Thanksgiving week is upon us, and this year’s NFL slate on turkey day features three fantastic rivalry matchups. The Detroit Lions host the Chicago Bears to open the day, and that is followed by the Dallas Cowboys hosting Washington. Thanksgiving closes with the New Orleans Saints hosting the Atlanta Falcons. It’s kind of cool seeing the NFL go with long-time rivalries on Thursday.
This week, SB Nation is breaking down rivalry week, and in our weekly FanPulse survey, we asked voters who the 49ers biggest rival is at this point. Given the 49ers struggles, their traditional rivalries have not had the buzz of the past. And yet, they are still matchups fans get up for each week.
The Rams have been the 49ers long-time rival given their history in the NFC West. Before the Rams moved to St. Louis, the California rivalry was there. Even in St. Louis, it still was a fun rivalry, even though one team was often struggling while the other was finding success.
The Seahawks developed into a rival in part because of the rivalry between Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll. It developed beyond that as the teams battled for NFC supremacy. However, like a comet flashing through the sky, one could argue the rival sparkled from 2012 to 2014, and then disappeared.
The Cowboys and Packers represent playoff rivals, with the Cowboys the longer rival in that regard. It’s not quite the same when one or both is struggling, but they still bear some hint of the rivalry of old.
I voted the Rams on this particular survey. The Kyle Shanahan-Sean McVay dynamic adds something to it that could be fun to watch if the 49ers can get their roster-building on track. But even beyond that, the Rams return to LA brings back the regional aspect of it. Maybe the 49ers and Seahawks rivalry returns at some point, but I felt like enjoyable moments like this when the 49ers were thumping the Rams make for a better long-term rival.