Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Cowboys at 49ers: The good, the bad, and the ugly from the Divisional Round - Blogging The Boys
THE BAD - Dak Prescott. If you want to point fingers as to why the Dallas Cowboys were knocked out of the playoffs for the second year in a row by the San Francisco 49ers, look no further then their starting QB, Dak Prescott. He was far from the near-perfect QB he was in the Wild Card round against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. Instead, he reverted to his regular-season form by throwing two interceptions that the 49ers ended up turning into six points. Prescott’s INT’s have been a problem all season and ended up being the reason why their season ended.
The Cowboys choked in the clutch 5 times vs. 49ers in NFL playoffs - SB Nation
Dak Prescott nearly takes a sack on first play of potential game-winning drive. The Cowboys were lucky to get the ball back at all following their punt as 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell only needed to fall down in bounds on a first-down scamper to seal the game. So, facing a 94-yard field in front of them, Prescott and his offense went to work...sort of. On the first play of the drive, Prescott took the snap and escaped the pocket to his right, losing several yards of depth into his own end zone. As he neared the sideline, Prescott pumped the ball and proceeded to take a hit from defensive tackle Arik Armstead inside his own end zone. Miraculously, Prescott spun off and managed to get a pass off out of bounds.
Judging NFL playoff overreactions: How far can an injured QB take you? - ESPN+
The Cowboys will never win a Super Bowl with Dak Prescott at quarterback. Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. Forget that he came up small in the biggest moments Sunday. Forget that he threw a league-leading, career-high 15 interceptions in the regular season in spite of playing in only 12 games. Forget that he has yet to deliver more than one playoff win in a season. Look at the contract. He’s got a fully guaranteed $31 million coming next year and a non-guaranteed $34 million coming in 2024, and then he’s a free agent. The Cowboys have to have a conversation this offseason about whether they want to do another Dak extension. Anyone but me remember what an excruciating process that was the last time? The Cowboys have won 12 games in each of the past two regular seasons. They have been a very good team with Prescott as their quarterback. But they haven’t been to a conference championship game in more than a quarter of a century, and believe it or not, they face long-term questions about their most important position.
Jerry Jones: Playoff loss changes nothing about Mike McCarthy’s status - PFT
For the second straight postseason, the Cowboys lost to the 49ers. For the second straight postseason, the game ended with a questionable offensive decision from coach Mike McCarthy, an expert in offense. But the curious effort to set up a Stanford band-style play that never even got going will not have serious consequences for the man who drew it up. Asked by reporters after the 19-12 loss whether the outcome changes anything for owner Jerry Jones about McCarthy’s status, Jones said, “No. No. No, not at all.”
Eagles-49ers NFC Championship Game line changed quickly after opening - BGN
After opening up as 1.5-point home favorites against the San Francisco 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles are now favored by 2.5 points in the NFC Championship Game. This much according to our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook. The original spread would’ve had the 49ers as 1.5-point favorites on a neutral field. Now the line has San Fran as 0.5-point favorites in that hypothetical situation.
49ers open up as 2.5-point underdogs against the Eagles for the NFC Championship - Niners Nation
Good teams win. Great teams cover. And the 49ers have covered three games in a row and nine out of their last ten games after beating the Dallas Cowboys 19-12. The 49ers will be in an unfamiliar role against the Philadelphia Eagles next week. For the first time in three months, since San Francisco played the Kansas City Chiefs back in Week 7, the 49ers won’t be favored to win the game. DraftKings Sportsbook has the 49ers as 2.5-point underdogs, with the total on the game set at 45.5. Vegas is projecting an Eagles win around the score of 24-21.
Early pick against the spread for 49ers vs. Eagles 2023 NFC Championship Game - DraftKings Nation
Early pick ATS: Eagles -2.5. The Eagles and the 49ers haven’t faced off yet this season. The Niners grabbed a huge win over the Seahawks and managed to hold off the Cowboys to reach this point, but the Eagles may be where their fortune comes to an end. They bring an elite defense to the field, but without dismissing what Brock Purdy has done thus far in the season, facing Philadelphia on the road in such a high-stakes game is going to be an entirely new challenge. After Philly’s performance against the Giants, they should be able to cover this early spread.
Burrow-Mahomes IV, 49ers-Eagles Showdown! - Football Outsiders
1. Philadelphia Eagles (first in DVOA). The Eagles recorded 70 sacks, the highest total since the 1989 Vikings, and added five more against the Giants on Saturday. But they finished “just” second to the Cowboys in pressure rate. The Eagles ranked second against No. 1 receivers, fourth against No. 2 receivers, and sixth against tight ends in the regular season, but just 22nd against “other” receivers and 24th against running backs. So all the 49ers must do is protect Brock Purdy (who always scrambles to his left) from Haason Reddick and the others so he can avoid throwing to the receivers Darius Slay and James Bradberry are covering and target Christian McCaffrey instead. It’s possible, especially for the 49ers, but it won’t be easy.
The First Read: Six initial thoughts heading into Championship Sunday - NFL.com
4) The trenches take center stage in the NFC: If you caught Philadelphia’s Divisional Round win over the Giants on Saturday, you saw how the Eagles want to get down. They ran for 268 yards in that victory, marking the fifth time this season they’ve surpassed the 200-yard mark on the ground. The Eagles are simply at their best when they can fire up that rushing attack, both because they have a multitude of dynamic backs and because they have a quarterback in Jalen Hurts who thrives on designed runs. You put that kind of talent behind an exceptional offensive line, and good things are bound to happen. Philadelphia’s opponent on Sunday knows a thing or two about that as well. Only once during the 49ers’ current 12-game winning streak have they failed to surpass the 100-yard mark on the ground. They ranked eighth in the league in rushing in the regular season, and San Francisco’s Christian McCaffrey will be the most explosive player in either backfield. Like the Eagles, San Francisco’s offensive line can maul with the best of them. So, get ready to get physical with this one. Both teams like to impose their wills with their running games, and whoever does that better is winning.
An early look at the Eagles-49ers matchup - NBCSP
Purdy has been very good, but he does have a tremendous supporting cast. Christian McCaffrey had 746 rushing yards and a 4.6 average plus 52 catches for 464 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 games after being traded from the Panthers to the 49ers, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk went over 1,000 yards, tight end George Kittle had 765 yards and 11 touchdowns and versatile Deebo Samuel netted 864 scrimmage yards and five TDs. Defensively, the 49ers are led by Defensive Player of the Year candidate Nick Bosa, who led the NFL with 18 ½ sacks; veteran safety Tashaun Gipson, who had five interceptions; and safety Talanoa Hufanga, who had four. Dre Greenlaw and Fred Warner are among the best linebacker tandems in the NFL.
Giants’ coordinators Mike Kafka, Wink Martindale to interview for head coaching openings Sunday - Big Blue View
Obviously, the Giants wish both men the best, want them to succeed, and advance their careers. But losing either (or both) would complicate an already intriguing off-season. The undisputed strength of the Giants in their 2022 turnaround has been their coaching staff. Wink Martindale’s aggression and exotic blitz schemes helped cover a plethora of deficiencies in the Giants’ defense. Kafka’s willingness to evolve his scheme, identify opponents’ tendencies, and put players in position to maximize their strengths helped the team navigate a flawed and constantly shifting depth chart — as well as keep opponents guessing.
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