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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Young in awe of Super Bowl-favorite 49ers

Dec 7, 2023 at 7:15 AM--

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Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young is among those impressed by the San Francisco 49ers' dominant performance against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Everyone expected a more competitive game, especially given the pre-game banter between the two teams and the bad blood built since last season's NFC Championship Game.

The Eagles seemed the superior team in the first quarter of the much-hyped Week 13 clash, moving the ball up and down the field at will while the 49ers stumbled. However, a turnaround occurred in the final three quarters, revealing the 49ers to be the team on a different level.

The victory was particularly satisfying for fans seeking redemption for last season's playoff loss to the Eagles. The 49ers not only delivered the victory but embarrassed the defending NFC champions with a 42-19 win.

Following the beatdown, San Francisco ascended to the top of power rankings, solidifying its status as the Super Bowl favorite among analysts and oddsmakers.

"We're better than we were in January," Young said Wednesday on KNBR's "Tolbert and Copes" show. "As long as we stay healthy, I hate to do this, but it's easy on the radio from 30,000 feet, like, yeah, lock it up. Super Bowl. The talent that comes out of that locker room at receiver, two top-five receivers, a top-five tight end, running back, a quarterback that just really understands the system, [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan].

"Everyone says Kyle loves to run the ball. Really? Kyle loves to smash people in offense, and if you give him a chance, he will eat you up. Such innovation, such cool stuff they did last week. ... Very tight guardrails, right? Very few mistakes, balls coming out, and Kyle just works that system so perfectly.

"I don't want to, in early December, say this team's locked for the Super Bowl, but … without injury, how does anyone beat them? They look as good and talented as a team has been since the Cowboys of the early 90s, ours of the early 90s. They look that good top to bottom."

It's no coincidence that Young is comparing this 49ers team to his own of the early 90s. San Francisco ranks third in scoring, averaging 29.3 points per game. That puts the team on pace for 498 points this season, which would be just shy of the franchise record of 505 points set by Young's 1994 squad.

Young continued to emphasize that he understands there remains a lot of football to be played, and things can change quickly in the NFL. However, it's tough to ignore what the 49ers did on Sunday against the Eagles and their earlier performance against the Dallas Cowboys. San Francisco has outscored the two NFC powerhouses 84-29.

"Again, the top-five defensive line, top-five linebacking corps," Young continued. "We have to say, '[general manager] John Lynch, wow.' Wow to put together this roster and Kyle to deploy them that way. And it's a wow from top to bottom. We know we have to go play them. We know that you can get beat. You know that this is not a lock. I'm smart enough to not say it seriously because you know you have a lot of work to do. I get that.

"But everything about it, getting them healthy and really kind of rolling into Philadelphia with a dark, grizzly kind of ... let me just punch you in the mouth with six straight touchdowns. Let me just do that. Two a quarter for fun. We're just going to chill for a quarter and then we're going to punch you in the mouth for three quarters and [you'll] have no answer for it. That just doesn't happen in big games against the biggest teams."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Young below.

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