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Since their epic NFC Championship game in January 2014, the 49ers and Seahawks have gone in two drastically different directions. The 49ers have mustered a putrid 25 wins since, while the Seahawks have consistently been one of the best teams in football, returning to the Super Bowl in 2015 and having missed the playoffs only once and worse of all: using the 49ers as their twice a year punching bag.
While Russell Wilson may have trouble getting a glass down from the top shelf, he has no trouble knocking off the 49ers, posting a career record of 12-3 against your favorite team, low-lighted by an embarrassing defeat on Thanksgiving Day 2014, which was followed by his shoveling a bunch of turkey in his smug, punchable face.
The play on the field doesn’t necessarily represent a rivalry, but the fanbases definitely still feel it. Following the Seahawks’ most recent, and only if we’re being honest, success, football was introduced to thousands of brand-new lifelong Seahawk fans. The “12s,” as they’re annoyingly referred to, take pleasure in ridiculing the Faithful since the 49ers haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1995, but when you remind them that their football team masquerading as human highlighters has brought the Lombardi trophy home only once, they’ll accusing you of living in the past.
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch know that the road to the playoffs doesn’t go through L.A., at least not yet. It still goes through Seattle. Nick Mullens and company took a huge step last year of removing the monkey off the collective back of the 49er franchise by knocking off the Seahawks in Week 16, at home. For the 49ers to take a step forward and become playoff contenders, they’ll have to punch the Nerds from the North in the mouth and establish themselves as the new bullies on the block.
Is the rivalry dead? No, it’s dormant but it’s still there. These teams don’t like each other, the fanbases don’t like each other, and the Seahawks have what the 49ers want: legitimacy. In Week 10, Seattle travels south to Levi’s Stadium; it may not be a game filled with drama from the Harbaugh era, but it will tell us a lot about the direction of the franchise and the state of the on-field rivalry.
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