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In terms of division rivalries, the NFC West may very well be the most dull and uninteresting division. Three of the four teams are West Coast teams, meaning that the media's East Coast bias would count as a strike against them even if they were good.
They're not good, though; not good at all. Every NFC West team has had at least one 4-12 or worse season since the creation of their division. Only three NFC West teams have had more than 10 wins in a season: the 2003 St. Louis Rams (12-4), the 2005 Seattle Seahawks (13-3) and the 2011 San Francisco 49ers (13-3).
Yet for all the cheap shots and insults that are hurled towards the NFC West on a yearly basis, their teams have shown up in the playoffs. Both the Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals have made Super Bowl appearances in the last 10 years, and the 49ers came very close last season. Also, between the 49ers five Super Bowl titles and the Rams' one Super Bowl title, this is still a division with some proud history.
The tradition of the NFC West is shown in the rivalry between the Rams and the 49ers. When the Rams were located in Los Angeles, it was a rivalry between north and south California. Even once the Rams relocated, the teams still share an intense hatred for each other, as their rivalry now demonstrates the cultural differences between the Midwest and the West Coast.
The 49ers have more often than not had the edge over the Rams, although the series is very close, with the Rams only leading 62-61-2. Many years, the Rams were overshadowed by the Joe Montana-led 49ers, especially when the 49ers defeated them 30-3 in their only postseason game after the 1989 season. The 49ers went on to win the Super Bowl that season, which, at the time, gave them four rings, while the Rams had zero.
The Rams would have their time, though, during the Greatest Show on Turf era, where they beat the 49ers six straight times. Unfortunately since then, both teams fell into disrepair, as they were awful for the latter part of the '00s. Only recently have the 49ers become relevant again, while the Rams will have to hope that new coach Jeff Fisher can turn things around for their team, which was 2-14 last season.
This means that a new rivalry has to take the place as the best in the west currently. The Seahawks have had the most success since the division's inception with a streak of four consecutive division titles and a fifth one to make it five in seven years. So thanks to their success, they share intense rivalries with all three division rivals.
The most intense rivalry today for the Seahawks has to be the 49ers. The two teams seem to be trending upward going into 2012, and although the 9ers swept them last season, both games were exceedingly close. The season series is now tied at 13, making it a close rivalry, and hopefully, that will finally bring the NFC West to respectability in the near future.