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Thiel: Emotional edge of Marshawn Lynch's return to Seattle won't be enough to beat 49ers

Stephen Brashear
AP File Photo
FILE - Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch rushes against the Arizona Cardinals in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Seattle.

The Seahawks will have the emotional edge over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night when the two teams battle it out at CenturyLink Field to see who wins the NFC West division of the National Football League.

After losing three running backs to injuries this month, the Seahawks have signed two former teammates to free-agent contracts. One of them is a fan favorite known as Beast Mode - Marshawn Lynch. The other is Robert Turbin. It's the topic of this week's conversation between KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel and Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

Thiel said the crowd at CenturyLink Field will be more electrified than usual with Lynch's return to Seattle. He praised coach Pete Carroll for putting aside tensions he had with Lynch when he played for the team from 2010-2015. 

"One of the biggest things about this particular transaction that is remarkable is that Pete Carroll had to get rid of all that and say, 'Let's bring Marshawn back,'" he said.

But Thiel doesn't think it will be enough to beat the 49ers.

"The realist in me says that this is a very important emotional gesture but it's not a pragmatic one because there are younger and faster running backs out there that could have probably done a technically better job. But this is all about stirring his teammates and electrifying CenturyLink Field."

Thiel predicts the 49ers will win 27-20. Both teams are going to the playoffs regardless. Sunday night's game will determine who wins the NFC West and has more of an advantage in the postseason.

Never miss an episode again. Subscribe to Sports With Art Thiel with iTunes or Google Play now. You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest.  

Kirsten Kendrick has been hosting Morning Edition on KNKX/KPLU since 2006. She has worked in news radio for more than 30 years. Kirsten is also a sports lover. She handles most sports coverage at the station, including helping produce a two-part series on the 50th anniversary of Title IX and the ongoing series "Going Deep."
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