The 49ers and Eagles have been among the best teams in the NFC in recent years. The two teams met in last year’s conference championship game. Philadelphia dominated the Niners and cruised to a 31-7 victory.
Quarterback Brock Purdy was forced into action during the regular season after Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo suffered injuries. Purdy helped spark a winning streak down the stretch and led the Niners to the NFC title game. But, his hot streak came to an abrupt end when he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in the first quarter.
The game seemed to mark the beginning of what many viewed as a rivalry. But, from 49ers star wide receiver Deebo Samuel’s perspective, the so-called rivalry lacks at least one crucial element — competitiveness.
The All-Pro receiver and hybrid running back fielded questions from the media during the Super Bowl LVIII opening night festivities on Monday. At one point, Samuel was asked about the Niners’ less than friendly competition with the Eagles.
Samuel proceeded to deliver a savage quip saying, “I consider rivalries close games. We ain’t going to talk about that no more. That’s over with.”
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Samuel was likely referring to the most recent Eagles-Niners matchup. During a regular season game in December, San Francisco got revenge en route to a 42-19 win over Philly. Samuel scored two receiving touchdonws and rushed for another score during the game.
Shortly after the blowout lost in last year’s NFC title game, Samuel argued that the lopsided outcome was due to the injury the 49ers’ quarterback suffered. “If Brock was in… I don’t think it would’ve been close,” Samuel said last February.
Samuel previously fanned the flames by taking aim at Eagles players. During an appearance on the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast ahead of last year’s Super Bowl between the Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, Samuel called defensive back James Bradberry “trash.”
Samuel will try to win his first Super Bowl on Sunday when the 49ers take on the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.
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