While fielding questions from reporters during Super Bowl Opening Night, Samuel was asked about San Francisco's rivalry with the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I consider rivalries close games,” Samuel said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Samuel was alluding to San Francisco's most recent matchup with the Eagles. In December, the 49ers went to Philadelphia and clobbered the Eagles, 42-19, at Lincoln Financial Field. Still, San Francisco has won just three of their last six games against Philadelphia, and their last matchup was a blowout win by the Eagles.
The games haven't been lopsided toward one team, but Samuel was likely just pouring salt in Philadelphia's wounds. After all, the Week 13 game was a pivotal moment for both teams during the 2023 NFL season.
49ers receiver Deebo Samuel takes jab at Philadelphia Eagles before Super Bowl
Samuel was asked a follow-up question regarding the Eagles, but he wisely moved on.
"We ain't going to talk about that no more," Samuel said. "That's over with."
It's over with for now. The rivalry has been brewing and the bad blood has been simmering for a while. Whether or not Samuel admits it, it's unlikely to cool down anytime soon. The two NFC powerhouses will be on a collision course with each other as long as they continue contending for championships.
The friction began in the 2023 NFC Championship Game when the 49ers lost their entire fleet of quarterbacks to injuries early in the game. Since then, Samuel has verbally sparred with Eagles players about the validity of their conference championship victory.
In Feb. 2023, Samuel called Eagles cornerback James Bradberry "trash" during an appearance an appearance on the I AM ATHLETE podcast. He also claimed that the conference championship wouldn't have been close if Purdy never suffered an elbow injury in the opening quarter. During the Super Bowl, Samuel mocked Bradberry for a defensive holding penalty that sealed the Eagles fate.
The 2023 regular season matchup in Philadelphia was highly anticipated, and it lived up to the hype. The game featured a sideline scuffle between Eagles security chief Dom DiSandro and 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw — both were ejected from the game. Samuel, meanwhile, backed up his words on the field. Samuel, meanwhile, backed up his words on the field — the All-Pro wide receiver finished the game with four catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
For the 49ers, it was a galvanizing moment in the middle of a six-game winning streak. For the Eagles, the game marked a turning point in their season. The Eagles entered the Week 13 matchup with a 10-1 record, but the loss started a nosedive that culminated with the Eagles losing five of their last six regular season games.
San Francisco managed to avenge their loss. Now, as the new NFC Champions, they'll look to do something Philadelphia couldn't: beat Kansas City in the Super Bowl.