The Philadelphia Eagles are heading to Arizona for a chance to add their second Lombardi in six years! Philly hosted San Fran for the NFC Championship and refused to allow the visiting opponent to celebrate on their home turf. Jalen Hurts and the run game wore down the Niners’ defense while the Niners ran out of quarterbacks to play. Here are some highlights from the Eagles’ NFC championship win.
The game started as expected with both defenses trying their best to not give an edge. Philadelphia’s defense attacked Purdy as expected. Haason Reddick came through in the clutch for Philly as he forced a fumble by Brock Purdy. Unfortunately for Purdy that would knock him out of the first half.
After that turnover, the Eagles scored on their first drive after a controversial “catch” by DeVonta Smith. The Eagles moved the ball on that drive fairly easily but it wasn’t any easier for them after that drive.
The 49ers’ defense made the right adjustments to contain Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ running game. But it didn’t take too long for the Eagles’ run game to find its way as they followed up a couple of defensive penalties by the 49ers with two rushing scores. By halftime, the score was 21-7 but history has taught us that no game is ever over at the half.
Unfortunately for the 49ers, the injuries continued to pile on at the start of the second half. Josh Johnson was hit while passing just like Brock Purdy. The difference was in the way Johnson landed on the ground as the back of his head with the field pretty hard. He was taken out for concussion precautions.
Following his exit was the return of Brock Purdy but the 49ers chose to run the ball on 3rd and 14 which led to the question if Purdy could even throw the ball after that injury. As the Eagles went three and out to start the second half, Purdy came back in and was asked to run the ball and throw a short pass to Christian McCaffrey which led to another three and out.
It would then be in the hands of the Eagles’ offense to extend the lead to 28-7 as the defense continued to do all that they could to hold off the 49ers. Jalen Hurts and the offense came on the next drive with the intent of putting the game away, something that the Eagles have done well all season long.
Hurts and Gainwell led the drive as the Eagles focused on running the ball and playing their game. Kenny Gainwell bailed the offense on 3rd and 5 with a huge 17-yard gain. Philly’s offense almost went three and out once again but it was the 49ers’ special team that bailed them out as they were hit with a huge personal foul for roughing the kicker.
Jalen Hurts is HIM
After that, it was all Jalen Hurts as he put the team on his back and refused to give up. Hurts ran for 14 yards and was then pushed while out of bounds after he gave himself up. That led to another penalty as the 49ers’ defense looked frustrated and gassed. This would open the door for a QB sneak in the endzone as the Eagles would extend the lead to 28-7.
After another three-and-out by the 49ers, the Eagles too, advantage and milked the clock for most of the fourth quarter which ended with a Jake Elliot field goal to increase the lead 31-7.
Eagles are on their way!
While it wasn’t the most impressive offense display by the Eagles, their defense came and made a statement. Haason Reddick allowed the DPOY snub to fuel him while Jonathan Gannon called the game of his career.
The Eagles will now face the winner of the Bengals and Chiefs on February 12th at 6:30 pm.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke