The true NFC West rivalry returns

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

The NFC West is a very competitive division almost every year. While the top spot switches regularly, its usually true that there is a heated battle every year for that spot. This breeds strong rivalries between the teams, but there is one rivalry that has been the most fierce. Seattle and San Francisco.

While the Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals have done their fair share of winning within the division, it hasn’t fostered the same level of disdain that the Seahawks and 49ers have for each other. Fanbases, teams, front offices…it goes deep. And come next Monday night, the rivalry will again be on full display for everyone to see when these teams face each other on Monday Night Football.

Look at the history between these teams. Seattle came to the NFC West in 2002, and while both teams had their struggles at different stretches of time, the games between them were always close, which built the rivalry. But it was in 2011 when it really took off.

Seattle had hired Pete Carroll as their head coach in 2010. San Francisco then hired Jim Harbaugh as their HC in 2011. These coaches had been long-time rivals when the coached at the college level. Then both teams drafted young, talented quarterbacks, and built suffocating defenses. Every game, every division title, THE 2013 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP, was a full-blown battle.

Man, I miss those Carroll vs Harbaugh games.

Over the last few years, the media tried to change the “rivalry” focus to the Rams and Seahawks. Los Angeles put together a great team with a talented young coach, and the 49ers, after firing Harbaugh, struggled to find wins. However, in the minds of the fans from both teams, the true rivalry stayed between Seattle and San Francisco.

That brings us to the 2019 season. The 49ers (8-0) have lived up to the hype they had started last year before they lost their starting QB to injury. They are undefeated and have an insanely good defense. The Seahawks (7-2) are winning impossible games due to MVP level play from QB Russell Wilson and the receiving corps. Add to this, cornerback Richard Sherman switched teams from Seattle to San Francisco 2 years ago and has the same angry chip on his shoulder he had when he was young in Seattle. This all adds up to a revival of a rivalry.

At OurTurf we have a saying. “The NFL is better when the Raiders are good.” By this, we mean its good to have an enemy. It makes football just a little more fun. As a Seattle Seahawks fan, I love that San Francisco is good again. It just feels right. The way it’s supposed to be.

So next week, under the bright lights of a Monday Night Football game in San Francisco, the rivalry will return. Forgotten will be any friendships made. Loyalty will be to your team and that team alone. And neither team would have it any other way.

Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG
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