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Sherman likes to talk, of course, and has done his part to add to the animosity between the two teams. He doesn’t get along with Harbaugh, his former coach at Stanford, and he isn’t afraid to stir things up either on or off the field.

But he plays for a team that can back up his words. The Seahawks took apart a good New Orleans team at home Monday night, then traveled to their division rivals and almost pulled off a win at a place where opposing teams in the West just don’t win.

They’re 11-2 with games against the Giants, Cardinals and Rams left, and they seem perfectly set up for a deep run in the playoffs. They’ll almost certainly have a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the loudest stadium in the NFL _ and perhaps the world _ where they have yet to lose all season.

Despite the loss, the road to the Super Bowl still goes through Seattle. And the Seahawks remain in the driver’s seat.


Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at) or