49ers rival No. 2: Los Angeles Rams
Sure, it didn’t sting as bad as the Niners’ losses in Super Bowls XLVII and XIV, nor did it hurt as much as the 2014 NFC Championship game loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
But falling to the Los Angeles Rams in the 2022 NFC Championship game last February sucked. Especially considering the fact San Francisco had won six games in a row over LA up to that point and held a lead in the fourth quarter of that particular game.
Made worse was the fact that head coach Sean McVay’s squad ended up pulling off a Super Bowl win of its own over the Cincinnati Bengals, meaning 49ers fans have to hear about it from the dozens of Rams fans out there for a full offseason.
Granted, Los Angeles is poised to be right back at the top of the NFC standings this year, and it’s likely going to have the best shot at winning the NFC West, too, even though McVay and Co. have the league’s toughest strength of schedule in 2022 based on last year’s win/loss totals.
However, there’s always one thing in play when evaluating Super Bowl teams from the previous season: the proverbial Super Bowl “hangover.”
Dynasty-type teams tend to avoid these, but we’re nowhere close to naming the Rams a dynasty.
That might assist the Niners’ hopes for watching LA struggle in 2022.