49ers 0-7 Eagles, end of the 1st quarter
“We cannot determine if the ball hit the wire.” Okay, well thanks for that long delay. An “illegal use of the hands play” on Philadelphia puts the 49ers at midfield (commence fan booing) and, in the final play of the first quarter (finally) Samuel takes the ball to the Eagles 41.
49ers 0-7 Eagles, :09, 1st quarter
Hurts gets pushed back for no gain and the Eagles take their first timeout. It’s 3rd and 9 and Hurts overthrows A.J. Brown so they will have to punt. Brett Kern’s punt goes out of bounds and then there’s a flag because this game just can’t do just one thing at once at any point.
49ers 0-7 Eagles, 1:41, 1st quarter
Bosa is back in the game, so good news for the 49ers because they are going to have to limit as much damage as possible here and hope that Purdy can return. Hurts passes to Brown who picks up 11 yards, for a first down. It’s 2nd and 9 at the Eagles 27.
49ers 0-7 Eagles, 2:30, 1st quarter
McCaffrey gets 16 yards, but after the penalty they needed 20 so they will have to punt. It’s a short one that rolls inside the 30. There’s a flag here, unnecessary roughness on Philadelphia for a 14-yard penalty. Also, Nick Bosa is shaken up on that play, and man that is yet another thing San Francisco doesn’t need here.
49ers 0-7 Eagles, 3:24, 1st quarter
Johnson’s first play that he’s really involved with involves him getting sacked for nine yards, pushing the 49ers back their 15. On the next play, they get hit with a delay-of-game. Everything is going wrong for SF.
49ers 0-7 Eagles, 4:50, 1st quarter
And Purdy can’t return to the game. So now, the 49ers are going to have to play with Josh Johnson, who is here because Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t even on the roster. McCaffrey gets the ball first and rushes to the San Francisco 24.
Email from Travis Giblin:
Hey Hunter, I think I need to try what you’re having if you thought the anthem was 10/10. Bleeding Gums Murphy would have done a better job, and I think you know that to be true.
Perhaps. But I am giving our legends their flowers while they are still around. She gets a ten out of ten just for being there.
49ers 0-7 Eagles, 4:58, 1st quarter
Sanders runs for a yard, Hurts passes short to Jack Stoll for a five-yard gain and then Kenneth Gainwell can’t, well, gain anything and gets stuffed. The Eagles have to put after being gifted a turnover. A great job by the 49ers’ defense to prevent that mistake from burning them. Their punt goes into the end zone for a touchback. Now we’ll see if Purdy, hurt on that last play, is healthy enough to return or if San Francisco will have to go their fourth-string qb.
49ers 0-7 Eagles, 7:03, 1st quarter
The Eagles have a successful challenge! The play is overturned and called a fumble returned by Linval Joseph at the Eagles 44-yard line. A huge turn early in this game!
49ers 0-7 Eagles, 7:03, 1st quarter
Purdy finds Brandon Aiyuk for a ten-yard gain and a first down (there’s a flag on the play on the Eagles, but San Francisco declines). Purdy finds Samuel to get midfield on the next play. On 2nd & 6, Purdy throws an incomplete pass that the Eagles challenge, thinking they have a turnover here.
49ers 0-7 Eagles, 8:48, 1st quarter
The Niners just need a one yard gain, but Christian McCaffrey gets stuffed on his first attempt. No worries, he makes it to the San Francisco 36 on his second carry.
49ers 0-7 Eagles, 9:48, 1st quarter
The 49ers start their first drive at their own 25 after the Eagles’ punt hits the end zone for a touchback. Purdy passes to featured tight end George Kittle for a nine-yard gain.
Email from Mark Woldin:
Let’s be honest. Anita Baker was not ready for this and should not have sung. If she sings then Montana may as well suit up.
I will accept no Anita slander, even if she clearly wasn’t at her “Rapture” peak. In any case, it clearly didn’t affect Philadelphia’s mojo.
Note: It also looks like Smith’s catch could have been overturned if challenged, but well that’s kind of out of the Niners’ hands now.
49ers 0-7 Eagles, 9:48, 1st quarter
Hurts throws incomplete on first down but hands it off to Saunders on second down and he runs it in and the Eagles have a touchdown on their very first possession! What a fantastic decision to go for it on fourth-down rather than settle for three-points.
Their extra point attempt is good, which (as we know from previous games) is not necessarily an automatic thing in the modern NFL.
49ers 0-0 Eagles, 10:28 , 1st quarter
Hurts throws a pass that is… nearly intercepted but goes out of bounds. It is, however, 3rd and 10. Hurts finds Goedert, but it’s short of a first down, picking up just seven yards. The Eagles have to decide whether to attempt a field goal here or go for it on 4th and 3.
They go for it! Hurts scrambles for a bit and then finds DeVonta Smith who catches it just in-bounds at the San Francisco 6 yard line! What a catch!
49ers 0-0 Eagles, 12:01, 1st quarter
Doesn’t matter that Hurts can’t get much going on second down as he finds Brown for ten yards and another first down. They’re at the San Francisco 42 already. Sanders gets the ball next, but he can’t get anywhere either. San Francisco keyed in on the run in this opening drive.
49ers 0-0 Eagles, 13:15, 1st quarter
1st and 10 at their own 46, Hurts finds Dallas Goedert for a two-yard gain. Hurts takes the ball and runs and barely gets anywhere.
Good news for San Francisco, Warner is back in the game.
49ers 0-0 Eagles, 14:22, 1st quarter
Hurts passes to A.J. Brown for a six yard gain to the 40. Miles Sanders gets the ball on 2nd & 4 and gains six yards on the play to take the Eagles to their own 46 but 49ers’ linebacker Fred Warner was injured on the play leading to an injury timeout.
49ers 0-0 Eagles, 15:00, 1st quarter
The 49ers have won the toss and they defer, so it will be the Eagles with possession of the ball. Boston Scott returns the kick to the Philadelphia 34.
Alright, we’re a few minutes away from opening kickoff and then it’s going to be NFL action from here on out.
ANITA BAKER! OMG IT’S ANITA BAKER! 10 stars out of 10.
Email from Tim Perks:
So looking forward to both games. Think the Eagles DL will get to Purdy and cause no end of trouble, effectively shutting down that great offense. 49ers own defence mighty impressive but vulnerable to a running QB. Eagles 20 13 49ers.
I really do think that the Eagles’ advantage at QB is going to be the difference here over the 49ers’ advantage at defense, but that’s the logical conclusion to come to here. Sports don’t always operate on a logical level.
Email from William Preston:
I think this is going to be one of wild swings. The Eagles are going to start strongly, get a proper stomp on through the first three quarters, but the Niners have strength in depth, and most of all, resolve. They’ll put together wily plays, coupled with thrilling heroics and steal this one.
Have a good one!
This also seems possible! Honestly, the only outcome that seems unlikely is a one-sided stomp in either direction.
This is actually the second matchup between Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy as the two faced each other back in their college days as Hurts led the Oklahoma Sooners to a 42-41 victory over Purdy’s Iowa State Cyclones. Hopefully, we’ll get a similarly close game over the next few hours.
Email from Charles Pederson:
Niners should keep it close and win the game with an overtime field goal. Eagles 24- Niners 27 in overtime.
That’s close to what I believe, just with the winning teams reversed. Earlier in this liveblog, you saw me predict that the Eagles were going to beat the Niners in a tight match. However, to make things more interesting, let’s try to get more specific with the details: I’m guessing a back-and-forth match here but not a ridiculously high-scoring one, despite these being two great offenses. Maybe Eagles 27-24 49ers, with a last-second field goal by Philadelphia being the difference.
Fox NFL Sunday just featured a parody of SNL’s “Weekend Update” segment and I’m annoyed because telling corny jokes about the game when they’re supposed to be providing in-depth analysis is sort of my whole deal.
A neat little factoid here:
Meanwhile, it’s possible that the Eagles are working with a big home-field advantage considering how uniquely intense Philadelphia sports fans can be. News reports have it that the police have already greased the telephone poles across the city to prepare for post-game celebrations, not that it will necessarily prevent the most determined climbers.
Breaking injury news
A major news story coming out this afternoon: running back Elijah Mitchell is out today for the 49ers, which means that Tevin Coleman is elevated in his absence. We’ll see if that ends up being a factor today.
Meanwhile, stay with us after today’s game for the AFC Championship Game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs as the Guardian will have live coverage of that as well. Bengals-Chiefs is scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm EST assuming that this game ends on time (overtime is very much on the table, given how equally matched these two teams are).
Welcome to NFL’s Championship Sunday, everybody! For the first game of today’s doubleheader, we have the San Francisco 49ers visiting the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field for the right to head to this year’s Super Bowl. In fact, considering that these are the two most well-rounded teams remaining, the winner just might end up being title favorites. So, you could say there’s a lot on the line in the next few hours and you would be saying a correct thing.
One interesting subplot about the NFC Championship Game will revolve around the quarterbacks. For the longest time, the story surrounding the Eagles was that they were a great team but that they needed a more traditional quarterback than Jalen Hurts. Well, we’ve seen plenty of evidence this season that Hurts actually has elevated the entire team to the point where he’s the difference between them being a very good team and the best team during the NFL’s regular season. The Eagles’ epic beatdown of the New York Giants last weekend certainly didn’t hurt his value.
Meanwhile, what’s there left to be said about third-string wonder Brock Purdy? There will be time to discuss what exactly the 49ers do with their crowded quarterback position in the offseason, although certainly, Purdy has already had the chance to prove himself in ways that nominal starter Trey Lance has yet to have (thanks to bad injury luck more than anything else). Purdy might just be two wins away from forcing the issue in San Francisco.
It’s impossible to predict how the NFC Championship Game will play out although, obviously, I have given my best attempt earlier in this liveblog. The safest prediction is that we’ll get a competitive game, there’s an outside shot at an instant classic here. Want to be a part of our coverage? Feel free to drop us a line, either via email (to firstname.lastname@example.org) or Twitter (through @HunterFelt, assuming that He Who Shall Not Be Named hasn’t broken the site) and we’ll share your comments throughout this liveblog.
It’s the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field! Opening kickoff is scheduled around 3:00 pm EST, although it will probably actually start a few minutes after that knowing how TV time works, but we’ll be back well before then with additional commentary.
Hunter will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s his guide to today’s game:
NFC Championship Game (San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday 3pm EST/8pm GMT)
Story of the season: The San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles have established themselves as the best teams in the NFC, although the former has faced slightly more adversity. The Niners went 13-4 in the regular season despite losing two starting quarterbacks to injury: first Trey Lance and then Jimmy Garoppolo. When Brock Purdy, the final pick of the 2022 draft stepped in, he was even better than the men he replaced. Meanwhile, the Eagles clinched the NFC’s best record in the regular season by going 14-3 and they may have had an even more impressive record had Jalen Hurts not missed time due to a shoulder injury down the stretch. Their regular season success allowed them to enjoy a bye week before demolishing the New York Giants 38-7 in the divisional round of the playoffs.
What the 49ers need to do to win: The 49ers defense will have to limit Hurts. The quarterback can harm opposing teams both with his legs and with his arms, so the Niners’ stout defense, which allowed 6.4 yards per pass attempt and an NFL-low 3.4 yards per carry during the regular season, will have to work overtime to limit the damage he can do.
What the Eagles need to do to win: They need to forget about that 38-7 victory over the Giants and play like underdogs. The San Francisco defense is too good for this to be a blowout and it’s clear that their offense can score no matter who is under center. San Francisco would like nothing better than to catch them flat-footed early.
Key player for the 49ers: George Kittle, TE. One of the reasons that Purdy has been a success is that the Niners have given him a host of weapons, including Kittle who has the capacity to catch balls that just don’t seem catchable.
Key player for the Eagles: Jake Elliott, PK. After watching the Cowboys’ Brett Maher struggle with the yips in the postseason, it’s undeniable that a reliable kicker can change the entire complexion of a team. Elliott made five field goals in the NFC East-clinching victory over the Giants at the end of the regular season. In a tight game, he will be crucial.
Prediction: Eagles over 49ers. The final score will be far closer than 38-7, but the Eagles proved last weekend that they are the more dominant of these two teams. Expect the 49ers to give Philadelphia all they can take, with the Eagles squeaking through at home by the slimmest of margins. It may come down to the final possession – or even overtime.
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2023/jan/29/nfc-championship-game-san-francisco-49ers-v-philadelphia-eagles-nfl-football-playoffs-latest-score NFC Championship Game: San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles – live | NFL