Revival of the Rams-49ers Rivalry

In 2014, I did a series on the top NoCal-SoCal rivalries ranking them as follows

  • Honorable Mention: Los Angeles Dodgers v Oakland A’s
  • #5: Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors
  • #4: Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings
  • #3: Los Angeles Galaxy v San Jose Earthquakes
  • #2: Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks
  • #1: Los Angels Dodgers v San Francisco Giants

At that time, I indicated I was excluding the Rams-49ers rivalry because the Rams were no longer in SoCal.  That was then, this is now.  Monday night, the Los Angeles Ram open their season in Santa Clara against the 49ers.

As discussed in the prior posts, the intensity of rivalry increases when the teams are good and are an obstacle to each other.

Are They Good:

  • In 32 of the 49 seasons of the NFC Coastal and NFC West either the Rams (13) or 49ers (19) have won the division.
  • The teams have played in 9 Super Bowls, winning 6.

Are They an Obstacle:

  • The two have been matched in the NFC West which now has only 4 teams and have finished 1-2 twelve times.
  • When the rivalry was at its peak from 1970-1989 they finished 1-2 eleven times.
  • This might explain Roger Craig’s statement after the Rams move to St. Louis: “the Rams will always be the 49ers’ biggest rival. It doesn’t matter if they no longer play in Los Angeles. If the Rams played their home games on Mars, it would still be a rivalry.”

Biggest Game

Surprisingly the two teams have met only once in the playoffs – the 1990 NFC Championship Game which the 49ers won 30-3.   This would end up being the Rams’ last playoff game until 1999, and their last while located in Los Angeles.

A month earlier, the two teams met on Monday Night Football in one of their most dramatic games.  The Rams went up 17-3 when Joe Montana connected with John Taylor for a 92-yard touchdown.  After the Rams went ahead 27-10 in the fourth quarter, the 49ers scored 20 unanswered points including Montana connecting with Taylor for a 96-yard touchdown.

The Rams would win their next game in 1990 and would then lose the next 17 games – the longest streak in the series which San Francisco leads 65-64-3.

Head-to-Head Franchise Records Table
Score Playoffs
Opponent G W L T W-L% Tm Opp W L T W-L% Tm Opp
San Francisco 49ers 132 64 65 3 0.496 2816 2923 0 1 0 0.000 3 30
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/8/2016.

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