Rivalries never really end. They get stalled, evolve, change. The Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers have been going at it for the last three seasons with more than just division pride at stake. However, this season, with Colin Kaepernick playing like a sub par quarterback and Jim Harbaugh on the verge of leaving, it’s not surprising that it feels like a change is going to come.
The 49ers were humiliated two weeks ago in a 19-3 loss to the Seahawks. They’ve had bad losses to San Francisco before, but at home, scoring just three points, to their most hated current rivals? That’s a bit too much to endure. Many felt that the loss signaled the end of the season for them. No reason to chase a distancing playoff spot, as the 49ers lost to the lowly Oakland Raiders 10 days later. There are plenty of explanations as to why they lost, but often the simplest one is the right one: A lot of players just quit on this team.
Part of what made this rivalry so good is the fact that the two head coaches loathe and despise each other going back to their head-to-head days in the Pac-12. Pete Carroll needed a bit more time to find a winning formula but when he did, he took the Seahawks a step further than Harbaugh managed with the 49ers: Win the Super Bowl, the first for Seattle. The 49ers got close – one play to be exact. It always seems to be one play for them. That’s what separated them from winning the NFC Championship game last season. But Richard Sherman was there to stop destiny from happening.
For the first time in the short history of this game, it feels like it’s not going to be even close. The Seahawks defense is playing at an elite level over the last three games, while the 49ers looked lost. On offense, with a crumbling offensive line, and in the coaching staff. Harbaugh is thinking about where he is going next, Greg Roman is just pissing the fans off and Colin Kaepernick? His talent is being wasted, while the 49ers focus on strengths he doesn’t have. A pocket passer they might try to turn him into, but he is not.
The 49ers have the offensive and defensive talent to make something of the next game. Jolt their season back to life. Make sure everyone respects them. But more than anything, this feels like everyone’s going to a wake. The 49ers as we knew them for the past three seasons are gone, and aren’t coming back. What’s next? No one knows, but the Seahawks want to make sure they’re the ones who drive the final nail into closing the coffin shut.