McVay Weighs in on Renewed Rams, 49ers Rivalry

Posted Mar 9, 2018

As the Rams and 49ers head into the 2018 season, there is a heightened sense of competition between both clubs.

The Rams and 49ers rivalry is nothing new to the NFL.

Los Angeles first faced off against San Francisco in 1950, when the Rams took home a 35-14 victory. And since that day, the two franchises have become representative of the intense rivalry between Southern California and Northern California — playing each other 136 times over the last 67 years.

When the Rams returned to L.A in 2016, the geographic rivalry was renewed. But as Los Angeles and San Francisco head into the 2018 season, there is a heightened sense of competition between both clubs.

L.A. is coming off of an 11-5 season and an NFC West division title under first-year head coach Sean McVay. The 49ers started the year at 1-10, but closed out their season with five straight victories led by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Both teams have a lot in common — bright offensive-minded coaches in McVay and Kyle Shanahan, two young and skilled quarterbacks in Garoppolo and Jared Goff, and the promise of exciting things to come. Their similarities have the makings of an intriguing chapter in the renewed rivalry.

“I think it’s fun to go against guys like that,” McVay said recently. “ I think for our division as a whole, you’re excited about the competitiveness. I don’t know that I really can say I’m excited, but it’s going to be a great challenge for us going against [the 49ers] again next year.”

“I always joke with Kyle, ‘You know, I wish you were in another division,’” McVay continued. “But it will be fun competing against those guys and Jimmy did a great job for them.” 

The two teams split games last season with one win per club. And looking towards next season, the 49ers and Rams are projected to be two of the best teams in the NFC West.

For that reason, the rivalry should become even more exciting to watch over the next few years.

“Especially in the NFC West with the Rams and the Niners, it's been that way for a while," Shanahan said back in December, via “I think the hard rivals end up being who the better teams in the division are. I know the Rams are there this year, [so] hopefully, that can build as we get going and we'll both be up there each year.”