49ers rival No. 1: Seattle Seahawks
From one NFC West rival that’ll still probably be pretty good to another team that’ll likely stink, the Seahawks are ushering in an entirely new era in the wake of trading quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos earlier this offseason.
San Francisco fans need no reminder of what the 49ers and Hawks’ rivalry was like over the last 10 years. Aside from some outliers, such as the final regular-season game of the 2019 season in which the Niners clinched the division, Seattle has been the dominant force and embarrassed San Francisco at times when the 49ers were both good and bad.
How the tide has turned.
Granted, one could make the argument the Seahawks had a productive offseason and a top-quality NFL Draft in the post-Wilson era. But those pieces won’t be making much of an impact right away, at least not to a level where the Hawks will remain a contender.
Particularly with the choices under center for head coach Pete Carroll, quarterbacks Drew Lock and Geno Smith.
Yes, Seattle is going to be bad in 2022, and Niners fans will enjoy every minute of it after the otherwise lopsided rivalry from the previous decade.