San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) celebrates after an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

NFC Championship Sees Two Teams Hoping For Super Bowl Return

The road to Super Bowl LVII ramps up this weekend with the NFC Championship game. Rookie sensation Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers travel to Philadelphia to take on Jalen Hurts and the Eagles. Philadelphia looks for a repeat of Super Bowl LII and the 49ers hope for another chance after coming up short in Super Bowl LIV.

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Fly, Eagles, Fly

All season long, it has been clear that Philadelphia is a force to be reckoned with. Tied with the Chiefs for an NFL-best 14-3 record this season, the Eagles carried their dominant regular season play into the NFC divisional round. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and his guys took care of business, defeating the New York Giants 38-7. Hurts threw for only 154 yards, but still had two touchdowns in the air. He added in 34 yards and a touchdown on the ground in their win.

Philadelphia holds one of the most dominant offenses in the NFL with seemingly infinite options. A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert highlight their passing threat with a solid running back corps in Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott. Gainwell ran for 112 yards and a touchdown in their divisional round win. Niners linebacker Fred Warner had this to say on the Eagles’ playmakers.

The Eagles have been one of the best teams in the league defensively this season as well. Linebacker Haason Reddick led the team in sacks with 16, which is second highest in the NFL. Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham and Javon Hargrave are tied in second with 11 sacks each. Linebacker T.J. Edwards led the team in total tackles with 159. Safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson led the defense in interceptions with six. This strong Eagles defense will look to cause trouble for Purdy and the 49ers offense all game long.

Red Hot 49ers

From Mr. Irrelevant to a breakout rookie season, Brock Purdy holds the reigns to the hottest team in the NFL. San Francisco closed out the regular season on a ten game win streak despite losing both their starting quarterback, Trey Lance, and backup quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, to injury. Purdy and the Niners have kept their momentum going through the playoffs and now face their most challenging test.

Purdy has thrown for 546 yards and three touchdowns in the post season with no interceptions thus far. Running back Christian McCaffrey leads the team in rushing yards with 154. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel leads the way in the air with 178 yards. However, tight end George Kittle and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk are not far behind with 132 yards and 99 yards to their name in the postseason. Samuel had this to say about their upcoming matchup.

Fred Warner led the team in total tackles for the season with 130. Defensive end Nick Bosa led the team and the league in sacks with 18.5. The strong Niners defense will look to hold the Eagles juggernaut offense.

NFC Championship Game

The number one and two seeded juggernauts of the NFC go at it Sunday. San Francisco has been notorious all season for the stout defense, but the niners offense will be the key to taking down the Super Bowl favorite Eagles.

About Jack Alperstein

Jack Alperstein is currently a sophomore at the University of Florida studying Sports Journalism.

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