Sean McVay says 49ers’ talent gets minimized amid rivalry with Kyle Shanahan

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Much has been made about Sean McVay’s rivalry with Kyle Shanahan, and the idea that Shanahan has the Rams’ number. That was a major point of discussion leading up to the NFC title game in January, since the 49ers had won six straight games against the Rams.

But in McVay’s mind, it’s more than just him versus Shanahan. The 49ers are simply a good football team and always give the Rams trouble, no matter what their record is in a given season.

“As a competitor, any loss just chaps you to no end. But I think one of the things that’s minimized in this is they’re a damn good team,” McVay said on the “Open Mike” podcast. “It’s like, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ Well, first of all, there have been a couple games where they’ve done a great job and then there’s another couple games where it comes down to the wire and it’s two good teams going at it and we just come out on the short end. What I really believe is we’ve got tremendous respect for them. They’ve got great coaches, great players. They’ve always been a great team and I don’t care what their record is, they’re always going to be a tough outfit no matter when you play them in the season.”

Thankfully, the Rams beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game to snap their six-game losing skid to San Francisco and reach the Super Bowl. Had they lost that game, there would’ve been even more talk about why McVay can’t beat Shanahan and the 49ers.

These teams will obviously meet twice more in 2022, though the 49ers will probably look different with Trey Lance expected to take over as the starting quarterback. That’ll present a new challenge for the Rams as they set out to win the NFC West again.

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