49ers avenge NFC title loss by blowing past Eagles

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Returning to the place where his magical rookie season ended with an elbow injury nearly a year ago, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy played nearly flawless football.

Purdy finished 19-of-27 passing for 314 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions and a 148.8 passer rating as the 49ers rolled the Philadelphia Eagles 42-19 on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. It’s just the second time in his short pro career that Purdy has thrown for four scores. 

It was the first time the two teams had met since the Eagles manhandled San Francisco in last year’s NFC title game to advance to the Super Bowl. In the first quarter of that game, Purdy suffered a UCL tear in his elbow that required offseason surgery. 

“Was it sort of in my mind? Yeah man, I got hurt here in late January,” Purdy said. “But was it going to be the revenge game or anything like that? No, for me it was Week 13. It’s a new year going into a hostile environment and we needed this game. … I didn’t want to get distracted by, ‘I’ve got to go back and show everybody what could have happened or what could have been.’ 

“We’ve got a new team. It’s 2023 and that’s where my mind was at.” 

The highly anticipated matchup was charged with energy from the start. Philadelphia jumped out to an early 6-0 advantage, but the 49ers outscored them 42-7 the rest of the way.

After two three-and outs to start the game, the 49ers scored touchdowns on six straight possessions. It’s the second time this year San Francisco has owned an NFC East playoff contender. In Week 5, the 49ers blew past the Dallas Cowboys 42-10.

With the victory, the 49ers improved to 9-3, a game behind Philadelphia (10-2) for the top seed in the NFC with a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Eagles. San Francisco has now won four game in a row since the team’s bye week. 

Purdy started the game 0-of-4 and did not complete his first pass until 2:01 into the second quarter. But the 49ers got things going on the team’s third possession of the game. San Francisco drove 85 yards on 11 plays, capped by a 2-yard pass from Purdy to Brandon Aiyuk on a diving grab in the back of the end zone, giving the 49ers a 7-6 lead with 7:10 left in the half that they never relinquished.

Deebo Samuel and Brock Purdy speak on dominant win over Eagles

Deebo Samuel and Brock Purdy speak on dominant win over Eagles

Purdy finished 6-of-7 for 71 yards on the scoring drive. After a Philadelphia three-and-out, the 49ers scored another touchdown on a Christian McCaffrey 2-yard run to cap a 10-play, 90-yard drive and give San Francisco a 14-6 lead with 38 seconds left. 

McCaffrey finished with 93 rushing yards on the day. He now has 17 total touchdowns, including 12 rushing touchdowns. With 1,026 rushing yards, McCaffrey eclipsed 1,000 yards on the season, the first San Francisco player to do that since Frank Gore in 2014. 

A Deebo Samuel 12-yard run gave San Francisco a 21-6 lead in the third quarter. 

With 9:27 left in the third, Philadelphia regained momentum after a confrontation between 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw and Eagles head of security Dom DiSandro after Greenlaw slammed receiver DeVonta Smith to the ground out of bounds. Greenlaw received a personal foul for the play, then was ejected for contacting the security officer.

[Read More: Who is ‘Big Dom’? Eagles security officer ejected with Niners LB Dre Greenlaw]

DiSandro also was ejected for contacting Greenlaw while gesturing at him. The Eagles cut San Francisco’s edge to 21-13 five plays later, a Jalen Hurts 1-yard run.

“I tried my hardest not to lose my mind,” San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan said about the play. “Hopefully, I didn’t embarrass myself too bad. I didn’t get to see it all from where I was at, but once I hear people explain it to me and stuff, I just can’t believe someone not involved in the football game could taunt our players like that, put their hands in our face.

“From what I was told, Dre did it back to him. I was told he kind of mashed him in the face a little bit, so he got ejected. It was a very frustrating play. I’ve got to watch it to have a true opinion on it. But I loved how we rallied after it.” 

Samuel put San Francisco up two scores again on a 48-yard touchdown reception down the seam of Philadelphia’s defense. And Samuel was not done. He added a third score to put the game away, going untouched for 46-yard on a tunnel screen with just over five minutes remaining.

It’s the first multi-touchdown game for Samuel since 2021 and the first time he scored three touchdowns in a game as a pro. He finished with four catches for 116 receiving yards and 138 scrimmage yards. 

Deebo Samuel’s three TDs carry 49ers to win over Eagles

Deebo Samuel's three TDs carry 49ers to win over Eagles

Samuel had called Eagles cornerback James Bradberry trash during the lead-up to the Super Bowl in February and said in May that the only reason the 49ers lost the NFC title game was because they did not have a healthy quarterback. 

San Francisco’s “wide-back” backed up his bravado by playing well against the Eagles. 

“I ain’t going to lie, I was in that zone all week long,” Samuel said. “They beat us in the NFC Championship, but at the end of the day talking trash is part of the game. 

“Hopefully, no one took it to heart because it was all fun and games.”

San Francisco defensive tackle Javon Hargrave got the game ball, playing against his former team in the Eagles. Hargrave finished with two combined tackles and a quarterback hit. 

San Francisco linebacker Fred Warner said the key for his team’s defense was stopping the running game. The 49ers held Philadelphia to 46 yards on the ground. Warner called it a “grimy” win for San Francisco.

Arik Armstead said the 49ers wanted to keep Hurts in the pocket, and if he did escape to push him out of the pocket and not down the middle of the field.

“Jalen Hurts is an outstanding football player,” Warner said. “You saw it tonight with him extending those plays. But having played him last year and knowing how the game was going to go, we knew we had to stop them in the run game. And then obviously when he had to pass the ball, we had to keep him contained. 

“And for the most part, I think we did that.” 

Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for more than a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.


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