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49ers’ 5 Keys to Victory vs. Eagles

Dec 2, 2023 at 7:15 AM--

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The second-place San Francisco 49ers (8-3) head to Philadelphia to take on the first-place Philadelphia Eagles (10-1). The Eagles' only loss this season came against the New York Jets in Week 6. The 49ers and the Jets have a similar defensive system. If San Francisco wants to improve to 9-3 and inch closer to the top seed in the NFC, they must stick to the "Keys to Victory."

Run the Ball

The Eagles' run defense is ranked third in the NFL. They are stingy against the run. The 49ers' run offense is ranked sixth, averaging 138 yards per game. Christian McCaffrey will be the toughest challenge for the Eagles. They haven't faced a top-ten running back all season long and are about to face the number-one running back.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan needs to ensure that running the ball is a priority for the team. It will establish balance and allow quarterback Brock Purdy to get into an early rhythm. Expect a mixture of McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell, also known as "Lethal Weapon." If you've seen the movie, you'll get the reference.

If the 49ers continue running the ball successfully, the passing game will fall right into place.

Attack the Secondary

The Eagle's secondary is ranked 29th in the NFL, allowing almost 256 passing yards per game. Purdy is notorious for attacking the middle of the field, where the Eagles are most vulnerable. Expect Shanahan to game plan against the linebackers and the safeties in this game.

Tight end George Kittle may have a career day against the Eagles. Philadelphia will try to double wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. If you're a Deebo Samuel fantasy football owner, get ready to cash in.

Shadow A.J. Brown

The best Eagles player is All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Brown. The 49ers must match their best cornerback, Charvarius Ward, on Brown the whole game. This matchup should be a "My Buddy" type for Charvarius Ward. Where he (Brown) goes, I go.

The 49ers defense only allowed four receptions and 28 yards to Brown in last season's NFC Championship Game. If the 49ers can lock Brown down, Hurts and the Eagles will be forced to choose a different option. Expect Brown to line up in the slot if the Eagles can't get him going early. As long as Ward is in coverage, Brown will be on lock.

Contain Hurts

The 49ers must contain Jalen Hurts at all costs. Although Hurts will look to throw the ball, he will take off and run if the coverage is tight. Containing Hurts will be a massive task for Dre Greenlaw and the other 49ers linebackers. San Francisco doesn't use a spy but expect them to allow Fred Warner and Greenlaw to show spy-like tendencies against Hurts.

The defensive ends must set the edges so that Hurts cannot bounce to the outside. The 49ers need to try to get Hurts into as many third-and-long situations as they can, which will limit him in the game. Since San Francisco has the second-ranked run defense, expect them to show no mercy against the run. The edges must be disciplined and not over-pursue in their pass-rush attack.

Just Be Themselves

The team's identity seemed lost in the 49ers' three defeats this season (Browns, Vikings, and Bengals). It almost seemed the 49ers were doing too much and forgot how to play their brand of football. Since the Bye Week, the 49ers are on a three-game winning streak, and the team has found its identity in all three phases of football.

The offense must be in a rhythm and balanced in the run-and-pass game. The defense must fly around and play relentlessly instead of thinking and reacting late. Special teams need to continue making plays. The coaches must all be on the same page and play at one speed.

"All gas, No Breaks" is the mantra former defensive coordinator Robert Saleh (now head coach of the New York Jets) instilled in this defense. Isn't it ironic that the only loss handed to the Eagles was by the Jets, 20-14?

There's a 70-80% chance of rain on Sunday, but it shouldn't matter. The referees shouldn't matter. If the 49ers execute and play disciplined, they can improve to 9-3 and move one game closer to the number one seed. All they have to do is stick to the "Keys to Victory."
  • Written by:
    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.
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.

1 Comment

  • Cynic
    The Eagles best player is Hurts, not Brown. That said, the 49ers will win if Purdy plays like he usually does. That's easier said than done when facing the Eagles D-Line...... IN THE RAIN.
    Dec 2, 2023 at 9:38 AM

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