Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma) and 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (Iowa State) met in college, with the Sooners holding off a Cyclones rally to win, 42-41.
Hurts passed for 273 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for 68 yards and scored two touchdowns. Purdy passed for 282 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for 55 yards.
Don’t expect to see a shootout Sunday in the NFC title game. The Niners have the NFL’s top-ranked defense and the Eagles are second.
“I have a lot of respect for him,” Hurts said about Purdy. “He’s always been a really good player. Has a lot of moxie.
“He makes plays and he’s been doing that since college so there’s no surprise to him when he was given this opportunity to see the success he’s having now.”
FACING A GREAT DEFENSE
Hurts, who has only played twice since spraining his right shoulder on Dec. 18, knows there is a tough, physical Niners team standing between him and the Super Bowl.
“They’re really good all across the board,” Hurts said. It starts off with their front seven and then having a really good defensive back group. They fly to the ball, they’re disruptive at every position.
“They’re well coached. So we have a task in front of us. We have a really big challenge in front of us. We just want to go out there and execute and try to be efficient.”
DAVIS, ‘DICKER THE KICKER’ ON ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
Defensive tackle Jordan Davis was named to the All-Rookie team as selected by the Pro Football Writers of America. He was the only Eagle selected, but Cameron Dicker also made the team.
Dicker played for the Eagles for one week — when Jake Elliott was injured — and kicked the winning field goal against the Cardinals. Dicker played the final 11 weeks of the season for the Chargers.
NOT EXACTLY A ROAD WARRIOR
Purdy is a remarkable 8-0 after replacing the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, who replaced the injured Trey Lance. It’s an amazing start to his career.
One thing, though: Purdy only has played two road games — at Seattle and at Las Vegas. He beat the Seahawks, 21-13, and the Raiders in overtime, 37-34.
Seattle has a loud and rowdy crowd. The crowd at the Vegas game was closer to 50-50 with Niners fans. The Eagles are counting on a loud crowd Sunday. Let home-field advantage rattle the young quarterback.
Tight end Dallas Goedert gave credit to a hard-nosed practice that prepared the Eagles to play the Giants.
“We practiced full pads, ones against ones on Thursday of last week,” Goedert said. It was physical. We were talking smack back to each other, just trying to simulate, get ready. We got big goals for this team so we were going make sure whatever we had to do we did.
“That’s what we say all along: We’re just going to do what we do best. Especially at this time. Coach [Nick] Sirianni said he doesn’t have any special message, special plays for us. If he had that, he would have told us during the year.”
It was shocking to see the Cowboys’ Twitter feed tell it like it is after Dallas’ 19-12 loss to the 49ers in the divisional playoff.
From Twitter: “Dak Prescott gave away the ball twice in the narrow loss to the 49ers, in a matchup the Cowboys had a chance to win if they didn’t again generate self-inflicted wounds.”
Ouch. Teams generally post positive copy on social media, and certainly not taking a dig at their starting quarterback hours after a devastating defeat.
BIGGEST OF OPPORTUNITIES
Hurts on what the Eagles can accomplish:
- “You work really hard for these opportunities,” Hurts said. “They come a dime a dozen sometimes. You work very hard for them, though.
- “Just very eager to continue to grow. Eager to go through anything and everything with this group. It’s a special thing. It’s a special feeling. It’s a special type of togetherness that we have.
- “It’s something that I don’t think I have experienced quite like this. For sure, on the NFL level.
- “We just want to continue to grow together, hold each other accountable and believe in one another.”
WINNING AGAINST WINNERS
The Eagles are 8-1 against teams with winning records this season. This is the NFL’s best record against winning teams since the 2007 Patriots were 9-1, their only loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl.
Sirianni said Eagles coaches ate Pizza Hut when they prepped for the Giants during the bye.
The menu changed this week. Sirianni said coaches enjoyed Little Caesars Pizza, which just happens to be the official pizza sponsor of the National Football League, in preparing for the NFC title game.
If I’m superstitious, I’m sticking with Pizza Hut, whether I enjoy the taste or not. But the word must have come down from the home office — Stick with the sponsor.