Home Sports Game Preview | 49ers vs. Eagles

Game Preview | 49ers vs. Eagles

Game Preview | 49ers vs. Eagles

The San Francisco 49ers, after defeating the Dallas Cowboys 19-12, will be coming to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the No. 1-seeded Philadelphia Eagles.

The two best teams in the NFC through the season, a win here and a Super Bowl trip is in order.

1. Which team runs the ball better?

Kenneth Gainwell had his first 100-yard game against the New York Giants. Boston Scott had his 11th touchdown in nine career games (including playoffs) against the Giants. But the 49ers’ defense, which allows just 77.7 yards per game on the ground, will be a difficult matchup for the Eagles’ run game.

Miles Sanders, with 1,296 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season, will need to continue his career year against a San Francisco defense led by Defensive Player of the Year finalist Nick Bosa, who, with 18.5 sacks, was the only player in the NFL with more sacks than Haason Reddick (16) in 2022.

On the other side, the Philadelphia Eagles must contain the threat of Christian McCaffrey, who, despite being held to 35 yards on 10 carries, was still able to find the end zone for the only TD of the game.

In the 49ers’ Wild Card win over the Seahawks, McCaffrey put up 119 rush yards on 15 carries.

When McCaffrey does need a rest, San Francisco has a talented backup in Elijah Mitchell, who finished Sunday’s game with 51 yards on 14 attempts. Mitchell was a key factor in the 49ers’ win against Seattle, where he found the end zone on a short pass from Brock Purdy. While McCaffrey is still the lead back, Mitchell has made a large impact on the 49ers’ offense since his return from injury. He helped the 49ers to 181 yards on 33 carries against the Seahawks and led the team with 51 rush yards against Dallas to get them to this point.

Both teams will count on the run game. It will help keep the opposing offenses off the field and with both teams being in the top 8 in rushing on the season, it is a strength of both teams behind elite offensive lines.

2. Which defense can get to the opposing QB?

The Eagles’ defense has been spoken about frequently. Seventy sacks on the season and four players in double digits will do this.

Haason Reddick was able to win his matchup against Giants All-Pro tackle Andrew Thomas last week. In doing so, he was able to get to quarterback Daniel Jones and help limit the Giants to seven points. This week, he will be going against perhaps the best left tackle in the NFL in Trent Williams. This will be another difficult challenge for Reddick as he looks to get more sacks to help the Eagles to the Super Bowl. With San Francisco looking to run the ball a lot, it will be needed for Philadelphia to get to the quarterback without having to use extra rushers. Stopping the run game will be first and foremost.

For San Francisco, Nick Bosa and his 18.5 sacks and two forced fumbles will lead the charge against the Philadelphia offensive line, which was happy to get Lane Johnson back on Saturday. Not only did his presence make the line better, but the grit he showed in even playing led the rest of the team to play tougher around him.

The 18.5 sacks for Bosa is almost half of the 44 total sacks the 49ers had as a team. With his ability to get through opposing offensive lines, the rest of the front seven was able to concentrate on run stopping. With Philadelphia coming in averaging 147.6 yards on the ground, this will be key again as San Francisco will be forced to stop a three-headed run attack in Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, and Boston Scott. Not to mention the ability of Jalen Hurts, who finished the season with 760 rush yards for the Eagles.

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