"There is no love lost; there is no love found," Sherman said. "That's how I'd characterize it. It's going to be intense. It's going to be physical. I don't know if there are going to be handshakes after this one."
On Thursday's "Around The League Podcast," we wondered aloud how Kaepernick will fare against a defense he's historically floundered against. Sherman and Byron Maxwell were first and second among all cornerbacks in opposing passer rating this season, per Pro Football Focus -- and have we mentioned star safety Earl Thomas?
It's fitting to see the NFC boil down to this: The conference's two most physical squads, equally determined to pound opponents with the run and smother with punishing defenses.
They despise each other -- maybe -- because they're so much alike and -- definitely -- because they see in one another the final hurdle to a long-awaited February voyage to MetLife Stadium.