- The Philadelphia Eagles are 2.5-point home favorites over the San Francisco 49ers
- Rookie quarterbacks like Brock Purdy are 0-4 all-time in conference title games
- Sunday’s NFC Championship Game kicks off from Lincoln Financial Field at 3:00pm ET on FOX
Philadelphia and San Francisco will meet on Sunday in what should be a NFL title game for the ages. The Eagles finished the season with a 14-3 record and destroyed the Giants by 31 points on Saturday. Meanwhile, the 49ers have won 12-straight games after defeating Dallas 19-12 in the Divisional Round.
Eagles vs 49ers
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|San Francisco 49ers||+2.5 (+100)||+125||Ov 46.5 (-110)|
|Philadelphia Eagles||-2.5 (-120)||-145||Un 46.5 (-110)|
Strength on strength
Philadelphia was the fifth-best running team in the NFL this season, averaging 147.6 yards per game. They dominated the division-rival Giants on Saturday, racking up 268 yards in their 38-7 victory. But, no one is better at stopping the run than San Francisco. Demeco Ryans’ unit has held the competition to just 77.7 rushing yards per contest and a league-low 3.4 yards per carry. The 49ers’ D also allowed the fewest points and fewest total yards in 2002 while the Eagles offense averaged the third-most points per week.
While Jalen Hurts has 14 rushing touchdowns this year, he’ll need to rely on his arm this Sunday. A.J. Brown, Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert could all do damage against a beatable Niners’ secondary.
Brock Purdy, Jalen Hurts make youngest pair of starting QBs in a conference championship. https://t.co/M8YW2M1UYy
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 24, 2023
Brock Purdy’s remarkable run
Brock Purdy is undefeated since becoming the 49ers starter in Week 14. However, he’s just the fifth rookie quarterback in league history to start a conference championship game. His four predecessors went 0-4 while throwing a combined four touchdowns and nine interceptions. And, to make matters worse, the Eagles’ D already has the the third-most sacks (75) in NFL history after downing Daniel Jones five times in the Divisional Round.
Jonathan Gannon’s unit ranks first against the pass, permitting 179.8 yards per game in 2022. They struggle against the run though, allowing 4.6 yards per carry (ninth-worst in the NFL). With Christian McCaffrey, Eli Mitchell and Deebo Samuel, Kyle Shanahan will turn to his patented family recipe to gain chunk yardage on the ground and keep Hurts off the field.
Philadelphia vs San Francisco
Philadelphia is a 2.5 favorite at Lincoln Financial Field and the over-under is set at 46.5 points. Despite riding a 12-game winning streak, San Francisco finds itself an underdog after looking mortal against Dallas. Nick Sirianni’s offense was unstoppable last week, but the 49ers are a big step up in weight class. The franchise is playing in its third NFC Championship in four seasons. And while the Eagles won the Super Bowl five seasons ago, it was with a different head coach and starting QB. Experience is on the Niners’ side.
At the same time, Philly enjoys a rest advantage after a wild card bye and playing a day earlier than SF in the Divisional Round. Over the past 13 years, teams that played on Saturday have gone 17-9 in the conference title game against opponents that played on Sunday. Additionally, the home team has won the NFC Championship Game in seven of the past nine campaigns.
— NFL (@NFL) January 23, 2023
San Francisco will need to run while Philadelphia will have to pass to take advantage of their opponents’ respective weaknesses. The Niners must also jump out to an early lead in order to avoid putting their rookie signal caller in obvious passing situations.
While the game could go either way, the Eagles have a clearer path to victory.
Final Score Prediction: Philadelphia 23, San Francisco 20
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