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20 quick observations from the 49ers ugly NFC Championship Game loss

Marc Adams
Jan 30, 2023 at 7:40 AM--

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I will not admit the Philadelphia Eagles are better than the San Francisco 49ers. Perhaps that makes me petty. I'm ok with that. I just don't believe the Eagles are better than the 49ers. They were better yesterday, though, and that's what matters.

That was one of the ugliest, strangest games I've ever seen. It was painful to watch. And to their credit, the Eagles took advantage and defeated the 49ers 31-7 to advance to the Super Bowl.

Earlier Sunday morning, I released a video with my three things the 49ers had to do to win the game. Those three things were:

  1. Don't turn the ball over.
  2. Keep Jalen Hurts from beating you with his legs.
  3. Run the ball.

They failed on two of the three. Losing your starting quarterback will do that. The 49ers played with one arm tied behind their back, and when Josh Johnson went down, they played with both arms behind their back. Literally.

Here are my observations from the game:

  • The 49ers kickoff team makes me nervous.
  • The 49ers' defense looked pathetic on that first Eagles touchdown. Not sure they would've stopped that running back even if they were playing flag football.
  • That was a bad decision by Kyle Shanahan to not challenge the DeVonta Smith drop on the opening drive.
  • Why was Tyler Kroft responsible for blocking Hassan Reddick? Kroft can't block Reddick
  • Neither can George Kittle, evidently. He missed Reddick altogether on one play.
  • Between turnovers, injuries and a failure to use one of your challenges, this was just a horrendous start for the 49ers. It didn't get much better either.
  • That was a strange first quarter.
  • Josh Johnson is not a good QB, by the way.
  • Punt returns in playoff games terrify me. Thanks, Kyle Williams.
  • Christian McCaffrey. Unreal. He hurdled one guy, bounced off another couple, and broke a few other tackles on that touchdown run. Wow!
  • That 14-play touchdown drive by the Eagles to answer the 49ers' touchdown was huge. It gave the momentum and the lead back to Philly.
  • The running back wasn't touched on either of the first two Philly touchdowns. Ridiculous.
  • Two first-half turnovers. Enough said.
  • The 49ers seem cursed at the QB position. Is this the penalty for having back-to-back Hall of Famers?
  • Not a great game by the offensive line. Especially the interior.
  • Charvarius Ward had a great game. Those two deep pass breakups were big time. And Deommodore Lenoir held his own, as well.
  • The story of this game can be told by three things: QB injuries, turnovers, and 11 penalties for 81 yards.
  • The "roughing the punter" penalty stole my soul. That's when I knew it was over. (I thought that was a bad call, by the way. It looked like Jordan Mason was pushed into the punter.)
  • I'm not sure why Purdy was in there if he couldn't throw. I realize there wasn't really anything else to do, but maybe use McCaffrey in the wildcat. It probably wouldn't have worked, but you never know. At least it would have been 11 on 11, instead of 10 on 11.
  • Why was Jimmy Garoppolo smiling on the sideline so much? That bugged me.

It was a great season, but a disappointing ending. What's frustrating is that the score makes it look more lopsided than it was. The 49ers stayed in it, even though they couldn't pass the ball, until things unraveled in the 4th quarter.

On to the offseason.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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