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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 19: C.J. Gardner-Johnson #23 and Avonte Maddox #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrate after an interception by Maddox against the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 19, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

We are getting closer and closer to kickoff on Sunday. The 49ers come to town for the NFC Championship game. And to preview that game, Zach Berman from The Atheltic joined the Anthony Gargano Show. What are the keys to the Eagles getting the win? Could Avonte Maddox be back on the field? Zach Berman discussed that and more. Here is what he had to say.

On the key to stopping the 49ers’ offense

“That is going to be the key to this game in terms of the Eagles’ defense. Getting them into 3rd and medium or 3rd and long. If San Francisco is living in 3rd and short, they are so good in the middle of the field and with the running game, that they can make that work. If you get them in the 3rd and medium, and it is more of a dropback game for Brock Purdy, the Eagle’s pass rush then gets after you. 

I frankly think that more of a concern than San Francisco’s running is their play-action game and the way they use the middle of the field. That is where the Eagles are vulnerable and where San Fransico can get them. The way the Eagles need to combat that, is they need to get San Francisco into 3rd and 7, 3rd and 8. That is a totally different world to live in for them.”

On if Avonte Maddox could play this week

“Avonte was back at practice yesterday for the first. Watching him, he looked fine. I spoke to him yesterday, and he said he needed to see how these next two days go. But he felt good at practice. He is progressing. I can frankly see him out there. That would be huge for the Eagles. The question is how do they deploy him?  Gardner-Johnson played well in the slot. And if you remember, when CJ first went down, they played Avonte at safety, and he looked good there. So there are different possibilities the Eagles can try.”

Listen to the full conversation with Zach Berman below…