Richard Sherman stepped up in front of reporters on Friday and was asked about the San Francisco 49ers' renewed rivalry against the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle enters the Week 10 primetime matchup with seven wins. San Francisco is boasting eight wins and is the NFL's last remaining undefeated team.

The media is calling Monday night's matchup the most important game in the history of Levi's Stadium. Of course, that was also the narrative heading into Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns.

For San Francisco, there is some added importance to Monday's game, but it has nothing to do with the rivalry. It's because it features two divisional opponents. Sherman, then with Seattle, was around the last time 49ers-Seahawks was widely recognized as a legitimate NFL rivalry and played a role in making it one of the best in football.

Sherman was asked what he thinks about the matchups becoming a rivalry again.

"I don't worry about it," he responded. "In this division, every game is a rivalry. You play the teams so often. You play every team twice, so you get really accustomed to playing a team.

"You could say there's a rivalry with the Rams. We just had a tough game with Arizona. You could say that's a rivalry. We hadn't beaten them, they said, since 2014. Every game in this division is a rivalry, so it's fun."

The 49ers treat each game as the most important game of the season. That's the mentality. There are no easy wins in the NFL, so the undefeated Niners can't take any opponent lightly.

The Cardinals had just three wins heading into last week's game, and the 49ers escaped the Halloween-night matchup with a three-point victory.

"It's just another championship game," defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said on Friday. "If you think otherwise, that's where you can get kind of screwed up.

"It's a very, very hard thing to do to keep yourself within the moment day-to-day, to make sure that you focus on every team is a championship team, every moment is a championship moment. And if you allow the external factors of the team — the lights, the game, the Monday night, all that different stuff — if you allow those external factors to seep into what you're trying to do internally, you can get out of whack."

Saleh was asked if this game might have some added meaning for Sherman, given how things ended for him in Seattle. Will the defensive coordinator need to speak with his veteran cornerback before kickoff?

"The message for Sherm is, 'Stay internal, stay focused, day-to-day, moment-to-moment,'" Saleh responded. "He's wired the right way, so I think he'll be able to stay in the moment."

Monday night is important because a win would increase the division lead and go a long way toward winning the NFC West. Doing so would ensure the 49ers host at least one playoff game come January.

"Like I said, winning the division is your first goal," Sherman said. "So [a win on Monday] would mean a lot in terms of our chances to win the division, obviously. Until we clinch it and get to the playoffs and all that, then it's all meaningless. But it would mean something because our first goal is to win the division, and I think Kyle (Shanahan) would agree, and Saleh would agree that this game goes a long way towards that."

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