start Sunday night.

“No one talks about it and what’s wrong with him,” Madden said. “But knowing him and (knowing) he’s not practicing, there may be something a little more to it than meets the eye.” (7:45)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM. And catch John’s extra report at 9:15 a.m. Mondays and Fridays during the NFL season.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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