49ers’ Arik Armstead Takes Swipe at Former Rival

Arik Armstead

Getty Arik Armstead warms up before the 49ers at Raiders contest on January 1, 2023.

They were once separated by 12.3 miles. But while the San Francisco 49ers and Las Vegas Raiders are no longer Bay Area rivals, there’s still no love lost between the two franchises.

Arik Armstead made that perfectly clear following the 49ers’ 37-34 overtime win at Allegiant Stadium on New Year’s Day.

“Still run the Bay!!” Armstead posted on his Twitter following the thrilling win to improve to 12-4 overall.

Armstead had seen the barrage of trash talk online from Raider fans. Though the franchise is now in Sin City, the Raiders still have a massive following in the Bay Area especially in Oakland, the franchise’s first home and where they relocated in 1995 before moving after the 2019 season.

Armstead, though, went into clap back mode after his 49ers escaped Allegiant Stadium with a win.

‘Big Dawgs Gotta Eat!!’

That wasn’t the only online statement from Armstead. He also gave a response to one of his highlight moments from the game.

Defensive line/pass rush coach Aaron Day, who runs the Twitter account @dlinevids on Twitter, is known for shining a light on stout trench play. And as he described in a clip showcasing Armstead at work, the 49ers star is “tossing grown men out.”

“No dance partners in the trenches! @arikarmstead tossing grown men out of his way, then taking full speed shots to the head from the FB & RB while on a knee…AND STILL holds his gap & makes the play. All heart right there!” Day posted.

Armstead delivered that stop during a critical fourth and inches sequence that pit the 49ers against the league’s leading rusher in Josh Jacobs. Armstead and the 49ers get the push they needed to win that battle and force the turnover on downs. Armstead then shared four words in response to Day’s clip.

“Big Dawgs Gotta Eat!!” Armstead shared on Twitter.

NFL Analyst Also Raves About Huge Stop Involving Arik Armstead

Meanwhile, expert of trench play and film guru Brian Baldinger of the NFL Network was another who raved about the play Armstead and the 49ers delivered in that sequence.

“The difference between winning and losing this game came down to one yard,” Baldinger began.

He then pointed out the two guys who made the stop happen for the 49ers: Armstead and T.Y. McGill. The latter defender came backdoor of the play by using a low center of gravity to gain penetration through the Raiders’ line. He then pinpointed how Armstead completely removed left tackle Kolton Miller out of the play to complicate things for Jacobs. And Miller had the more towering stature at 6-foot-8, 325-pounds compared to the 6-foot-7, 290-pound Armstead.

“Baldy” reiterated that “the difference of this game? Was the longest yard. This is a phenomenal play.”

Sunday Road Trip Had Home Game Vibes

To make matters worse for the Raiders, the “Black Hole” had a change in dominant color: Red.

The 49ers’ Vegas invasion was captured before the game on December 31 by the team’s Twitter account.

Vic Tafur of The Athletic then captured a scene that detailed a predominantly red “Black Hole.”

So the 49ers had the feeling of playing a closet home game. Except 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan believed that there was a good mix of loud 49er and Raider fans.

“Yes,” Shanahan first answered to reporters when asked if it felt like a game played at Levi’s Stadium. “But Raider fans were loud too. It looked like a home game because there was a lot more red. But whoever those Raider fans are, they were loud too.”

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