Brock Purdy, 49ers get revenge on Eagles with long-awaited defeat

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PHILADELPHIA — Brock Purdy didn’t need much of a reminder that this is where his improbable rookie run ended, his elbow in tatters, his dream of a Super Bowl appearance dashed by a 31-7 rout in the 2022 NFC Championship game. .

“It was kind of on my mind,” the San Francisco 49ers quarterback said. “Yes, I got hurt here. That was this year.”“.

What difference can less than 12 months make?

The 49ers overcame a slow start on Sunday to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 42-19 for their long-awaited revenge on last postseason. These two teams are going Top contenders in the NFC That hasn’t changed since the game in late January, but the Niners dominated the rematch.

“I thought our team did a really good job of dealing with the noise — both on the field and (the media) making it bigger than it was,” George Kittle (four catches, 68 yards) told USA TODAY Sports. . “I think the biggest part of it is they’re the only seed and we’re playing catch-up. So to come out here and get the win was great for us.”

Offensively, the Niners’ first quarter couldn’t have been worse. They’ve run six plays over three straight games. Purdy looked disturbed. Eagles Edge forward Haason Reddick reintroduced himself with a sack on Purdy’s second snap, and Josh Sweat pressured him on the next play.

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It was Reddick whose hit derailed the Niners’ run in the championship game by causing an elbow injury to Purdy that required offseason surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament.

“That was a football game, that happened,” Purdy said. “He was trying to get the ball in the last game, that’s how it all happened, so in this game, they have a lot of other good players, we weren’t just saying, ‘Haason Reddick, we’ve got to be careful.’

“Obviously we honored him and respected him and what he did, but were you worried about him going into the game? No, that’s what the entire defense was doing. He’s a great player, and that’s where we’re at.”

The arm looked fine on Sunday. Purdy was 19 of 27 for 314 yards and four touchdowns. He finished the first quarter 0-for-4 with 0 receiving yards. Over the final three quarters, the Niners responded — while answering the question of which team deserves to reside atop the NFC at this point in the 2023 campaign. San Francisco scored touchdowns on six straight drives, and the hometown fans went home with five minutes left in the game.

After playing on Thanksgiving for an extra three-day rest advantage over the Eagles, the Niners wore the Eagles down throughout the game. The improvements in the rushing attack — Christian McCaffrey scored a touchdown and ran for 93 yards on 17 attempts — and broken tackles from Deebo Samuel, who had three total touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing), and Purdy were evidence.

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Defensively, the Niners’ defense stopped the Eagles in the red zone and held them to two field goals in the first quarter. Entering the game, the Eagles had their best red zone offense dating back to Week 5, scoring touchdowns on 21 of 30 opportunities (including 10 of 10 since Week 9).

“It was tough to make two field goals, and despite all that, on the third possession we got the ball, they scored two, but we were only down by six,” Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said. “We got one drive together and got the lead back, so that was a big deal and a very good feeling.”

Shanahan said he’d seen from Purdy what the sophomore signal-caller had on tape for most of his 20 career starts that he didn’t panic when the first quarter went awry.

“I think that’s what I was most proud of,” Shanahan said. “Our guys were able to weather the storm.”

The Niners still trail the Eagles by one game in the conference standings, but they now own the head-to-head tiebreaker. And the Niners will be the Cowboys’ biggest fans next week when Philadelphia must travel to a “Sunday Night Football” game against NFC East rival Dallas.

“I loved how excited and prepared our team was for this game,” Shanahan said. “When you’re ready and ready to go, all the games are the same, but we understand how good they are. We understand their record. That always makes it a little bit bigger. So our guys were really excited about that challenge.”

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