The Eagles blew the 49ers out in the NFC Championship game to advance to the Super Bowl. You would think that would result in the Eagles having praise heaped on them. But instead, many around the NFL decided to find ways to discredit the Eagles. They point straight toward the 49ers’ injuries at QB. To be fair, by the end of the game, the Niners literally did not have any player capable of throwing the ball by the end of the game. But that should not mean we don’t treat 31-7 as anything else except the incredibly impressive win that it was.
I mean they won the NFC Championship game. That should be a reason for celebration and praise. But as per usual with Philly, people do not want to give it to us. So it falls on us to point out how impressive it was. Here are 5 numbers that tell the story of just how impressive the NFC Championship win was.
The first number is not something you had to dig too deep for. It is literally just what they scored. They put up 31 points on the 49ers. You can attribute holding the Niners to 7 points to Brock Purdy being hurt. But the QB being hurt has nothing to do with how the Eagles dominated the 49ers’ vaunted defense. A 49ers defense that allowed just 16.3 points per game in the season. Who held the Cowboys’ 4th ranked offense to just 12 points a week earlier? You can’t discount that part. The Eagles dropping 31 on the NFL’s best defense is all Eagles.
All season the 49ers’ defense allowed just 11 rushing Tds in 17 games. That is .65 rushing TDs a game. Well, the Eagles scored 4 rushing TDs on them. All week all we heard was how hard it would be to run on the Niners. And for a bit it was hard. But then the Eagles adjusted, started running to the weak side, and they were running all over this Niners team. This team can run on anybody. If the 49ers can’t stop them, who can? Miles Sanders got 2, Boston Scott got one, and then Jalen Hurts snuck one in for good measure. As long as the Eagles have this offensive line, there is no one stopping them from running the ball. And again Brock Purdy getting hurt had nothing to do with this. That is just the Eagles run game being amazing.
The performance from Lane Johnson this postseason is nothing short of incredible. He is playing with a torn abductor. I feel the need to remind you because watching him play, you very easily could have forgotten. It started with the Giants and Kayvon Thibodeaux and carried into yesterday vs Nick Bosa. In 53 pass-blocking snaps this postseason, he was allowed a pressure on just 2 of them. A Pressure rate of 3.8%. That would be a ridiculous performance from a healthy player facing average pass rushers. But for an injured Lane Johnson to shut down both Thibodeaux and Nick Bosa is incredible. The type of performance that cements him as a Hall of Famer. And he will need another performance like that in the Super Bowl, with a matchup vs Chris Jones on the horizon.
The defensive line deserves its praise as well. While the Eagles’ O line protected their QB, the 49er’s defense could not. The Eagles D Line got pressure on either Brock Purdy or Josh Johnson on 61.9% of all pass-blocking snaps. The highest number by the Eagles in a playoff game in the statcast era They were swarming all game long. They only got 3 sacks because the 49ers literally stopped throwing the ball. But they were in the QBs face nearly every snap. Haason Reddick was a beast, getting two of those sacks, one of which forced a fumble. And for what it is worth, the Chiefs’ O Line gave up pressures on 42% of pass rush snaps. Sure does seem like the Eagles’ D Line vs the Chiefs’ O Line is a matchup they can win.
Jalen Hurts did not have his best game. He missed a couple of throws and had only 50 passing yards after the first quarter. But you know what was impressive about his performance? He turned it over 0 times. The 49ers came into the game 2nd in the league in takeaways with 30. But Jalen Hurts did not cough the ball up. All season he has done a fantastic job of protecting the ball. History will show the team that protects the ball better, tends to win.