There's a pretty good chance that Sunday evening's NFC Championship Game between the 49ers and Seahawks -- NFC West rivals who don't care for each other -- could get chippy. The game officials have been instructed not to let that happen though. According to NFL Network, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino used footage of the first half from last week's 49ers-Panthers divisional round game as an example of what should not happen. Additionally Blandino told the officials running Sunday's game, as well as the teams, that the zebras will "set the tone early" and "not let the game get out of control." The 49ers-Panthers game was one of the chippiest we've seen all season. There were multiple early personal-foul flags as well as a pair of headbutts, one of from each side (though only Carolina was flagged). If the NFL gets that sort of game in the early going of San Francisco-Seattle, things could get out of hand quickly. The obvious downside is trying to influence the game early could limit some of the physicality of what's expected to be an extremely physical contest.
NFL wants officials to 'set the tone early' for 49ers-Seahawks
CBS Sports | Jan 19