It’s Seattle week for the 49ers and no matter what each team’s records are going in, it’s bound to be a physical rivalry game with heightened emotions.
The 49ers only have won two of their nine contests against the Seahawks since 2017, when Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch arrived in Santa Clara. Their first win was an overtime thriller with Nick Mullens under center at Levi’s Stadium on December 26th, 2018.
December 29, 2019 was another high blood pressure-inducing contest with Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm. Dre Greenlaw made an incredible goal-line tackle that kept Seattle from scoring helping the 49ers clinch the NFC West and pave their way to an appearance in Super Bowl LIV.
The 49ers quarterback was asked about his memories of the rivalry on Wednesday.
“Some good, some bad,” Garoppolo said. “Obviously the first one that pops into my head is when Dre made the big play on the goal line. That was a dog fight of a game. It really was. All 60 minutes. It always is with these guys.
“That atmosphere, that was one of the coolest atmospheres I’ve ever played in that I can remember. Pregame I was just sitting there soaking it in for that split-second moment. It will be a dog fight, and we know that going into it so we have our minds right.”
There is no doubt that the Seahawks (3-8) would love to play spoiler and lessen the 49ers' chances to play into the playoffs. Known as one of the most hostile environments in the league, Garoppolo believes his team is ready for the challenge.
The veteran quarterback is expecting to see what Seattle is known for - a sound defense that flies around and makes plays.
“They get after it up there, but it’s a good challenge,” Garoppolo said. “We try to embrace it, get the silent count going. It will be a little different than last year. It was a nice luxury without the crowd last year but it’s a tougher spot to play.”
Winning three games in a row has not caused the 49ers to become overconfident. After a previous five-game skid in Santa Clara, Garoppolo believes his team is dialed in. Not to mention that the Seahawks have come away with a win in their last three contests and boast a 29-17 overall record (including one postseason game) over the 49ers.
“The train is rolling and you got to jump on it and keep moving with it,” Garoppolo said. “We’re in December now. That’s when football really starts.”