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Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk weigh in on 49ers-Eagles showdown

Nov 27, 2023 at 4:35 PM--

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The eagerly awaited Week 13 clash between the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles is on the horizon. Following a Thanksgiving roasting of the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers returned to the field on Monday for a bonus practice, gearing up for the NFC Championship Game rematch.

Wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk addressed reporters after practice, downplaying the emotional significance of Sunday's showdown between NFC powerhouses. Both players, vocal about their disappointment after last season's devastating defeat, had previously suggested that the better team failed to come out on top.

Regarding the upcoming rematch, Samuel told reporters, "I don't have no feelings right now. Just be ready for Sunday and see how it goes."

Samuel acknowledged the Eagles' impressive performance this season, emphasizing, "It's not about revenge. It's another game on the schedule. We're going to treat it like any other game."

When questioned about the next opponent, Aiyuk pointed out the obvious, referencing the Eagles' one loss this season and stating, "They're a good football team."

Neither player was eager to discuss the aftermath of the NFC Championship Game loss. Aiyuk promptly shut down reporters' questions, stating, "That's old."

Last season, we didn't witness what a healthy Brock Purdy could achieve against the Eagles' defense. The quarterback suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his throwing arm early in the contest, limiting the 49ers' offense and affecting head coach Kyle Shanahan's game plan.

When asked if he's excited to see Purdy play against the Eagles, Samuel said, "I'm excited to see Brock every day he steps out there on the field, whether it's practice, whether it's games, whatever it is. It's exciting that he's back."

The 49ers have rebounded impressively from last month's three-game losing streak, securing three consecutive victories since those defeats. They now have an opportunity to narrow the gap with the Eagles in the NFC playoff picture. At 10-1, Philadelphia boasts the NFL's best record, while the 49ers are in the driver's seat for the second seed in the NFC.

With an average of over 30 points in the last three games, a significant improvement from the 17 points scored in each of their three losses, the question arises: Has the offense reached its full potential yet?

"No, not yet. Not yet," responded Samuel. "It's still a lot of stuff that we have to work on. Just looking back at the third quarter we had (against the Seahawks), we just can't do things like that, and just go out there and play the ball that we know we can play."

Aiyuk takes pride in the 49ers' ability to rebound from their three-game skid and regain momentum. He was asked if the winning streak positions the team well for the crucial upcoming matchup.

"I think so," responded Aiyuk. "I think we wanted to win three games in a row regardless [of] whoever is coming up fourth, but we definitely feel like we're in a good spot after losing three in a row. To bounce back and win three in a row puts us in a better spot, for sure."

Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick recently shared candid thoughts on the offseason banter between the two teams.

"Talk is cheap," Reddick said via SportsRadio 94WIP. "You know, they get to come back in The Linc (Lincoln Financial Field). It was a lot of boo hoos last year, a lot of crying, a lot of what if, a lot of this, a lot of that. They get a chance to come back in here, line that s--t up, and prove it again."

While the 49ers may not desire to dwell on the past, winning Sunday's game would undoubtedly bring significant satisfaction.

"We definitely know what happened last season; a lot of words going back and forth," Aiyuk said. "But despite that, we got another opportunity [and] they have another opportunity to play football. I think most of the guys are excited for that."

When asked if he regrets any of his offseason comments, like calling Eagles cornerback James Bradberry "trash," Samuel simply stated, "I don't regret nothing I said."

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