Sherman: Seahawks-49ers rivalry ‘not big at all’

Richard Sherman is downplaying the notion that a Seahawks-49ers matchup is a rivalry game.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is downplaying the once-vibrant rivalry between the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.

“Not big at all,” Sherman said Tuesday when asked about the existing animosity between the two teams. “We don’t think about any game as a rivalry, any team as a rival. Every game is just the next opponent. They’re a division opponent, so obviously you see them more often so you’re more familiar with them, but in terms of rivalries it’s not something we concern ourselves with.”

The two NFC West clubs face off on Thursday night to kick off Week 7 of the NFL season.

The game has a sunken but still important feeling, with the 2-4 49ers hosting the unexpectedly 2-4 Seahawks. The two teams once battled for supremacy inside the division and conference. Now, a reuilding San Francisco franchise could severely damage Seattle’s chances of making it back to the postseason by beating their neighbor to the north on Thursday night.

The Seahawks have lost back-to-back games, both by blowing leads in the fourth quarter. In fact, Seattle has held a lead of some sort in all four of the team’s losses this season.

The 49ers are coming off a 25-20 home win over the Baltimore Ravens.

San Francisco head coach Jim Tomsula still thinks the rivalry has some juice in it.

NFL WEEK 17

“Some of the hardest-hitting games I’ve ever been involved in have been 49er-Seahawk games,” Tomsula said. “You’re down on the sidelines . . . man, you hear some pads cracking.”

The Seahawks have won the last three games in the series and five of the last six, including a victory over the 49ers in the 2013 NFC Championship Game. In five of the last eight meetings, the winner has scored less than 20 points. The 49ers haven’t beaten Seattle since Dec. of 2013.

Week 7 will mark the third time the two teams have played on Thursday night. San Francisco won the first meeting in 2012. Seattle won the second last season.

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