Deebo Samuel of 49ers rejects idea of rivalry with Eagles: ‘I consider rivalries closing games’
The 49ers and Eagles have been among the best teams in the NFC in recent years. The two teams met in the conference championship game last year. Philadelphia dominated the Niners and cruised to a 31-7 victory.
Quarterback Brock Purdy was forced to sit out the regular season after injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. Purdy helped spark a winning streak and lead the Niners to the NFC title game. However, his hot streak came to an abrupt end when he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in the first quarter.
The game seemed to mark the beginning of what many saw as a rivalry. But, from the perspective of 49ers star receiver Deebo Samuel, the so-called rivalry is missing at least one crucial element – competitiveness.
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The All-Pro receiver and hybrid running back fielded questions from the media during the opening night festivities of Super Bowl LVIII on Monday. At one point, Samuel was asked about the Niners’ less-than-friendly rivalry with the Eagles.
Samuel continued by giving a vicious whip saying, “I think rivalries close games. We’re not going to talk about that anymore. That’s over.”
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Samuel was apparently referring to the most recent Eagles-Niners game. In a regular season game in December, San Francisco got revenge en route to a 42-19 victory over Philly. Samuel had two receiving touchdowns and rushed for another score during the game.
Shortly after the explosion that was lost in the NFC title game last year, Samuel argued that the injury suffered by the 49ers quarterback was the unfair result. “If Brock had been in… I don’t think it would have been close,” Samuel said last February.
Samuel fanned the flames by targeting Eagles players. When you look at the “I AM AN ATHLETE” podcast ahead of last year’s Super Bowl between the Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, Samuel called defensive end James Bradberry “garbage.”
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Samuel will try to win his first Super Bowl on Sunday when the 49ers face the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.
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