It all comes down to this. NFL Championship Weekend. Four teams are just one win away from a spot in Super Bowl LVII. In the NFC, it is the San Francisco 49ers taking on the Philadelphia Eagles. The 49ers have had quite the season but despite all that has happened, they were the number two seed in the conference. Their starting quarterback (and future of the franchise) Trey Lance was out for the season after only two games, putting backup quarterback but seasoned veteran, Jimmy Garoppolo, was injured midway through the season. But hope was not lost, as Brock Purdy, Mr. Irrelevant from the 2022 NFL Draft, has not lost a game since he has taken over as QB1. But the 49ers current win streak started when they made a huge midseason trade for Christian McCaffrey, who has yet to experience a loss since joining the Niners huddle.
On the other side of the field, the Philadelphia Eagles have been top-to-bottom the best team in the NFL since Week One. Their offense is established through the run game with Miles Sanders but is spearheaded by quarterback Jalen Hurts who also showed he is more than a runner as he gave the franchise their first two 1,000-yard receivers (in the same season) in AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith. And despite what Chris Simms says, Hurts is the system and is the reason this offense has had its success.
These have been the two best teams in the NFC all season long and it is only right that they go head-to-head in the NFC Championship Game with a trip to Super Bowl on the line.
How to Watch and Early Betting Lines
- Date/Time: Sun. Jan. 29th, 3:00 p.m. (EST)
- Channel: FOX
- Betting: PHI -2.5, O/U 45.5
Philly Sweeps Giants with Decisive Victory
There was not a statistical category that didn't favor the Philadelphia Eagles in their 38 to 7 win over the New York Giants. Controlling the ball and time of possession by 11 more minutes than the Giants, the Eagles out passed and out rushed New York. And this was led by an overall effort on both sides of the ball. With the offense rushing for over 260 yards, the defense held the Giants to just 227 total yards, forced one turnover, and recorded five sacks. And after his first deep throw to DeVonta Smith, it was clear that Jalen Hurts' shoulder was feeling just fine.
49ers Defense Continues to Impress Following Win over Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys defense came to play and for the most part kept the San Francisco 49ers in check, but their defense which is arguably one of the best, if not the best in the NFL, forced two turnovers and held the Cowboys to just 76 rushing yards. The 49ers did not score many touchdowns, but their offense got the ball within striking distance as Robbie Gould went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts and was a big reason why the 49ers won this game.
Philadelphia's Keys to Victory
Offense: Establish the run game early and control the pace of the game. Get both Brown and Smith involved in the game early and often.
Defense: Apply pressure onto Brock Purdy and force him to make rookie mistakes. Eliminate the big plays from Samuel, McCaffrey and the rest of their skill players.
San Francisco's Keys to Victory
Offense: Eliminate the pressure coming from Philly's pass rush and allow Purdy to stay in the pocket. Get Kittle more involved in the offense earlier in the game.
Defense: Stop the run. It's that simple. Shutdown Dallas Goedert who is a key player when it comes to picking up first downs.
The Final Word: Prepare for an Instant Classic
Both offenses have explosive play makers, great offensive lines, and defenses that are stout at all three layers. But the biggest difference maker in this game is going to be quarterback play. Can Brock Purdy outshine and outplay MVP Candidate Jalen Hurts? Or will Jalen Hurts prove to the doubters once again that they were wrong and get Philadelphia back to the Super Bowl?
Final Score: Eagles 31, 49ers 27.
MORE: NFL Playoffs: Five Key Matchups to Watch in the AFC and NFC Conference Title Games
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