This is the Championship Showdown: 49ers vs Eagles! Brock Purdy and the No. 4 seeded San Francisco 49ers look to keep their magic rolling against Jalen Hurts and the dominant No. 1 seeded Philadelphia Eagles for a trip to the Super Bowl. The matchup is viewable at 2:00 pm CST on CBS. Let’s break it down!
San Francisco 49ers
- QB Jimmy Garoppolo (Foot, OUT)
- CB Avonte Maddox (Toe, Questionable)
- Lane Johnson (Groin, Questionable)
Injuries and Implications
Both teams enter the contest with bumps and bruises, but nearly every non-IR player will be active for this game. Eagles’ starting nickelback Avonte Maddox will return to action tonight after recovering from his toe injury. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has taken the majority of the snaps against slot receivers in Maddox’s absence, so we may see him as well depending on the true health of Maddox.
Vegas Odds and Trends
San Francisco 49ers (+2.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
Implied Point Total: 49ers: 22.5 , Eagles: 24
- The 49ers are 12-2 ATS in 14 games this season against NFC opponents (1-4 ATS against AFC opponents).
- The 49ers are 5-1 ATS in games where Brock Purdy has played.
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of the 49ers’ last 5 games.
- Jalen Hurts is 7-1 ATS as a home starter this season.
- The total has gone OVER in 11 of Philadelphia’s last 15 games at home.
- Philadelphia is 8-1 SU in 9 games this season when the game total has finished UNDER 46.5 points.
The San Francisco 49ers
Brock Purdy cannot keep getting away with this. He produces Danger Plays at a high rate, yet has only four turnovers on the season. The rookie had his worst outing of the season against the Cowboys, failing to throw for a touchdown for the first time since Week 7. Gifted multiple dropped interceptions by the Cowboys’ defense, the 49ers were able to eke out a win. He won’t get the same luck twice. Similarly to the Cowboys, the Eagles’ defense is among the league leaders in interceptions and pressure rate. Unlike the Cowboys, the Eagles have two defensive coaches, D.K. McDonald and Tyler Scudder who spent years coaching Purdy at Iowa State. The crowd in Philly is going to be rowdy, and the defense is going to bring the heat. Expect a similar outing as last game with at least one turnover on top.
The @Eagles may have two secret weapons heading into Sunday's NFC Championship Game. @Pschrags introduces us to the X Factors: D.K. McDonald and Tyler Scudder. pic.twitter.com/PeTWIdg4z0
— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) January 26, 2023
With only 10 rush attempts, Christian McCaffrey’s usage on the ground was limited last week. He’s dealing with a calf injury, and Elijah Mitchell was just as effective on the ground against Dallas. Kyle Shanahan prefers to use the committee approach when he can, holding McCaffrey to 11.2 carries per game with Mitchell in the lineup. McCaffrey’s true fantasy value is in his receiving role, drawing more than five targets in six of his 11 games in San Francisco. That being said, he carries a high price tag, and the projected game script screams under. I’m fading McCaffrey in DFS and going cheap at running back.
Championship Showdown Prop No. 1: Christian McCaffrey UNDER 13.5 rushing attempts
Deebo Samuel’s best trait is his elite playmaking ability, turning his 4.2 (No. 102) Average Depth of Target into 11.3 (No. 69) Yards per Reception. He finds himself in a matchup against a defense whose starting nickleback is injured and has given up big plays to slot receivers all season. Whether it’s Avonte Maddox or Chauncey Gardner-Johnson covering Samuel, they’re going to get toasted. Richie James totaled seven receptions on 10 targets against the Eagles last week, attempting to get the receiver into open space. I expect a similar game plan from San Francisco and love Samuel’s $5700 price point in DFS (DraftKings).
Brandon Aiyuk draws a much tougher matchup, lining up across elite cornerback Darius Slay. Aiyuk’s opportunity has slightly regressed since Samuel’s return, compiling a disappointing five receptions across the past two contests. He’s surpassed the five-target mark in only three games since Purdy’s Week 13 takeover, as Purdy prefers to throw near the middle of the field. He’s a talented receiver with solid playmaking ability, but the matchup limits his ceiling too much to be valued in DFS.
George Kittle came to life with Purdy under center. He’s corralled at least four receptions in six of his last seven games and has scored seven touchdowns since Week 13. He thrashed the Cowboys last week, hauling in multiple deep passes en route to a 95-yard performance. The 49ers will have to get creative when scripting touches for Kittle, as the Eagles’ defense won’t give up the easy deep shots. I expect a much shallower target depth and fewer red zone opportunities, making him a fade in DFS.
The Philadelphia Eagles
Jalen Hurts is back in full force. He was slinging it early and often against the Giants, totaling 154 passing yards and three total scores in a game that was sealed by the end of the first quarter. Hurts was more comfortable with running the ball but smartly avoided taking unnecessary hits. He’s now scored at least one rushing touchdown in six of his last eight games, totaling 13 on the season. The MVP candidate will expose the secondary that’s allowed the No. 6-most yards to receivers and, if your sell out for the pass, will make plays through the ground. He’s responsible for over 60-percent of Philadelphia’s offensive touchdowns and is a solid DFS play if you’re looking to avoid the Mahomes/Burrow chalk.
Jalen Hurts is coming for the NFC Championship. #FlyEaglesFly
— PlayerProfiler (@rotounderworld) January 22, 2023
The number one rushing offense in DVOA lines up against the number two rushing defense in DVOA. Miles Sanders leads the Eagles backfield but has finished with 13 or fewer carries in seven of his 12 games since the Week 7 bye. While Sanders is an effective back, his elite offensive line has covered up his struggle to create yards for himself. He’ll need more than good run blocking tonight. The 49ers give up the fewest yards per carry to rushers and have yet to allow a 70-rushing yard performance this season. His lack of involvement in the passing game makes him touchdown dependent and a fade at his current DFS price (both Showdown mode and full-slate).
Championship Showdown Prop No. 2: Devonta Smith OVER 5 receptions.
I believe the Eagles are taking the “bad teammate” discourse surrounding A.J. Brown personally, and it will result in a big game. Philadelphia sports were founded on silencing haters, and that’s something Brown is an expert in. He’s also an expert in getting open, winning 47-percent of his routes. The 49ers’ secondary is susceptible to downfield throws and allow the No. 7-most touchdowns to receivers. They’ve allowed two consecutive alphas to record 10 receptions and 100 receiving yards, and Brown could very well make it three.
Devonta Smith made his true presence known this season, making a huge sophomore leap. He’s logged 10-plus targets in three of the last four games and hasn’t finished under eight targets since Week 9. He’s projected to see a lot of Deommodore Lenoir and Jimmy Ward, who have both struggled to keep opposing receivers in check. Smith has reached or cleared his receiving prop line of five receptions in seven straight contests and in 14 of 18 total games. The sophomore should continue his hot streak and make reception prop bettors very happy.
Dallas Goedert played a huge role in the Eagles’ brisk domination of the Giants, hauling in all five of his targets for 58 receiving yards and an acrobatic touchdown. He’ll play a 49ers defense that’s much tougher against tight ends than that of the Giants. Still, he’ll earn his fair share of opportunity, earning five or more targets in nine of his 13 games. He’s a solid bet to surpass his 45.5 receiving yard line, clearing the number in 9 of 13 games.
The books are calling for a close one with the Eagles favored by 2.5 points. Philadelphia has more offensive firepower, a much better quarterback, an equally-fierce defense, and will be playing in front of their home crowd. Purdy had a magical start to his career. There’s no doubt about that. However, we all know the fall-apart game is coming. The Eagles will win this game decisively and cover their 2.5-point spread with ease.
The point total is set at 46.5 points. Both teams prefer to lean on the run game – playing at a slower pace and dominating the time of possession. If Philadelphia gets up early, which I expect, it’ll be a slow grind through the rest of the game. The 49ers won’t abandon their run-first game plan until they absolutely have to, and their defense should be able to at least keep the game within reach. I don’t see the 49ers holding up their end of the bargain in terms of hitting the implied total. Philadelphia could go super-saiyan and put up 30-plus points themselves and ruin this pick, but I’m going with the under.
Prediction: Eagles 27-17