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“May the best team win”: Deebo Samuel anticipates exciting 49ers-Eagles matchup

Nov 28, 2023 at 1:22 PM--

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This Sunday features one of the most anticipated matchups of the season. The San Francisco 49ers (8-3) will travel to face the Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) in a rematch of last season's NFC Championship Game. The Eagles are riding a five-game winning streak, while the 49ers have won three straight since stumbling through October.

Fans have had the Week 13 matchup circled on their calendars since the schedule was released in May.

"We know everybody's going to be riled up for this game, and we just got to stay level-headed and just go out there and play Niner football," wide receiver Deebo Samuel told Kay Adams on Tuesday morning.

Any loss leaves a bitter taste, but a playoff loss is particularly devastating. Samuel, who has been to the NFC Championship Game three times in his career and lost twice, acknowledges that last season's defeat in Philadelphia feels like a distant memory. He insists that Sunday's matchup is just another game on the schedule.

"You always got that bitter taste in your mouth," Samuel said. "What is it going to take to get over that hump to get where we want to be, and we just got to do what we've been doing all season long besides the three losses that we had."

In last season's NFC title game, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy suffered a UCL injury early on, and his backup was knocked out of the contest. This limited the offense, forcing the team to become one-dimensional, relying solely on its rushing attack.

This week, linebacker Haason Reddick shared his honest thoughts about 49ers players downplaying the Eagles' success in the NFC Championship Game, beating an injury-hampered team.

"Talk is cheap," declared Reddick. "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."

What does the 49ers wideout think about those comments?

"Hey, man, we'll catch you on Sunday," Samuel responded.

49ers players are eager to showcase what their healthy team can do against the Eagles. The game presents an opportunity for San Francisco to close the gap on Philadelphia in the race for home-field advantage in the playoffs.

When asked what he is looking forward to the most, Samuel responded, "We just have a healthy Niner team, and just the matchup. All the trash talk and all this has been going back and forth, whether this person is that person or whatever. But I feel like we have a healthy team right now. I'm just looking forward to get out here and go against these guys."

Samuel added, "We know we're coming out there and playing Niner football. And, hey, we playing pretty good ball right now. I feel like it's going to be a good matchup, and may the best team win."

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