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Friday, 12 December 2014

Seahawks and 49ers Rivalry: Who Has the Upperhand?


The Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers are the best rivalry going in the NFL right now. The dislike between coaches, fan bases and players during the Pete Carroll/Jim Harbaugh era is well documented.  Harbaugh, Carroll, Richard Sherman, Michael Crabtree, Marshawn Lynch and Colin Kaepernick are all polarizing figures that all bring excitement and antagonism to this rivalry. During the Harbaugh/Carroll era the Seahawks have gotten the upper hand on the 49ers, that was confirmed during last year’s NFC Championship game in which the Seahawks won 23-17. Most would agree that was among the best playoff games in NFL history.

While the Seahawks have gotten the upper hand recently, make no mistake, the 49ers are about as prestigious of a franchise that there is. In fact in my last column I ranked them the third most successful franchise in the Super Bowl era. Seattle’s overall success pales in comparison to what the 49ers have done; very few are even close to achieving the accolades that San Francisco has.

When the Seahawks joined the NFL in 1976 they played in the NFC West and lost to the 49ers in their third game of existence. In 1977 the Seahawks moved to the AFC West and remained there through the 2001 season, ending a rivalry with the 49ers before it could even get started. Finally in 2002 Seattle moved back to the NFC West and have been battling with not only the 49ers but also the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals for division supremacy

The 49ers had their most success when Seattle was in the AFC. Not to say that San Francisco was only successful because Seattle wasn’t in their way. No team was able to stop the historic run the 49ers had during the 1980’s through the mid-1990’s, especially the Seahawks who minus a few good playoff seasons were mediocre at best during San Francisco’s glory days.

What is interesting is that as long as the Seahawks and 49ers have been divisional foes, the Seahawks have been the better team. Not does Seattle only have the head-to-head advantage over San Francisco, they also have had more success against the rest of the league and more post season achievements. Nobody can debate that San Francisco is the more successful franchise overall, five championships is still better than one. However, Seattle has the better history when they are in the same division as the 49ers.


1976 Season plus 2002 through Week 14 2014

 Seahawks 49ers
Record  116-103107-111-1
Win % .0.5300.491
Division Titles 63
Playoff Appearances 84
Playoff Wins 96
Conference Championships 21
Super Bowl Wins 10
Head-to-Head Regular Season Wins 1412
Head-to-Head Playoff Wins 10
Head-to-Head Average Margin of Victory 17.89
Head-to-Head Longest Winning Streak 64



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