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7 reasons the 49ers should be afraid of the Eagles

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It’s the eagles 49ers for a trip to power.

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This Sunday at 3 p.m. ET at Lincoln Financial Field, the top two seeds in the NFC will face off in a game of two teams so closely matched, it’s going to be a very long week of waiting here in Philadelphia.

They are both top five in offense and defense. Both have been dominant throughout the 2022 season. Both are talented and strong in the trenches and both have dominant players in their skill positions. It should be a slobberknocker, a game where the Eagles are a 2.5-point favorite so far, According to DraftKings.

Usually, the home team gets three points, which indicates that the betting crowd thinks San Francisco is about half a point better on a neutral field. Given their 12-game winning streak, that’s understandable, though it’s hard to bet the Eagles’ 14-3 regular season record and 15-1 record with Jalen Hurts at quarterback, especially after their 38-7 slaughter of the Giants on Saturday.

These two teams don’t meet very often, with the Flyers having a 14-20-1 all-time against them, including last year’s 17-11 Week 2 loss, and wins by the Eagles in 2020 (25-20) and 2017 (33). -10).

They’ve only met once in the playoffs, and the utterly forgettable 14-0 wild card defeat after the 1996 season marks the last despondent moment of the Ray Rhodes era. Ty Detmer threw two brain teasers into the goal on a muddy, foggy, and miserable day in San Francisco. It’s best to forget that game that ever existed, but if you want a refresher and enjoy the torture, Here you are.

There will be time this week to break out the movie and take a look at the X and O of this matchup, but before we do all that, let’s make one thing absolutely clear.

The Eagles should not fear the 49ers. In fact, there are more reasons for the 49ers to fear the Eagles than the other way around.

Going into the divisional round, fans had their doubts about the Eagles, specifically the health of Jalen Hurts and Lynn Johnson. Johnson’s ability to play through a torn muscle in his base area was something of a miracle, and Hurts proved healthy enough to lead the Birds’ offense at full readiness. And a huge shout-out to Jonathan Gannon for a brilliantly executed and planned defensive tackle against a Giants team that reached Link with so much enthusiasm.

After watching field goals by the 49ers and the Cowboys in most of their games on Sunday, I think there are more reasons the Niners fear the Eagles than there are reasons the Eagles fear the Niners.

Here are 7 of them.

Brooke Purdy at Link

Is the final pick of last year’s draft, seventh-string, third-string QB Purdy undefeated (7-0) as a starter?

Yes it is.

Will won two playoff games, and made some big throws along the way in his victories over the Seahawks And cowboy?

Yes he does.

Did he have to face anything like what he’s seeing in Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon?

no he did not.

Purdy has only played two games on the road since taking over as Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 14, against the Raiders and Seahawks, beating Seattle 21-13 and Las Vegas 37-34. He’s played five games in San Francisco, including in the wilderness round and divisional round in the past two weeks, in front of a raucous home crowd. In fact, Purdy has never started a game that hasn’t been played on the West Coast, and certainly hasn’t played in a postseason environment on the road before.

Any QB will tell you that a road playoff game is a different animal, and it’s very unusual for a young quarterback to do what Joe Burrow has done in the past two years. Can Purdy do that? He sure has enough talent around him, but that’s a fair question.

Brock Purdy vs Defensive Line 75 sacks

The Dallas defense played very well on Sunday, earning an 87.4 passer rating on 19 passes for 29 and 214 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. However, the Cowboys dropped about three potential interceptions, severing him only twice.

The Eagles defensive line has 75 sacks this year, including five sacks Saturday night against Daniel Jones. No other defensive unit is within 15 sacks of them, and Purdy certainly hasn’t seen a pass rush as relentless as what the Birds are likely to subject him to this week. Purdy looked skittish and nervous when faced with pressure, which must play into the hands of Jonathan Gannon.

The 49ers have a very good offensive line, but they’re weaker in the middle than the edges, which should allow Javon Hargrave, Fletcher Cox and Milton Williams to eat while the edge rushers do their work on the outside. How will you survive Purdy?

The Eagles have a QB edge

Again, that’s a Purdy-centric reason, but when you’ve got two rosters in spite of those two teams, it often comes down to the quarterback.

In this regard, Jalen Hurts is a monstrous feature, even though he’s not much older than Purdy.

The coolness and calm with which Hurts played on Saturday night made everything seem effortless. With the playbook fully open and Hurts ready and ready to run with the football, the offense once again looks inevitable, rolling 26 first downs against New York and Jalen making the right decision with the ball at almost every moment.

Purdy has played well, but nowhere near Hertzian levels.

Turtles Kyle Shanahan

Shanahan is an amazing player.

Shanahan is not very good with running the game.

Playing the two above aside, just before halftime, the Niners had the ball with less than two minutes left in the game, and with the score tied at 6-6, Shanahan allowed 25 seconds to run off the clock before taking a game in his area, freaking out. To return the ball to Dallas before halftime. Rather than admit that he has one of the most talented offenses in the NFL, Shanahan preferred to play it safe, leaving him only time to score a field goal after moving the ball down the field heading for the locker room. Explain his reasons after the match.

“[I can understand the reaction that our fans had]Not only because I can hear [the reaction, but] “If I were a fan, I’d be really upset, too,” Shanahan said. “But I’m pretty sure of what we did there [at the end of the first half]. That’s one of the reasons you play with such a good team and hold them at 12 points.”

This strategy makes sense if you are the Leaders or Giants, but not if you are the Niners. This isn’t a new phenomenon with Shanahan, by the way, and you can bet, with a healthy mischief at the controls, Nick Sirianni wouldn’t do the same.

Eagles Extra Rest

It was clear on Saturday night that the Eagles capitalized on their opening round bye. They were fresh, athletic, and fully prepared for the Giants. This week, they will play only their second playoff game while San Francisco, a No. 2 seed without a bye, will be at their third in three weeks.

Not only that, with the Eagles playing on Saturday, they’ll get an extra day of rest heading into the NFC Championship Game. While one day may not seem like much, in the life of an NFL player/coach, it is a big deal.

That’s probably not enough to influence the game one way or the other, but one has to consider San Francisco, in a game of tight teams that came down to the wire and one less day of rest and a cross-country trek ahead of them, will come Sunday more tired than a Philly team that was able to stay in home, getting an extra rest day and removing their offensive starters on the final drive after the week off.

San francisco stream like eagles

When looking at the opponents Purdy has defeated, one can’t help but notice the lack of a juggernaut in the table.

  • 8-9 Tampa Bay Bucs at home
  • In game No. 7 seeded Seahawks in Seattle
  • At home versus the leaders
  • In Las Vegas against the Raiders
  • Home vs. the Cardinals in Week 18

Certainly, nobody would take anything away from winning the playoff against the Seahawks. If one did, one would have to batter the Eagles for their easy win over New York. And hitting Dallas, even at home, is a legitimate win. While Purdy wasn’t the reason they won, they did win with him as a QB. Can’t overshadow that, good cowboys.

All told, the 49ers had a similar schedule to the Eagles during Purdie’s winning streak, and didn’t have to play in a division where no team finished with a losing record. The Eagles went 14-3 in the East, as the Cowboys were the third best team in the conference, the Giants won 9 games and even Washington managed 8 wins.

In the NFC West, the Niners have won 13, the Seahawks 9, while the Rams have won just 5 and the Cardinals 4. The NFC East has been a tougher division than the NFC West all season, so pump the brakes a bit on the 49ers’ regular season dominance.

The 49ers have never faced a running QB

When the San Francisco defense faced Justin Fields in Week 1, the Chicago coaching staff had not allowed him to be the dominant force on the floor that he had been by the time the Eagles met him in Week 15. Nor Josh Allen, nor Daniel Jones, the top five rushing QBs in the league.

In Jalen Hurts, this will be the first time they have faced a quarterback who is as big of a running threat as the running back, and it will be interesting to see how the 49ers react. Of all the defenses in the NFL, San Francisco is best equipped to keep Hurts’ running game in check, but his 760 rushing yards and 13 TDs make him a weapon inside the red zone they’ve never seen before.

The Eagles do not kick field goals. They score a touchdown, mainly because Hurts threatens to run inside the 20. It’s a headache the Niners haven’t had to digest yet.

So, this is my list. You can also add in the fact that the Eagles probably have the best offensive line the San Francisco defense will see this year, or both Pro Bowl Corner backs from outside, but we can cover all of that in the details of the encounters as the week goes on.

Can you come up with a list of 7 reasons why the Eagles are more feared than the 49ers? Sure, but why?

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