NFL: NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles

PHILADELPHIA -- The San Francisco 49ers were out of options at quarterback. Brock Purdy couldn't throw (elbow) and Josh Johnson couldn't reenter the game (concussion). There were no other viable alternatives.

San Francisco was down to their fourth-string quarterback against one of the greatest pass rushing units in NFL history. The 49ers can thank the Philadelphia Eagles defense for putting them in that position. 

No matter who was playing quarterback, the 49ers were going to have their hands full. 

"Shit, it didn't matter who was in," Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat said. "We were just hunting." 

The Eagles didn't have their typical dominant sack performance on the stat sheet, but that was because the 49ers couldn't throw the ball either thanks to Purdy exiting a significant portion of the game and Johnson leaving in the third quarter after being evaluated for a concussion. Philadelphia finished with just three sacks, but 18 pressures and seven quarterback hits in the dominant 31-7 victory -- the biggest hit coming on just the 49ers' sixth offensive play of the game.

Facing a second-and-6 at midfield, the 49ers decided to line up a tight end on Haason Reddick on a Purdy dropback. Reddick easily got to Purdy and knocked the ball loose as the Eagles recovered. That play knocked out Purdy until the third quarter, and when he returned he could only muster two passes that went for a total of 4 yards. 

Reddick put on a big smile when he was asked about San Francisco boldly putting a tight end against him -- the league leader in sacks (including the postseason). 

"Really, really bad things."

Reddick became the first player in franchise history with two sacks in the first half of a postseason game. He finished with two sacks, three pressures, one quarterback hit, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He only pass rushed on 14 snaps, yet had a pressure rate of 21.4%.

Simply put, Reddick was dominant. He's the leader of the defense now.

"I love that," Eagles edge rusher Brandon Graham said, who used to hold that title during Philadelphia's last Super Bowl run. "I don't care who makes the play (here), just make it. I know my role. I know what I gotta do (now). I'll take the scraps." 

Graham was no slouch on the Eagles defensive line this year either, one of four players with 10-plus sacks on the season -- the first team in NFL history to accomplish that feat (Reddick, Graham, Sweat, Javon Hargrave). The Eagles have 78 sacks in the regular season and postseason, the third most in NFL history. They are four sacks away from matching the 1984 Chicago Bears for the all-time mark. 

"This is what we pride ourselves on," Sweat said. "It just shows how we work together and all we've been through all year and how each guy works well with each other. This is the thing I'm the most proud of for this group."

Philadelphia's pass rush has made a statement all season in getting to the quarterback. The Eagles have 49 sacks in their last 10 games as the unit has been the most dominant on a loaded team all year. 

The Eagles certainly impacted the outcome of the NFC Championship Game because of the pass rush.

"Those guys' job is to hit the quarterback, affect the game," Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said. "And they sure did that today."