Best NFC West Rivalry: Seahawks vs. Rams

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Let's face facts. Divisional rivalries are dead in the NFC West. The 49ers and Rams took part in a heated one back when both franchises were relevant, but our primary focus dates only to 2002. That was the year the NFL realigned into seven divisions, plus this one.

Problem is, only Seattle has managed a winning record over the last four seasons. The 49ers haven't had one since 2002. The Rams haven't had one since 2003. The Cardinals haven't had one since ... please hold ... 1998. Cardinals fans didn't know it at the time, but they would rue the day the franchise parted with Vince Tobin.

Against that sorry backdrop, we trot out the Seahawks-Rams rivalry as the greatest in the six-plus-season history of this reconfigured division. The Seahawks were gaining momentum under Mike Holmgren in the division's early years, but the Rams beat Seattle three times during the 2004 season alone, including the playoff game when Bobby Engram couldn't quite handle Matt Hasselbeck's end-zone pass in the closing seconds.

Seattle has won the last six meetings in the series, sweeping games in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The Rams countered by prying away Josh Brown, whose clutch kicking had doomed the Rams more than once. But with St. Louis coming off a 38-3 defeat in the opener, the Seahawks-Rams rivalry barely registers.

Intensity Rating: 0 (Sport the away team's colors at your leisure).