This Trent Williams-K'Von Wallace thing was the loudest this stadium got all day.
Eagles vs. 49ers score, takeaways: Philadelphia blows out banged-up San Francisco, advances to Super Bowl LVII
Philly is back in the Super Bowl for the fourth time in franchise history after a dominant NFC Championship win
The Eagles and 49ers went head-to-head at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday in the NFC Championship, and while the anticipated defensive battle initially unfolded with physicality from both sides, Philadelphia went on to absolutely dominate the contest. Despite an inconsistent showing from a typically balanced offense, the Eagles produced when it mattered most with their tough-nosed ground game. Even more importantly, they suffocated San Francisco's attack with a defensive front that left both Brock Purdy and fourth-string replacement Josh Johnson injured, cruising to a 31-7 victory.
Purdy, the 49ers' third different QB1 of the season, suffered an elbow injury on a first-quarter strip-sack, and only returned to action when Johnson, his replacement, landed in concussion protocol. The Eagles, meanwhile, were nearly flawless in the red zone and enjoyed a steady ground game to seal the big win, which sends them to the Super Bowl.
Here are some immediate takeaways from Sunday's blowout:
Why the Eagles won
They straight-up out-played, out-coached and, perhaps most impressively, out-muscled the next-best team in the NFC. Five years after stomping all over the Vikings in the conference title game, Philly once again owned its home turf, this time by literally knocking out the 49ers' QBs with a physical performance from the front four, and running over a worn-down San Francisco "D." The 49ers may have come in with the reputation as the ground-and-pound contender, but the Eagles had their way when it mattered most while rushing, with Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell all earning hard-fought yards. Hurts wasn't particularly efficient through the air, and no one was especially explosive as a ball-carrier, but as a collective unit, the group controlled the clock and delivered in enemy territory, sealing the lopsided victory.
Why the 49ers lost
Their QB shuffle finally hurt them in the worst way. All year, they triumphed despite the war of attrition under center, going from Trey Lance to Jimmy Garoppolo to Purdy. But here, with their tallest task yet against a ferocious Eagles front, they couldn't hold up; Purdy left in the first quarter after his wrist and elbow took a shot on a strip-sack, and then he re-emerged only because his replacement, Josh Johnson, got slammed to the grass soon after. As a result, a game plan that already figured to focus on short-area strikes became even more limited, and Kyle Shanahan was forced to essentially lean only on Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel, with the former even appearing as a Wildcat QB in the waning minutes of the contest. Shanahan, by the way, didn't exactly oversee a disciplined unit, with penalties repeatedly stunting their momentum in key spots, including on a third-quarter roughing-the-punter infraction.
Down 7-0 after the Eagles' opening-drive score, the 49ers drove to midfield before Haason Reddick came flying off the edge and wrecked the whole day, logging a strip-sack of Brock Purdy that not only granted Philly a bonus possession but injured the QB's throwing arm. The play was initially ruled an incomplete pass since the ball bounced off Purdy's own hand and flew into the air, but a challenge from Eagles coach Nick Sirianni successfully overturned the call. More notably, the hit from Reddick, who was a terror out of the gate, left the 49ers shaky under center for the remainder of the contest.
Play of the game
DeVonta Smith had a tremendous one-handed leaping grab to extend the Eagles' opening drive, but since the Fox crew refused to stop talking about how the 49ers failed to overturn a would-be incompletion by challenging the reception, let's go with Reddick's fateful strip-sack that changed the entire contest:
Haason Reddick gets the strip-sack on Purdy, Eagles recover! #NFCChampionship pic.twitter.com/L1xWusF3TM— FTB (@anotherFTBacct) January 29, 2023
The Eagles are headed to the Super Bowl for the second time in six seasons after steamrolling their second straight postseason opponent, and will face the winner of the Bengals-Chiefs AFC title game. The 49ers, meanwhile, will enter the 2023 offseason with critical questions under center, where it's unclear whether Purdy or Trey Lance (or perhaps another big name) will go into next season as the starting signal-caller.
I don't think the 49ers offensive line thought the Eagles defensive line would put a beatdown on them today.
An incredibly frustrated unit that struggled against the best pass rush in football.
Jalen Hurts has 15 rush TD this season -- including postseason.
The most by any QB in a season in #NFL history (including playoffs).
49ers up to 10 penalties in this game. Least disciplined effort of the year, and it couldn't have come at a worse time.
Fly, Jalen, fly.— NFL (@NFL) January 29, 2023
📺: #SFvsPHI on FOX
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/FKUP5TcOqi pic.twitter.com/xWP2rIDkPE
Eagles took 7:50 off the clock with a 15-play, 91-yard TD drive to go up 28 to 7 on the 49ers.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 29, 2023
0:43 remaining in the third quarter.
Jalen Hurts with a rushing TD -- fourth for the Eagles today.
The Eagles have 39 rush TD this season -- the most by any franchise in a season in the 103-year history of the NFL.
Broke the record set by the 1924 Frankford Yellow Jackets.
Jalen Hurts is frustrating the 49ers defense right now. A late hit after a first down run by Hurts got the Eagles chippy. Big drive by Hurts here.
The 49ers are beating themselves with dumb penalties and bad coaching decisions today.
Brock Purdy has been in 4 plays.
The 49ers have run 3 times. On 3rd-and-13, Purdy threw a very short pass.
It's bad for San Francisco right now.
The 49ers' emergency QB is Kyle Juszczyk, I'm told. The broadcast says CMC.
Josh Johnson appears headed for concussion protocol. Purdy handed ball off for one play. I don't think he can throw with elbow injury. Is Christian McCaffrey or Deebo up next at QB? This is awful for 49ers. #Denver7— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) January 29, 2023
Fox's Erin Andrews reports from the sideline: Brock Purdy is not expected to return. Not ruled out, but unlikely.
Evidence of Nick Sirianni as one of the NFL's most confident, most reliable fourth-down decision-makers:
The vast majority of NFL coaches would have punted on 4th-and-1 from their own 34 midway through 2nd quarter. That's a 7-point decision.— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) January 29, 2023
Haason Reddick's first half:— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) January 29, 2023
QB pressure on all 3 SF sacks
Forced fumble on Brock Purdy, recovered Josh Johnson's fumble.
The 21 points allowed by the #49ers are tied for the second-most the defense has allowed in a half this season. Most first half points allowed by San Francisco since Week 6 at the #Falcons.
Eagles up 21-7 at halftime. Niners only scoring drive came when they had a short field. Eagles ran for 69 yards. SF allowed 78 rushing yards per game for the season. OL winning some battles. Jonathan Gannon's defense has been outstanding.— Tommy Lawlor (@lawlornfl) January 29, 2023
#Eagles take a 21-7 lead. As obvious as it sounds, getting ahead was key for the team, but even more so considering how the offense operates on the ground.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) January 29, 2023
Starting to win the battle up front. Several 49ers defenders had hands on hips during that last drive.
The Eagles offense is wearing the 49ers defense down. They ran 35 offensive plays in the first half.
Important 18-play touchdown drive there for the Eagles to take a 14-7 lead with the run starting to pop a bit and some flag help. 1:36 left in the half for SF with three TOs. Curious how Kyle Shanahan plays it. Eagles have 2 TOs if it looks like they start to park the bus.— Bo Wulf (@Bo_Wulf) January 29, 2023
14-play, 75-yard TD drive with 6:53 off the clock by the Eagles to go back up on the 49ers.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 29, 2023
14 to 7.
Touchdown Miles Sanders
2 rush TD on the day.
10 carries for 39 yards. Sanders was untouched on that one.
Big postseason for @KENNETHGAINWEL— NFL (@NFL) January 29, 2023
📺: #SFvsPHI on FOX
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/FKUP5TdmfQ pic.twitter.com/klyyUv3O8v
Kenny Gainwell stepping up for the Eagles again in these playoffs. That 17-yard run got that offense going again.
The 49ers defense is really making Jalen hurts uncomfortable out there.
Penalties are extending drives for the Eagles.
Christian McCaffrey breaks 3 tackles and scores a 23-yard TD.
Eagles 7, 49ers 7
This place got quiet.
The Eagles have 10 plays for 13 yards since the Miles Sanders TD.
The 49ers No. 1 defense living up to the reputation.
I'll say this: Feels like the Eagles should be up 21-0... and it's just 7-0.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) January 29, 2023
If Josh Johnson is out, the 49ers have no other QBs active. It would be Kyle Jusczyk as the 3rd QB.
Brock Purdy currently has his hands in his pocket.
Was throwing earlier to test the elbow out. May be out of this one.
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