SANTA CLARA, Calif. — There has been a stage of linkage between the 49ers and Rams ever since Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay took over as head coaches of the respective groups. McVay, in spite of everything, coached beneath Shanahan in Washington, so at the least some stage of schematic overlap between the 2 groups was inevitable. So had been loads of comparisons of their respective successes and failures.

It all got here to a head final season, in Year 5 of the Shanahan and McVay regimes. The 49ers and Rams squared off within the NFC Championship Game. L.A. prevailed in comeback vogue. A Super Bowl title for McVay’s Rams adopted shortly thereafter. Shanahan’s 49ers, in the meantime, are nonetheless seeking to hoist their first Lombardi Trophy.

That has added some angst to this season’s first assembly between the rivals, which comes on Monday night time at Levi’s Stadium.

“I don’t like the Niners at all and they don’t like us,” star Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald mentioned on tv throughout coaching camp. “No love at all towards them guys. I really dislike them.”

Shortly after Donald made his feedback, 49ers security Jimmie Ward additionally took to the NFL Network to emphasise that there was no love misplaced between the rivals. Ward mentioned that he was upset that the majority Rams gamers engaged in postgame handshakes solely after they’d crushed the 49ers within the NFC title sport — and never after the 49ers had swept the 2021 regular-season sequence.

“It was heartbreaking,” Ward mentioned of the title sport. “At the end of the day, they figured it out. They were the better team that day and they won, but other than that, I’m ready to play ’em. I don’t got no love for ’em.”

Ward remains to be on injured reserve for at the least another week on account of a hamstring harm, so he’ll have to attend for a primary crack on the Rams this season. But 49ers tight finish George Kittle, who already engaged in a confrontation with the Rams that spanned final season’s remaining two matchups between the groups, might be an lively participant on Monday night time.

Kittle remembers final season’s prize fights nicely. The 49ers had been 3-5 after they lashed the Rams, 31-10, on Monday Night Football at Levi’s to appropriate the course of their 2021 season. They staved off elimination by beating L.A., 27-24, with a rousing comeback and time beyond regulation clincher in Week 18. But the Rams, who had misplaced six in a row to the 49ers, lastly exacted their revenge when all chips had been down within the NFC title sport.

“Last year, the stakes were at their highest each time we played them,” Kittle mentioned Friday. “They just got bigger each time that we went. Niners and Rams. It’s great football. Everyone knows what they’re gonna get. That’s why people want to watch it in prime time.”

Kittle really attended WrestleMania with Rams edge rusher Leonard Floyd this offseason.

“I was very jealous he had a championship belt over his shoulder,” Kittle mentioned. “I tried to steal it from him. Didn’t work out too well.”

But that’s high quality with Kittle, as a result of the actual likelihood for the 49ers to reclaim supremacy from the Rams begins in earnest on Monday night time.

(Photo: Isaiah J. Downing / USA Today)

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