The NFL offseason has been a bit unique, but the 49ers are doing their part to make sure the rivalry with the Seahawks does not miss a beat. Niners’ defensive end Arik Armstead made some pointed comments about the Seahawks telling NBC Sports that Seattle “hold so much” during games.
“A bunch of battles with Seattle, and they just hold so much,” Armstead told NBC Sports. “And the refs never seem to call it, so, I guess when you’re allowed to hold then, it gets tough out there.”
The defensive end is coming off a career-high 10 sacks last season and was a major part of one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Armstead went on to refer to Russell Wilson as “little” but admitted he enjoys playing against the Seahawks.
“And little Russell Wilson running around, and they’re holding, and Russell’s running around, but it’s always fun playing against them though,” Armstead continued in his interview with NBC Sports.
Armstead Called Wilson His “Toughest” Opponent
Armstead may have been throwing a bit of shade at the Seahawks, but he was also complimentary of the 49ers’ rival. The defensive end called Wilson the “toughest” opponent he has played against during the same interview on NBC Sports’ Chris Simms’ podcast.
“Russell Wilson is always tough to play against, of course,” Armstead explained. “I’ve had plenty of battles (with him). So I would say consistently he’s probably the toughest because we’ve played against him so much.”
The Seahawks & 49ers Are Expected to Once Again Battle for the NFC West Title
The Seahawks were inches away from winning the NFC West as the 49ers won the season finale allowing them to also clinch the division. Seattle and San Francisco are the early favorites to win the NFC West, but the two contenders are going to have competition. The Rams are coming off a down season but are just one year removed from making the Super Bowl. Arizona is likely to take a step forward with Kyler Murray having gone through his first NFL season.
The NFL is expected to announce the schedule in early May, but we already know the Seahawks will play the 49ers two times in the regular season. The schedule reveal will detail the exact dates when the two teams will play, and it will be interesting to see if the league pits the rivals against each other once again in Week 17.
As a response to COVID-19, the NFL has already moved to a virtual offseason which includes teams drafting from their homes. It remains to be seen whether the season will start as scheduled and whether games will be played in front of fans. Niners’ star tight end George Kittle admitted that playing against the Seahawks without fans would be much easier.
“Home games will definitely be weird but if I can go into Seattle or New Orleans without fans there, that will make my job a lot easier,” Kittle said, per NBC Sports. “I wouldn’t have to listen to anything. No more silent counts, nothing like that. That would make my life really easy. Hey, I’ll play on the road. That’s fine. No worries with that.”