Four teams are one game away from Super Bowl LVII. But before fans can begin rooting for the final two, the winners of the NFC Championship must be determined.
The first match-up, hosted at Lincoln Financial Field will be the Philadelphia Eagles vs the San Francisco 49ers. This week, the NFL ranked the Birds No.2 and the 49ers No. 3, giving fans the ultimate experience for Sunday.
The winner will face the champion of the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals game. With the Eagles currently favored to win, can they get the job done?
EAGLES VS 49ERS
The final injury report has been released and all 22 starters for the Philadelphia Eagles will return, including Avonte Maddox who has been out since November. Maddox adds extreme value to the Eagles’ defense, which will be necessary to take down San Fran’s offensive playmakers.
Since taking over as quarterback, Brock Purdy is completing 67.1% of his passes with a 107.3 passer rating. But, the Eagles’ defense is rushing the passer at a historic rate. With the most sacks in the league, Philadelphia now has 75 after beating the New York Giants last weekend. Through nine games Purdy has been sacked 11 times, but he hasn’t met Philadelphia yet.
Offensively, running back Miles Sanders will likely see a great deal of yardage. But, the big plays will come down to A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.
Aside from a monster team, Philadelphia also has an MVP and Offensive Player of the Year candidate in quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts has 332.5 passing yards per game and seven touchdowns against top-1o defenses this season. He’s also the only player in NFL history with 3,000+ passing yards, 700+ rushing yards, 20+ pass touchdowns, 10+ rushing touchdowns and less than ten interceptions in a season.
“I think I just have a desire to win,” Hurts said. “Ultimately I try to set the temperature of the room. We just continue to try to climb. There is no point where we have arrived, it’s the journey.”
San Francisco 49ers
San Fran’s top-two offensive players have been wide receiver Deebo Samuel and running back Christian McCaffrey. Samuel has been the 49ers’ top receiver this postseason with ten receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown. Additionally, McCaffrey has made 25 carriers for 154 yards and a touchdown in this postseason’s two playoff games. He is listed as questionable for tomorrow’s game.
The defense is ranked No. 1 in the league, leaving little room for weakness. Their run defense held 10 of 19 opponents to 3.2 yards per carry or worse and they’ve only allowed 4.2+ twice. San Fran’s defense has also had 27 consecutive games without allowing a rusher to surpass 70 yards on the ground, but they struggle against quarterbacks on the run which could prove to be the Eagles’ saving grace.
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP PREDICTION
The first and second seed are about to face off in what will be one of the best games to watch all season. Brock Purdy has been everything San Fran has needed, but he’s about to go up against his biggest match and Hurts just isn’t going to give up easily.
The Philadelphia Eagles are making it to the Super Bowl.
Prediction: Eagles, 24-20