In the wake of the 49ers Super Bowl appearance, the team has been popular with the media, making a host of appearances on NFL Network. NaVorro Bowman was the latest player to show up, appearing Friday afternoon to talk all things 49ers on "Around the League".
Bowman spoke in some detail about the Seattle Seahawks, who have received a whole lot of hype this offseason.
"I think people like the next best thing. I think people like seeing the challenger get close to being the best. That's what they're doing. (Seattle) had a great game against us at their house (a 42-13 victory over San Francisco in Week 16). (They) turned heads, knowing that we were a good team, and the cookies fell where they may ... You have to earn these things. This is their first time being mentioned like that, in this sentence, and we'll see what they'll do with that."
Although the 49ers did advance further than the Seahawks in the playoffs, that ugly Week 16 game will remain in the minds of Seahawks fans until the two teams meet up again this fall. Those two 49ers-Seahawks games could prove to be among the biggest on the NFL schedule in 2013. Obviously either or both of the teams could trip up in 2013, but odds are pretty good these two will be among the best in the NFC this season.
There are rivalries with more history, but I find it hard to imagine a better rivalry in the NFL at this point. Something like Cowboys-Redskins has that long history, but the teams seem to exchange being good and bad. Heading into 2013, the 49ers and Seahawks are both considered among the best in the NFL, which only adds to a strong developing rivalry. The NFL seemed to try and force the rivalry a few years back, but now it seems to really be hitting its stride.