NFC Predictions: 49ers or Eagles?
January 27, 2023
The Super Bowl is coming up so fast that many fans are surprised the NFL postseason is almost over. With Mr. Irrelevant taking the league by storm, Hurts’ rapid right shoulder recovery, Joe’s bloodthirsty comeback season and Mahomes’ ankle injury, the postseason has been characterized by drastic positive or negative developments to each team.
In the conference championship, BetMGM projected the Eagles to win by 2.5 points and the Chiefs by 1. Regardless, we believe the games could easily go either way. Note: this article was written and published before the conference games and Super Bowl.
When QB Jimmy Garoppolo suffered an ankle injury in Week 12 and Brock Purdy got the starting position, the 49er’s future appeared bleak. Instead, Purdy kept the 49ers offense strong and built upon their win streak dating back to Week 8. Going into a conference championship at the Eagles stadium, the 49ers are 4-3 on the road and played only two with Purdy, a 21-13 win over Seattle and 37-34 OT win at Las Vegas. Against the No. 1 pass defense and a team that has 19 more sacks than any other team in the league, it’s a giant leap from Seattle and Las Vegas. Then there’s the 49er’s achilles heel: deep passes. The 49ers defense has gained the reputation of being stout, but when it matters most, they allow chunk plays that set opposing teams up for 6. Combine blown coverage and an explosive Eagles passing attack and it’s easy to predict the Eagles up top in the first half.
Coming from a 49ers fan, the chance of victory is tiny. The singular possibility of winning rests in a strong 49ers rushing attack that can establish a tempo, set up play action and retake the game. As long as the 49ers rush defense can hold the Eagles run game to minimal yards per play, they can prevent the Eagles from controlling the play clock.
Rikin joined the Tribune because he wanted to write about sports, record a fantasy sports podcast and write about business/economics. Rikin is politically active and believes civic engagement by high school...
The Eagles held the throne with the best NFL record for the first 15 weeks of the regular season. But when QB Jalen Hurts injured his shoulder, the team was forced to start Gardner Minshew instead for two weeks. With a new QB under their helm, the Eagles lost two of their last three games and barely got the #1 seed, proving to be more difficult than expected. Prior to the divisional game against the surging Giants, there was a bit of uncertainty on how the Eagles would perform with Jalen Hurts reportedly not at 100 percent, as well as OT Lane Johnson playing through a groin injury. Any concerns were answered very quickly, however, when the Eagles handed the Giants a 38-7 blowout win. Hosting the Niners at the Linc will be their biggest challenge yet, but the job the Eagles need to do to win the game shouldn’t be too difficult. The Eagle’s main task is to win both the offensive and defensive line battles. The immediate difference seen when teams perform against Philly’s o-line and d-line is drastic. Take the Giants game for instance; their offense was surgical in their Wild Card match against the Vikings, but their performance was the complete opposite in their divisional game, and Daniel Jones struggled to perform due to the Eagle’s superb defensive line and secondary.
The 49ers frontline is one of the most resilient ones in the league, and they will match up against a resilient Eagles offensive line. This is the best matchup for the game, a true test on both sides. Nick Bosa is looking to put himself back into the mix, as he hasn’t recorded a sack in a couple games, but he will have to face both Jordan Mailata, and Lane Johnson who hasn’t allowed a sack in over 800 days.
Lucas joined the Wildcat Tribune to pursue his dream of writing about sports and covering football games. He joined again this year to be better and to make more podcasts with Rikin. He had absolutely zero...