There’s not much time before the San Francisco 49ers take on the Los Angeles Rams and things are starting to heat up.
On Sunday, the 9-7 Niners will head to SoFi Stadium to play the 12-4 Rams and both teams have a lot on the line. The Rams will win the NFC West with a victory, while San Francisco will punch their playoff ticket with a win.
Other results in the NFL could allow both teams to reach those goals without winning on Sunday, but beating a NFC West rival is undoubtedly the preferred way to reach those achievements.
On Thursday, 49ers coaches and players talked to the media in the buildup to the game, including wide receiver Deebo Samuel. When the topic of Los Angeles star defensive tackle Aaron Donald came up, the third-year receiver didn’t hide his feelings.
NBC Sports reporter Dalton Johnson added some details to his response, reporting that Deebo said, “I’m not pressed for a conversation… He’s an opponent. Why would I want to have a conversation?”
Further, Deebo apparently referenced the beginning of the two’s beef, according to The SF Niners.
It’s all business and no love for Samuel this Sunday, which is likely the attitude the entire 49ers team is taking against Los Angeles.
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Deebo Samuel vs. Aaron Donald
There’s no question that Samuel and Donald are two of the biggest assets to their respective teams. Donald has won three Defensive Player of the Year awards since 2017, while Deebo is realizing his full potential this season with 1630 total yards and 13 total touchdowns this season per PFR.
The two players’ issue began back in 2020, when the Rams lost to the 49ers in Week 6. When Donald was asked about Samuel and shrugged him off as a nobody. You can see the moment below at the 10:55 mark.
In the year and change since, the two have continued to throw shade at each other. Samuel is the latest to add fuel to the fire between the comments above and after the most recent win over the Rams back in mid-November, when the Niners beat up on Los Angeles 31-10.
It doesn’t seem like it’ll end anytime soon, especially since this upcoming matchup is as important as any the 49ers have played against the Rams since Kyle Shanahan has become head coach.
49ers Have Had Rams’ Number
Beating a division rival is sweet, but beating them five times in a row is something else. The 49ers are enjoying that right now as they look to make it six-straight times Shanahan has bested Rams head coach Sean McVay.
The 21-point victory in November was the biggest win San Francisco has had in that span, and Samuel more than played his part. The versatile weapon brought down five receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown, while also running five times for 36 yards and another score.
It’s cliche to say, but one can bet on both teams throwing out the record books for Sunday, as the context of playoffs and division titles makes this more than your average NFC West battle.