Super Bowl LVII – Playoff 1: 29/01/2023, 8:00pm
The San Francisco 49ers travel to Philadelphia on Sunday (start time 8pm UK time) as the NFC’s top two seeds clash for a place in Super Bowl LVII.
Led by rookie seventh-rounder Brock Purdy at quarterback, the 49ers are riding a 12-match unbeaten streak as they prepare for their third Championship appearance in four years.
The Eagles followed up their first-round bye with a 38-7 dismantling of NFC East rivals the New York Giants.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts amassed just 154 passing yards as Kenneth Gainwell, Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Hurts himself combined for a monster 268 yards on the ground.
More will likely be needed from Hurts’ arm if the Eagles are to advance to a second Super Bowl in five years, with the 49ers defense boasting the lowest yards per carry allowed in the NFL this season.
Despite Nick Sirianni’s offense becoming synonymous with the run over the last year and a half, the key to the Eagles’ offensive success this year has been their explosiveness through the air.
This season, Eagles quarterback Hurts has the most touchdowns and highest passer rating in the NFL when attempting passes over 25 yards.
Meanwhile on passes of over 25 yards, the 49ers defense has given up a 41% completion rate, allowing 687 yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions and a passer rating of 106.6, the fifth-worst figure in the NFL.
Despite being led by Purdy, the third quarterback on their depth chart going into the season, the 49ers offense has only risen in confidence since acquiring running back Christian McCaffrey earlier in the year.
The elite receiving corps of Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk has helped Purdy lead his offense to number one ranks in points per game, yards per play, EPA per play, yards per pass and yards per rush since taking over from Jimmy Garoppolo in week 13.
With so much talent on the field and so little to separate the two teams, the difference may come from the trenches.
Both teams possess strong offensive and defensive lines, but the Eagles have been the league’s dominant force on both sides this year and boast both a superior pass block win rate and pass rush win rate than the 49ers.
- Five straight Philadelphia playoff games have gone under the points total.
- AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith have combined for 2,692 yards, 183 receptions and 18 touchdowns this season.
- 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey has scored at least one touchdown in his last eight games.
- The Eagles have produced 15 more sacks than any other NFL defense (70).
- The Eagles are 8-2 at Lincoln Financial Field this season and are outscoring opponents there by an average of 10.4 points.
- Eagles -2 and under 45.5 points.
- AJ Brown over 69.5 yards – 17/20
- C McCaffrey anytime TD scorer – 4/5
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