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49ers Throwback: San Francisco’s Unsung Rival

Dec 5, 2023 at 5:08 PM--

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During the week of the NFC Championship Game rematch between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles, players and fans of both teams talked a lot of trash about the upcoming game. Many fans of the 49ers believed if quarterback Brock Purdy did not get hurt in last season's playoff meeting, the Niners would have beaten the Eagles, earning a Super Bowl rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 49ers lost 31-7 and watched the Eagles play in the biggest game of the year.

In the week leading into the season's most-hyped game, Eagles linebacker Hassan Reddick spoke to Dave Uram of KYW News radio, declaring that talk is cheap.

"You know, they get to come back in The Linc," Reddick said. "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."

49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel said the Eagles' secondary was not that good and called cornerback James Bradberry trash on the "I Am Athlete" Podcast and doubled down when the 2022 second-team All-Pro corner was called for defensive holding with 1:54 left in the Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs, with the game tied, 35-35. The penalty on Bradberry put the Chiefs in position to milk the clock and kick the eventual game-winning field goal to win Super Bowl LVII 38-35.

Samuel was asked about his comments on Nov. 27th and said he does not regret his remarks. Bradberry turned the other cheek when asked about Samuel's trash comments.

"I just focus one day at a time," Bradberry said. "Of course, I don't necessarily like what he said. I wish you to use a better word to describe my play, but it is what it is. At the end of the day, all I can do is control my work ethic and what I do."

Despite Bradberry not wanting to cause trouble, Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown told fans to troll Samuel. Eagle's fans took to Twitter, calling quarterback Brock Purdy a geek. Another fan declared that Philly is where "real men" play.

After the 49ers' 42-19 domination over the Eagles, Niner fans took to social media to let the Philly fanbase know the 31-7 NFC Championship Game loss was a fluke.

While the 49ers have a more notable history with the Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Las Vegas Raiders, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, and the New York Giants, their games with the Philadelphia Eagles have been epic.

49ers great Joe Montana showed his toughness in a Week 3 matchup during the 1989 season when the Eagles defense, led by the late great Reggie White, pummeled Montana on the Veterans Stadium astroturf, sacking him eight times. In the fourth quarter, the 49ers were down 21-10 before Montana would mount a comeback by throwing four touchdown passes in an epic 38-28 win.

The Eagles had their share of wins over the 49ers, beating them in a Monday Night thriller 37-34 during the 1993 season and embarrassing them 40-8 in a Week 5 game during the 1994 season.

The two teams played a couple more times, including a 14-0 49ers win in the 1996 playoffs, but none as memorable as a Week 15 game during the 2001 season and arguably one of the best goal-line stands of all time.

With the 49ers up 6-3 going into the fourth quarter, the Eagles had seven shots at punching the ball into the end zone when they were inside the Niner 10-yard line.

In four attempts, Philly failed to get the ball into the endzone after getting to the one-yard line, including a play that saw 49ers linebacker Derek Smith tackle quarterback Donovan McNabb on fourth down. However, safety Lance Schulter was called for defensive holding, giving the Eagles another set of downs at the 49ers' one-yard line.

Eagles running back Duce Staley did not break the plain on first and second down, but Smith intercepted a McNabb pass in the endzone on third down. The 49ers marched down the field and scored on a Jeff Garcia 32-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens, hanging on to win the 13-3 thriller.

The two teams split victories during the following seasons, but the 49ers traded wide receiver Terrell Owens to the Eagles in 2004. Their Week 2 matchup would intensify the rivalry.

Owens had a monster game against his former team with five receptions for 143 yards and two touchdowns in an Eagles 42-3 route over the 49ers.

Another notable game in this rivalry was when the 49ers beat "The Dream Team" in a Week 4 matchup during the 2011 season.

During the previous offseason, the Eagles signed key free agents—running back Ronnie Brown, cornerbacks Nnamdie Asomugha and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, defensive tackle Jason Babin, wide receiver Steve Smith (the former USC Trojan Steve Smith), guard Evan Smith, and quarterback Vince Young.

In the Week 4 game, Philly jumped out to a 23-3 lead until the 49ers took control of the second half with Alex Smith touchdown passes to wide receiver Josh Morgan and tight end Vernon Davis.

After a Frank Gore 12-yard touchdown run to take a 24-23 lead with 3:05 left in the game, defensive tackle Justin Smith forced a Jeremy Maclin fumble that was recovered by safety Dashon Goldson and sealed the 49ers victory.

A 17-11 49ers victory in a Week 2 matchup during the 2021 season saw another goal-line stand.

The 49ers' beatdown of the Eagles on Sunday added another chapter in this rivalry that no one talks about, and maybe we can start calling these two teams rivals.

The 49ers lead the overall season 21-15-1 in the regular season and are 1-1 against each other in the playoffs.
  • Written by:
    Sports has been my first love since I was 12 years old. At one point I wanted to play football professionally. I started to take photography as a hobby in my teenage years but this was when I followed sports. I started to listen to sports radio, I found my true calling and it was to be a sports talk show host. Though I follow football and basketball, I started to have a new love of cultures around the world. After graduating from San Antonio College in 2018, I worked for the Castroville News Bulletin before going to A&M San Antonio to get my communications degree. Since I have written for the Ranger of San Antonio College, the News Bulletin and the Mesquite of Texas A&M San Antonio, I met many people and went to a lot of events. My major milestone was being in the press box of the San Antonio Commanders game for the Mesquite and being apart of a press conference with the Medina County Sheriff and other local news outlets. When I am not doing anything, I like to watch old cartoons on the DC Universe, play video games such as Mega Man and the Mass Effect series. I have also created Youtube channel called "Anger Management" with my friend Aaron Donnell.
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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