First it was the Seahawks. Now it’s the Rams.
The 49ers -- already a target for the rest of the NFC West as back-to-back division champions -- seem to be gaining bad blood this offseason with their most highly regarded rivals.
With the division already ranked as perhaps the best in the league, more fuel has been added to the fire that will go along with the two meetings with Seattle and St. Louis in 2013.
The 49ers and Seahawks already had a good feud going following the well-publicized dislike between 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and Seattle head coach Pete Carroll that goes back to their days in the Pac-12. Then it heated up last season when the ‘Hawks crushed San Francisco at the end of the regular season, made the postseason and followed up with several moves this offseason to strengthen a roster some believe will be good enough to win the NFC West and go to the Super Bowl.
Then last month, new 49ers safety Craig Dahl took a shot at players who take performance -- enhancing substances -- in the wake of Seattle’s Bruce Irvin receiving a suspension from the NFL, becoming the sixth Seahawk to be suspended for PEDs since 2011, according to the Tacoma News-Tribune. It’s a comment the Seahawks are sure to remember.
Now, the Rams and 49ers are feuding.
After it was reported that Dahl (who signed with the 49ers this offseason after playing for St. Louis) told San Francisco coaches that the 49ers were tipping some of their plays last season -- which helped the Rams beat and tie them in their two meetings in 2012 -- Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan called Dahl “lame and weak.” Said Finnegan in a tweet: “Craig Dahl we know how you play thanks for the tips we know who to attack early and often.”
Then, when Niners fans fired back at Finnegan, Rams defensive end Chris Long began his own Twitter assault. Long tweeted to 49ers fans: “Just remember yall haven’t beaten us in 500 days or so,” then amended it to “528 days.”
As Kevin Patra of NFL.com wrote, in reporting the spat between 49ers and Rams players, it will be 634 days since the 49ers last beat St. Louis when the teams meet in Week 4 of 2013. Going into that game, he notes, the all-time series between the teams is tied at 62-62-3.
With boths teams active this offseason in making moves to strengthen themselves – and both wanting to make a statement and get a victory in what should be a tight divisional race – that Thursday night, Sept. 26 nationally televised game promises plenty of fireworks.