It was smooth sailing for the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game. They defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 to advance to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona.
While the Eagles were dominant for much of the game, San Francisco’s quarterback injuries were arguably the bigger story. Brock Purdy, who was 8-0 as the starter this season, briefly left the game at the end of their first drive. Eagles LB Haason Reddick hit Purdy in the elbow, jarring the ball loose which was recovered by Philadelphia.
Josh Johnson, journeyman QB and San Fran’s fourth string, entered the game. Johnson led the lone scoring drive which resulted in a Christian McCaffrey 23-yard rushing TD midway through the second quarter.
However, Johnson later got knocked out of the game after taking a hard hit to the ground. Purdy re-entered the game, but merely as a decoy. Purdy only threw the ball once during the entire second half.
For Philly, four rushing touchdowns led the way to victory. Two came from Miles Sanders. Boston Scott scored the third after a Josh Johnson lost fumble under two minutes in the first half. Jalen Hurts sealed the game with a one-yard score in the third quarter. The Eagles totaled 148 rushing yards, with Kenneth Gainwell leading the team with 48.
Hurts finished 15 of 25 for 121 yards. For the Niners, Purdy and Johnson combined to finish 11 of 17 for 83 yards. McCaffrey had 15 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles defense had a fantastic performance as well. They had three sacks, three fumble recoveries, seven QB hits, and 5 TFLs.
Super Bowl LVII
The Eagles will await the Cincinnati Bengals or the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII. The Eagles return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2017, where they defeated the New England Patriots 41-33.
In Year 2 of Nick Sirianni and Year 3 of Jalen Hurts, Philly has something special brewing.
A disappointing end for the Niners, who saw their 12-game winning streak come to an end. They had much more to give if Purdy was 100%. Who knows how the game would have played out. Purdy will certainly be in the mix for the starting job in 2023.
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports