Conference Championship Liveblog: Mahomes v. Burrow IV

Chiefs WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Chiefs WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Conference Championship - A pair of heavyweight fights await us in the conference championships, as four of the best five teams in the regular season have survived to the final two. No underdogs; no Cinderella stories, just four of the very best going head-to-head with a trip to Arizona on the line.

...The Super Bowl, I mean. Maybe they'll take a trip to the Grand Canyon or something too, but they can do that on their own time.

In the early game, we have a battle of the best team over the first half of the season versus the best team over the second half of the season, with Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers travelling to Philadelphia to take on Jalen Hurts and a fully-recovered Eagles team. The 49ers slipped past Dallas in a defensive smashfest one week ago, while the Eagles bulldozed the Giants into the Lincoln Financial Field turf. Barring something historic, your winner will have the better DVOA going into the Super Bowl.

And in the late game, we have the rematch. Last year, the Cincinnati Bengals shocked the world, continuing their surprise postseason run by knocking the Kansas City Chiefs off in the AFC Championship, 27-24. Underdogs no more, the Bengals come into Kansas City having beaten Patrick Mahomes and company three times in their last three games.  Can they make it four in a row, or will Mahomes finally get past them while standing on one leg?

Because we're live, you can participate in the discussion as well! Join in on the conversation -- either in the comment section in this article, on Twitter by tagging @FBOutsiders or @BryKno, or on our brand new Discord server, where some of your favorite writers will be hanging out and reacting live.

On paper, it's the closest set of championship matches in the 21st century. We could be in for an all-time great weekend. Let's get it started.

NFC Championship: 49ers at Eagles

The 49ers season was surely over when their starting quarterback, Trey Lance was knocked out for the year. And then it was surely over again when their old starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, was knocked out for the year. And yet, here they are, Brock Purdy and all, standing tall. They haven't lost since October, and have rarely even been challenged as they've racked up 12 straight wins, the franchise's longest since the 1989-90 teams which won back-to-back Super Bowls. They look nigh-unstoppable.

And yet, they're 2.5-point underdogs, because the Eagles are once again the Eagles. They too, looked next to unstoppable before Jalen Hurts went down with a shoulder injury in early December, leading to them struggling their way to the finish line with backup in key positions across the roster. But Hurts is back. Lane Johnson is back. Avonte Maddox is back.  The Eagles are back, and they showed last week that when they are firing on all cylinders, their run game is going to cause problems for anyone and everyone; and that's before A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith get going on the outside.

Our stat preview bills this as strength versus strength, with both teams well set up to attack the other. Will the Eagles' pass rush knock the rookie Purdy off his game? Can Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw take away the middle of the field entirely?  Will Jalen Hurts take advantage of the 49ers' historic struggles against running quarterbacks? Can the Eagles figure out how to cover Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel at the same time? It's a great matchup no matter who you're rooting for, and it's amazing that it's the undercard here.

AFC Championship: Bengals at Ankles

...Chiefs. I meant Chiefs.

The story overshadowing this is, of course, Patrick Mahomes and his high ankle sprain. Mahomes has no gameday injury status; not even questionable because there's no question he's playing. He was all listed as a full participant in every Chiefs practice leading up to this week, but so much of that happened behind closed doors that we're still a little in the dark to just how well he'll be able to move and step into his throws. The uncertainty about Mahomes' health has caused this line to swing back and forth; both teams have been favored at one point or another, but it seems to have settled in at Kansas City -1.5.

The Bengals still have question marks of their own with all the injuries on the offensive line, though that didn't stop them from handling the Bills last weekend. No snow today to slow down the Chiefs' pass rush, but we don't want to give all the credit to the weather or the Bills' banged up defensive line; the backup Bengals more than held their own in a situation many thought would be hopeless. And so they get another crack at a team they've, well...

They're calling it Burrowhead, but all three matchups between Mahomes and Joe Burrow have been very, very close. The Bengals are 3-0, but that's by a combined margin of nine points -- any or all of them could have swung the other way. Well, woulda, coulda, shoulda -- the Chiefs could have gone to the Super Bowl last year, or could have earned home field advantage in 2021, but, well, they didn't. And until they prove they can beat this edition of the Bengals, that's going to hang over their heads.  Calling it Mahomes v. Burrow is hyperbolic, for sure -- we estimate the number of snaps they'll be on the field together at zero -- but that's the narrative that will exist until the moment it doesn't.

Will that be tonight? We'll have to wait and see.

1:06 PM: More Ankle News

The all-ankle network is here, with continuing coverage of Patrick Mahomes' most interesting joint.

Current reports have Mahomes getting 4-5 hours of treatment per day on his second-degree ankle sprain. As Aaron Schatz put it in out game preview, we have no idea how this is going to affect Mahomes, and while he's been moving around well in practice, that doesn't necessarily mean anything for the game itself. Some experts, including our old friend Will Carroll, suggests that it's mostly a matter of pain tolerance, and that Mahomes' may have particularly stretched and loose ankle ligaments because, well, he's been here before. This is at least his third high ankle sprain, and ligaments stretch and loose elasticity with enough damage, which may make each successive injury less impeding. Not less painful, mind you, but still giving range of motion.

I would like to avoid having multiple high ankle sprains to find out, thank you very much.

1:37 PM: 49ers-Eagles Injury Report

The health of the 49ers' running backs was a story all week, with both Elijah Mitchell and Christian McCaffrey missing some practices with groin and calf injuries, respectively. McCaffrey is good to go, but Mitchell is out; meaning we should see plenty of Jordan Mason -- unless it is finally Tyrion Davis-Price season!

Note: It is never Tyrion Davis-Price season.  He is also inactive. So is Ambry Thomas, who continues to battle an ankle injury and has yet to appear in the postseason.  As is Jimmy Garoppolo, who tried to get back for this one as a backup, but just is not ready yet. But Deebo Samuel, who was limited with a ankle injury earlier in the week, is up and ready to go.

As for the Eagles? They have no notable inactives. Lane Johnson and Avonte Maddox are playing through injuries, but they are playing. So they're as close to full strength as you can expect for a team at the end of January.

2:01 PM: Young Men

A lot has been made of Brock Purdy's age -- he just tuned 23 in December, and he'd be the first rookie quarterback to start a Super Bowl, should the 49ers get through this one. But it's not like Jalen Hurts is a grizzled veteran or something!  Hurts is only 24, and the combined age of Hurts and Purdy is the lowest for a conference championship in NFL history. Heck, they're almost younger combined than Tom Brady is1

The two have met before, actually -- they were the starting quarterbacks in an exciting game back in 2019. Hurts and ninth-ranked Oklahoma had a 42-21 lead entering the third quarter, but Purdy threw three touchdown passes in the final frame as Iowa State clawed their way back. They opted to go for the two-point conversion, the win and the upset...but came up just short.

Wouldn't mind a game of that quality today.

2:39 PM: A Deebo Day?

Deebo Samuel hasn't had more than four carries in a game since Week 1, when he had eight in the slop in Chicago. But with Elijah Mitchell out, McCaffrey maybe slowed down, and a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, could we see the return of the Wideback?  It's a card the 49ers have to play they haven't really used this year.  Samuel's over/under for rushing yards is 28.5; the over is very tempting...

3:16 PM: Eagles Strike on Fourth

We're one drive in, and we've already seen some chippyness on both sides, pushing and shoving after the opening kickoff.  We've seen Fred Warner leave the field with a shoulder injury, though he quickly came back. We also may have seen the best catch of the postseason, on fourth down to boot.

DeVonta Smith gets the first deep shot reception against the 49ers "must give up one deep shot" defense, and Miles Sanders punches it in from there.  The 49ers are getting pressure, but Hurts has been doing a solid job getting out of it so far, and the Eagles draw first blood.

3:25 PM: Eagles Benefit from Two Reviews

That Smith catch?  It wasn't -- it hit the ground. But Kyle Shanahan and company didn't challenge in time, and so it goes down as a complete pass, setting up the touchdown.

And then, on the 49ers ensuing drive, Hassan Reddick comes around edge and obliterates Brock Purdy as he's throwing.  It's ruled an incomplete pass at first, but upon review, the ball came out before Purdy's arm was going forward -- a fumble; Eagles ball.  Big early swings in Philadelphia's favor early...

3:36 PM: Brock Purdy Injured

Well, it's time for QB4 in San Francisco.

Brock Purdy hurt his wrist and elbow on the sack-fumble. He is out of the game at the moment, and was seen mouthing "I can't" on the sideline.  Josh Johnson is in; the 49ers are now down to their fourth-string quarterback.

And, as I'm typing this, Nick Bosa goes down on one knee, as the Eagles crash into him out of bounds on the punt.  It's safe to say this could be going slightly better for the 49ers at this point

4:00 PM: A Weird, Weird Game

Alright, so, since the last update, the Eagles punted which may or may not have hit a wire?  And we all just hung around for about 10 minutes as the refs tried to determine whether or not the ball hit the skycam, and then they just shrugged their shoulders and said they had no idea.

Then the 49ers, gifted with great field position, went backwards, as you might expect with Josh Johnson at quarterback.  And then they punted, and pinned Philadelphia deep, and then they went three-and-out.

Other than the Eagles first drive, there hasn't been much offense, is what we're saying.

4:08 PM: Christian McCaffrey: Greased Like a Philadelphia Lightpole

The 49ers' defense gave San Francisco the ball in good field position, and Shanahan decided to turn to the midseason acquisition that got them here -- Christian McCaffrey.

On the ensuing drive, CMC caught a couple passes for 18 yards, ran for a first down, and then decided to turn on the noclip cheat, and slip through roughly ten zillion tackles on his way to the end zone.

And we are somehow tied at 7-7.

4:27 PM: Eagles Running Game (And the Refs) Taking Over

This drive, which felt like it took three and a half hours but actually took just 6:53 off the clock, featured two things -- significant gains on the ground by both Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell...

And repeated defensive penalties.  The 49ers are up for 5 penalties for 23 yards, with Philadelphia picking up three first downs on fouls on this drive alone. All the penalties were penalties; no phantom calls, but they were also ticky-tack. You sometimes hear about the refs letting players play in championship games. They are, uh, not doing that today.

Vince Verhei: Man, 49ers have so many impact defenders -- Bosa, Warner, Greenlaw, Hufanga all looking like monsters today -- but the Eagles are doing enough at the point of attack to make it irrelevant and get Sanders into the end zone.

The Eagles take a 14-7 lead; we'll see how aggressive the 49ers want to be with QB4.

4:34 PM: Josh Johnson Turns It Right Back Over

Quarterback four may be a step too far for the 49ers.  The 49ers try to aggressive, but Johnson can't handle a snap, and turns the ball right back over to the Eagles.

Boston Scott turns that into points, and the Eagles are going to take a 21-7 lead into half.  A nightmare finish to the first half for San Francisco.

4:42 PM: Halftime

Vince Verhei: Eagles finished the first half with seven first downs on the ground. That ties the Raiders in Week 17 for the most rushing first downs against San Francisco in the first half this year.  So yeah, Philly leads 21-7 and it feels like it should be a lot worse. Better decisions/throws from Hurts and they could have another 10 points or more.

It's a disappointment here.  We'll see if the 49ers can make any second-half adjustments, but they're about one score from getting knocked out of this game entirely. That Johnson fumble to end the first half was a killer; big difference being down 14-7 (or 14-10?) and 21-7.  Hopefully, we'll see something of a game in the second half; otherwise, we'll be turning things over to the AFC Championship soon...

5:01 PM: Josh Johnson Being Checked For a Concussion

Johnson has been taken off the field by the independent spotters, being checked for a concussion.

The 49ers do not have another quarterback.  Purdy came back in, just to hand the ball off, as they get Christian McCaffrey a helmet with a radio in it.

I don't know what else to say. This is a disappointment for all involved.

5:26 PM: Penalties Continue to Haunt San Francisco

The 49ers defense does what it needs to do and forces a punt -- but a roughing the punter call gives the Eagles another first down.  Philadelphia is beginning to just grind down the clock, and eat nearly eight minutes of it on their way to a Jalen Hurts sneak for a touchdown.

It's 28-7 with 15:43 left in the game, and I think we can more or less call this one here.  Disappointing game, as we were looking forward to strength-against-strength, but the Eagles will take it on their way back to the Super Bowl!

5:32 PM: Chiefs-Bengals Injuries

Travis Kelce's back spasms had him in a bit of doubt for this game, but he was apparently good to go in warm-ups. Oh, and Patrick Mahomes is active, too, in case there was ever any doubt!  As is Mecole Hardman, for the first time since Week 9.  Justin Watson, however, is out with an illness.  We'll see how healthy all these active players are, but they're all going to give it a go, at the very least.

As for the Bengals, the only injuries were the ones we knew about all week.  Alex Cappa and Jonah Williams technically could have played; they're not on injured reserve and Zac Taylor at least held out some hope for them coming in. But no, they were both ruled out, and so Cincinnati has the three backup linemen in.

6:02 PM: Frustrations Boiling Over

It seems the 49ers might be slightly frustrated with their season ending this way.

I get the feeling!  I mean, no, you shouldn't do this, have some composure, but this is a very frustrating way to go down. Lose, get blown out, sure, but to lose the ability to throw the ball forward? Eef.

Now, all that being said? The Eagles were the best team in the league until Hurts got hurt; they crushed the Giants. I'm hoping they'll be at 100% for the Super Bowl; it's a good thing their QB problems didn't derail their season. Their running game is a thing of ~beauty~ when it's going at full speed. I'm disappointed that we didn't get to see this game, but it's not like the Eagles couldn't have won this one at full strength -- their pass rush was what knocked Purdy out to begin with!  And with two weeks to rest, we're going to see a well-deserving NFC Champion in two weeks.  No matter which opponent they get, this should be an exciting one.  Assuming a quarterback remains standing!

6:49 PM: Cornerback Issues for Kansas City

The Bengals start with the ball first, and end up moving the ball two yards before being forced to punt; bouncing back and forth from penalties. More significant, however, is L'Jaruis Sneed going out after taking a shot to the head; he'll go right into concussion protocol, and the Chiefs may be down to three rookie cornerbacks...

6:57 PM: So Far, So Good for Injured Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes, who is playing without a pain injection, looks solid so far. The Chiefs are throwing the ball quickly, but Mahomes is moving without any visible signs of discomfort.  We'll see if he gets pressured some, but for now, things seem to be going alright.

Travis Kelce, who was questionable with back spasms, looks solid so far. He had a big catch and run to move the Chiefs into field goal range.  We'll see if he takes a shot at some point, but for now, things seem to be going alright.

The drive sputters there and it's just a field goal, but the Chiefs go up first, 3-0.

7:19 PM: Burrow Getting Buried, Chiefs Getting Cute

The Bengals offensive line might, indeed, be a problem.  Burrow has dropped back six times; he's been sacked on three of them and has generated -9 yards of offense.  They may need that to improve if they want to go forward.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs keep stalling out.  They keep getting a little cute, and, well...

The failed lateral was followed by another FAKED lateral, and an underhand pitch that was very fortunate to find the ground.  The Chiefs have to kick another field goal, so they're only up 6-0.

7:30 PM: Bengals Painfully Moving

Cincinnati's third drive is a bit more effective, with Tyler Boyd making a couple big receptions to move the Bengals down the field. They're interspersed, however, by more Chiefs sacks.

That's four sacks through a quarter and a half, which is very concerning for Cincinnati! The record for sacks in a conference championship game, by the by, is 9, last done by the 1984 49ers against Steve Fuller (and Walter Payton) and the Bears.  The Bengals have started working some screens in to try to take advantage of Kansas City's aggression, but they'll need to come up with a few more answers before all is said and done.

Cincinnati stalls out and kicks a field goal, so it's 6-3 as neither team has broken the seal of the end zone yet.

7:41 PM: Fourth And Go?

The Chiefs have been really, really bad in short-yardage this season, at least by the lofty standards of the Chiefs' offense.  They were 31st in the league in converting in short yardage situations. And they're not great in timeout usage, either, with Andy Reid calling his third time out of the half to discuss what do to on 4th & 1.

I'm not sure what the designed play was, but a backup play of "let Mahomes and Kelce work something out" seems efficient.

We finally have a touchdown, and the Chiefs lead 13-3.

7:47 PM: Burroh-no.

With the Chiefs out of time out, the Bengals need to make their possession the last of the half.  A score is ideal, but don't let Kansas City possibly triple up on you!

What is less than ideal, however, is Burrow throwing a pick.

Bad throw, and Jaylen Watson gets his second pick in as many weeks!  This one could snowball...

8:06 PM: Bengals Hold On

The Chiefs go three-and-out after the interception; great defense from Cincinnati to get the ball back. And then they do what they were trying to do on their previous drive -- using every second of the rest of the half and scoring.  It required a pass interference to keep things going, but Burrow hit Chase and Higgins for big gains to get them down to the goal line. Unfortunately, they ran out of time, and had to kick a field goal.  But they have at least cut the lead top to 13-6 at the half, and we're far from over here.

8:35 PM: TD Higgins!

The Chiefs go three-and-out to start the second half -- their second three-and-out in a row, which seems to be somewhat less than ideal.  Mahomes is beginning to look stiffer out there; he had one completion for negative yards on those two drives.

You know what's not a completion for negative yards? This Burrow-to-Higgins touchdown.

Heck of a catch there, and we're tied at 13.  Brand new ballgame, boys and girls...

8:56 PM: The Chiefs Strike Back

Mahomes is really beginning to limp around out there, taking a big hit, but the Chiefs have kicked things back into gear.  And, even though he's clearly feeling the pain, Mahomes is able to step up and make some absolute bullets of a throw.

That's a tough throw to make when your ankle isn't stabbing you repeatedly.  To make this throw in these conditions?  Just part of the legend of Mahomes.

20-13 Chiefs, midway through the third.

9:09 PM: Football Follies Finds the AFC Championship

This is not the kind of crazy nonsense you're used to seeing from Patrick Mahomes.

The Chiefs were beginning to drive, too, but Cincinnati now has new life...

9:15 PM: Ja'Marr Chase is Really Good at Football, You Guys

The Bengals are able to turn the turnover into points, thanks to this amazing fourth-down conversion from Burrow to Chase.

Chase vaults himself over double coverage, hauling in the deep shot and setting up a Samaje Perine touchdown a few plays later.  That is the play of the game so far; a huge swing in win probability that has us tied back at 20 a piece with 13:30 to go!

9:25 PM: Massive Confusion

There's a bizarre situation going on now.  The Chiefs ran a play on third down, was short, and came out to punt...but then the refs waved things off, and said the third down play never happened?  It turns out a ref was running, in trying to wave the play off, but no one saw it happen.  The clock operator screwed up, and the Chiefs got a free play and a first down.  Everyone got massively confused, but we keep going, I guess!  I'm sure no one is going to point to the free first-down the Chiefs got as being relevant in some way, yeah?  

It ends up not mattering, as the Chiefs punt it away anyway, but that was one of the odder sequences I can remember.

9:38 PM: Bengals Play with Fire and Get Burned

The Bengals have been taking deep shots all day long, with certain degrees of success.  But finally, finally, a Chiefs defender makes a play.

The tip drill probably isn't worse than a punt, when all is said and done, but I wonder if a higher-percentage pass could have kept the drive alive.

9:45 PM: Chiefs...Punt?

We have a battle of interesting decisions with 2:30 left in the game.  The Chiefs are stopped short, facing 4th & 9 from the Cincinnati 38.  But they commit holding to get there, and the Bengals could push them back 10 extra yards.  They decide to decline the penalty, forcing Reid into a decision...and the Chiefs punt.  Not sure any decision by anyone was correct there, but I'm sure will learn in about three minutes what the right decision was.

9:56 PM: Bengals Punt it Back!

After getting four sacks in the first half, the Chiefs' defense was shut out...until there were 41 seconds left, and Chris Jones got through for sack #5.  That sets up 4th and 16, and the Bengals have to give the ball back.  Mahomes might get the ball last...

9:57 PM: Chiefs Driving...

A huge Skyy More return and a Pacheco dumpoff have the Chiefs at the Bengals 47 with 19 seconds left.  They probably need 15 more yards to try a field goal; 20 to be comfortable with it.

10:00 PM: A Late Hit...

On 3rd and 4, Mahomes scrambles for a first down...and then is hit out of bounds.  It's not a huge hit, but it was clearly out of bounds, and that moves the ball into field goal range. What a costly penalty.

10:02 PM: It's Good!

Harrison Butker's kick is up and good!  The Chiefs take a 23-20 lead with three seconds remaining!

10:04 PM: Eagles v. Chiefs Super Bowl

The crazy lateral attempts on the kickoff fail, and the game is over. We'll have Chiefs and Eagles in the Super Bowl, a matchup of two franchises which have had to wait nearly half a decade since they last won!

...OK, maybe that's not as impressive as it would have been in 2015.

I think it's fair to say that we won't recall this as some of the greatest football ever played, but never you mind! We have a result, and the two #1 seeds are moving on to Arizona in two weeks.  Two weeks of the Andy Reid Bowl! Mahomes v. Hurts!  That Eagles run game against the flotilla of Chiefs receiving weapons!  Should be a good one, no matter how we got there, and we'll see you in two weeks!


234 comments, Last at 30 Jan 2023, 5:27pm

#1 by rh1no // Jan 29, 2023 - 9:30am

All of these teams are explosive enough to pull away from any opponent. And all of these teams have an Achilles Heel (or ankle or shoulder or starting quarterback or offensive line) that makes them vulnerable in this week's matchup.

It's just as easy to imagine Chris Jones wreaking havoc on Cincinnati's' patchwork offensive line as it is to picture Lou Anarumo's defensive schemes making life miserable -- again -- for a hobbled Mahomes. Could CMC rip off a couple of big runs to make the NFC Championship a lopsided affair? Absolutely. Could Jalen Hurts do the same? Absolutely.

For most of the season, I picked the Chiefs to best the 49ers and raise the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in 5 years ... and maybe that's the way it'll all play out. But after last week's dominant performances, I'm riding the Bengals and the Eagles to win the day.

Points: 1

#2 by Bob Smith // Jan 29, 2023 - 10:26am

I wonder if Purdy will be able to play better than Sanchez did in '09 when he set the Conf. Champ. game high mark for a Rookie with a Passer Rating of 93.3. I think Brock is capable of beating that mark.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             I also wonder if any of the other 3 QB's will be able to beat Jim Plunkett's Conf. Champ. game mark of 155.8 that he set in '80. If any of them can beat that, then I definitely like their and their teams' chance to win today.

Points: 1

#3 by OmahaChiefs13 // Jan 29, 2023 - 11:06am

or could have earned home field advantage in 2021


They didn't have the 1st seed in 2021, but once the Titans fell apart in the divisional round, that no longer mattered. The Chiefs still have yet to play a road playoff game in the Mahomes era.

Just struggling to understand how that statement would even have any relevance or currency. Certainly, their seeding had no real impact on the 2021 playoffs (unless you're trying to imply having the bye would have made a difference).

Points: 2

#5 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 12:03pm

Technically true. They were the home team for LV, but they were playing Tampa in Tampa.

Points: 2

#9 by OmahaChiefs13 // Jan 29, 2023 - 1:03pm

Yes...I wasn't counting "neutral site" (used advisedly for the last 2 SBs) games.

Points: 0

#11 by Bryan Knowles // Jan 29, 2023 - 1:17pm

I'm not suggesting that they would have won the game with the bye week or anything, but had they beaten the Bengals in the regular season, they would have avoided having to play in the wildcard round. That's all -- they could have had the bye, but they didn't because they lost to Cincinnati in the regular season.

Points: 2

#15 by OmahaChiefs13 // Jan 29, 2023 - 2:31pm

Fair enough. Potentially "could have had a bye" might have been a little less confusing...but it also could have just been me.

Points: 0

#6 by Kaepernicus // Jan 29, 2023 - 12:05pm

I was planning on betting the money line on the 49ers and Bengals but got too much amazing line action to pass up the spreads. I caught the Chiefs +2.5 and the 49ers +3. Those lines are amazing and really should not have existed. There is still a lot of sharp money fading the Purdy experience. They have been doing it for weeks and losing consistently. I have been rolling on the other side of that bet. The worst game he has played by QBR was week 18 against the Cardinals at 51. We are sitting on an 8 game sample of play that has him as one of the 10 best QBs in the NFL by literally every metric. His PFF grade is sitting at 76 so the tape munchers are backing up the traditional and advanced stats, albeit to a lesser extent. His pressure vs. non-pressure stat splits have been elite too. 

There is literally no good objective argument for him becoming a pumpkin against this evidence. All of this is not saying the Eagles can't win, they definitely can. I am just arguing that there is no reason to make a bet on this game with the primary win condition being Purdy suddenly playing poorly. Most of the analysis I have seen in the mainstream media seems to be betting on that happening while referencing other rookies on other teams in the same position. If Purdy does end up playing poorly, it won't shock me, predicting that he would is still a terrible process that will lead to a lot of losses when betting.

The Eagles can win this game because they have the best CB duo and one of the deepest defensive lines in the NFL. On offense they have the best offensive line in the NFL. Elite play out of those 3 groups are all the Eagles need to win. AJ Brown is one of the best WRs in the NFL and basically beat the 49ers by himself with the Titans last year. If he goes off again he could be the reason the Eagles win. The reason I am betting on the 49ers winning is the Eagles defense's weakness against outside runs. If they can't stop that they will need serious help from turnovers to pull it out. Shanahan is the kind of guy who will run the ball 40+ times if he thinks he can successfully. Reddick is a very undersized edge rusher going up against 6'9" Mike McGlinchey on the right side. This is a big mismatch in favor of Reddick in passing sets. It is just as big of a mismatch in McGlinchey's favor on running plays. The Eagles need to get up early so Kyle can't lean into his running game. I love the match up though because I love great defense and offensive line play. It's why I absolutely loved watching the SF-Dallas game last week. I am hoping this week is similar and Robbie Gould sends the 49ers to the super bowl.

Points: 1

#12 by rh1no // Jan 29, 2023 - 1:20pm

Purdy has faced a pretty soft schedule of opponents during his win streak, beating the Dolphins (13th in weighted DVOA on defense, 25th against the pass), Buccaneers (25th & 15th), Seahawks (20th & 17th), Commanders(7th & 13th), Raiders (31st & 31st) and Cardinals (24th & 21st).

Last week's Divisional tilt against Dallas was by far the biggest challenge of Purdy's pro career, with the Cowboys ranked 6th in weighted defensive DVOA and 3rd against the pass. As Bryan Knowles pointed out in his article on the game, the rookie signal caller was a mixed bag: he went just 3-for-10 for 24 yards against pressure while balling out for nearly 200 yards when given time to throw. But those were in near-ideal conditions, as the Prescott threw an interception in the red zone and tossed another pick to set up the 49ers with a shirt field. Dallas was clearly lacking any type of deep threat to spread the SF defense out, and Dak's decision-making was not very good.

So while I agree with you that Purdy has passed every test he's faced so far, I also think it's reasonable to say that the Eagles will be his toughest test yet. Not only does Philly have a top-tier defense (9th in weighted DVOA, 1st against the pass), but they also boast a top-tier offense that can win on the ground and through the air.

Points: 2

#17 by Kaepernicus // Jan 29, 2023 - 2:34pm

Agreed on the pressure/clean split last game. The biggest reason I was impressed with Purdy's performance under pressure was watching him throw the ball away. I think it might just be a 49ers fan thing because Jimmy G has a historically insane throw away rate. Like 5 times in 3 years type insane. That type of approach to pressure definitely takes positive plays off the board but it also raises the floor on really bad plays. Should be a good game. I am interested in seeing how this kid responds to the atmosphere.

Points: 1

#62 by rh1no // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:53pm

Bummer about Purdy. Not only does his injury almost guarantee the Eagles will advance to the Super Bowl, but it means that we are going to have to suffer through a thousand off-season think pieces about whether Purdy or Lance deserves to be SF's starting quarterback in 2023.

SPOILER ALERT: Shanahan will start Purdy for the first four games until his limitations force a switch in hopes of more explosive plays.

Points: 1

#35 by GwillyGecko // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:00pm

If you liked the Bengals enough to bet on them straight up, I don't know why you'd suddenly like a KC +2.5, that doesn't even cover the Bengals winning by a field goal (unless you wanted to get a teaser with kc +8.5 I guess)

Points: 0

#136 by horn // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:48pm

Turns out Purdy didn't play well and you were blinded by homerism. And he played badly to suffer the injury in the first place, holding the ball forever against the best pass rush since 1985. Turns out sharps know more than you do about gambling, huh?

Points: -5

#137 by horn // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:49pm

Turns out Purdy didn't play well and you were blinded by homerism. And he played badly to suffer the injury in the first place, holding the ball forever against the best pass rush since 1985. Turns out sharps know more than you do about gambling, huh?

Points: -3

#138 by horn // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:49pm

Turns out Purdy didn't play well and you were blinded by homerism. And he played badly to suffer the injury in the first place, holding the ball forever against the best pass rush since 1985. Turns out sharps know more than you do about gambling, huh?

Points: -3

#7 by Kaepernicus // Jan 29, 2023 - 12:05pm


Points: 0

#8 by BillHouston // Jan 29, 2023 - 12:14pm

I'm going to state blasphemy on a FO site -Chiefs must establish the run!  Pacheco was mostly absent from the Chiefs last encounter with the Bengals and is coming off a big game against the Jags.  If they can establish Pacheco in the run game this will also allow the Chiefs to be more judicious in their usage and protection of Mahomes. 

I  also predict an active receiving day from McKinnon but Pacheco finishes with more total yards.

Points: 0

#10 by OmahaChiefs13 // Jan 29, 2023 - 1:05pm

I'm going to state blasphemy on a FO site -Chiefs must establish the run!

If you were to change the wording from "establish the run" to "run more frequently in favorable situations", I doubt anyone would consider it blasphemous.

Also, I agree they're going to need to.

Points: 1

#212 by Run dmc // Jan 29, 2023 - 11:25pm

So do you still think the Chiefs MUST establish the run? They ran 20 times averaging 2.6 yards with a long of 6 yards. They ran way too much ... although I assume they didn't want Mahomes to have to drop back 50 times. Which I think he may have done .... 43 passing attempts, 3 scrambles, 1 fumble, I can't remember how many penalties wiped out drop backs.... Eli Apple held once and maybe Hilton got called with a PI? I think there was just one offensive hold on the Chiefs and it was a running play ... but I could be wrong.

Points: 1

#13 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 1:21pm

With this 'Burrowhead' coining and the bizarre idea that selling tickets to a potential Bills-Chiefs game was somehow disrespectful, this Bengals team has done some of the stupidest trash talking I can ever recall... Which is saying something, since trash talking is already usually idiotic.

Points: 4

#14 by thok // Jan 29, 2023 - 2:11pm

I don't think it matters what people think of the Bengals' trash-talking. It's clear that they're using it to motivate themselves rather than to distract their opponents, and for that purpose it only matters if the Bengals find it motivating.

Points: 3

#16 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 2:33pm

But it's still really stupid... Especially Joe Mixon just not understanding how ticket sales work. It reminds me of this ridiculous scene from one of the Austin Powers movies: The similarity being that someone is adopting a tough guy stance... But is in fact just revealing themselves to be an ignorant doofus.

Points: 0

#19 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:07pm

Of course the Bengals don't know how to do it. How often are they good?

Points: 0

#23 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:25pm

Funny... But the Bengals did consistently made the playoffs under Marvin Lewis. They've been a relatively decent franchise for 15 years now.

Points: 2

#18 by Romodini // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:03pm

Am I the only one who thought that lady singing the anthem was completely tone deaf? That was actually painful to hear.

Points: 0

#25 by moose // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:31pm

I thought the same - an old and tired Anita Baker, rather than the old Anita Baker.

Points: 1

#20 by vrao81 // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:09pm

Oof..Warner injured on the 2nd play. That's not good if he can't return.

Points: 0

#21 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:17pm

If you let Philly burn you both deep and on the ground, you’re going to have a bad time.

Points: 1

#22 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:22pm

I hate, hate, hate the way the replay system works. Forget all this challenge nonsense. The sole goal should be to get the right call. Have the booth handle everything. If there is any doubt about the play, don't let the next play start. Moreover, have the actual call decided by someone off site who starts looking at the replay immediately. No wasting time with the referee coming over to the sidelines.

Points: 3

#31 by rh1no // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:52pm

I'm giving you a thumbs up because I respect your opinion. However, I think stopping the game to review every play in order to ensure 100% accuracy would make the game worse. I'm in favor of putting chips in the ball and sensors in the to sticks to take the refs out of spots and TD decisions. I like the gamesmanship of giving coaches 2 challenges with the option of a bonus challenge if they're successful. But I want more action and fewer commercial breaks, and I'm okay sacrificing some degree of accuracy for better pace.

Points: 3

#33 by Joey-Harringto… // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:55pm

Agree, because knowing the NFL, they'll probably find a way to screw it up (remember the reviewable pass interference?)

Points: 2

#37 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:01pm

I never said stop every play. I'm saying stop the play and quickly (emphasis on quickly) review plays that are questionable. What I am imagining would be faster. No more ridiculous song and dance of wondering if the coach will throw the challenge flag, then waiting for the referee to talk to the coach for a minute, before he finally heads over to look at the monitor. I envision having a designated replay guy who starts looking at plays immediately after they finish. This would also avoid the time wasted when a coach challenges a play that it is immediately obvious on replay will stand.

The gamesmanship is what I hate. Having a blatantly bad call stand simply because a coach is bad at deciding when to challenge seems really dumb to me. Not to mention having no recourse for a horrible call if they are out of timeouts or challenges.

Points: 3

#45 by Spanosian Magn… // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:24pm

What you're describing is basically the NCAA system. It's not perfect (as viewers of TCU-Michigan could attest), but it's much better than the NFL's.

Points: 2

#230 by KnotMe // Jan 30, 2023 - 1:19pm

I would couple that with some rules changes to streamline things and make the rules less of a judgement call. Would be tough, but I think a comprehensive review could come up with something since they have just been patching it for like 50 years. You have to balance a couple aspect (offence, defence, ease of officiating, injury), but I think if you put all together you could do something. 

Points: 0

#43 by Mr Shush // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:15pm

I invite you to spend some time in the company of Premier League VAR to appreciate the exciting failure modes of this approach.

Points: 6

#44 by Spanosian Magn… // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:21pm

100%. Reading between the lines of some of their statements, I gather the main reason they don't have much auto-review is the refs take it as an insult, essentially. And I think a lot of the way it's done now - making dispute a "challenge", making a big show of the referee going to the sideline to operate a large/conspicuous apparatus - is about making the officials look important, or at least not subordinate to anyone else during the game action. It probably wasn't a good idea to have all the officials be moonlighting lawyers. But maybe now that they're moving towards having full-time officials, doing replay sensibly might be more feasible.

Points: 3

#68 by rh1no // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:03pm

Yeah, same thing as in MLB ... though MLB is even worse. As a fan, I'd like to automate as much officiating as I can. Robo Umps FTW.

Points: 3

#107 by BJR // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:57pm

You see this in many sports. In tennis, umpires are redundant, except it is apparently important to have somebody sitting high up calling the score and occasionally interfering for no apparent reason. 

The ‘half-way house’ measures like challenges and booth reviews are particularly irritating. Just time-wasting methods to achieve still imperfect results. Either proceed entirely towards eye-in-the-sky/automation, or do without and accept imperfection in return for efficiency/quality of spectacle. 

Points: 2

#127 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:16pm

I think the efficiency/quality of spectacle comes from removing as many human officials as possible.  Make the rules as black & white as you can and then let the players throw their tantrums at the computers when they feel the need to get their diva on. 

Points: 0

#24 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:28pm

Fumbling to the wide-open LB is a new wrinkle.

Points: 0

#26 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:33pm

Terrible decision to punt there. Net 30 yards of field position, oof.

If Josh Johnson has to come in... Well, looking on the bright side it would make it an incredible story if the 49ers can win with their fourth-string QB!

Points: 2

#27 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:34pm

What is it about Shanahan’s system that just burns through QBs?

Points: 0

#28 by rh1no // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:39pm

This is the team that had Steve Freaking Young as the BACKUP to Joe Freaking Montana. I'm pretty sure that their recent spate of devastating QB injuries is just the monkey's paw curling for the wish the 49ers made in the 80's.

Points: 5

#29 by rh1no // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:39pm

This is the team that had Steve Freaking Young as the BACKUP to Joe Freaking Montana. I'm pretty sure that their recent spate of devastating QB injuries is just the monkey's paw curling for the wish the 49ers made in the 80's.

Points: 3

#30 by DoubleB // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:42pm

Blocking Redick with backup TEs isn't helping the cause, but my guess is luck

Points: 5

#139 by horn // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:50pm

Also Purdy acted like he had 10 seconds to pass on that play...turns out rookies are not ready for games like this. At least he wasn't. 

Points: -1

#32 by Joey-Harringto… // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:53pm

The 49ers have a had a pretty disastrous first quarter, yet are only down 7-0.

Points: 1

#34 by DoubleB // Jan 29, 2023 - 3:59pm

Just not sure where the offense comes from at this stage. Can they get in heavier sets and run it more? Missing Mitchell hurts in that respect.

It feels like 14-0 would be very difficult to overcome.

Points: 0

#41 by DoubleB // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:11pm

Nice short drive by SF. Screen and checkdown to McCaffrey sprinkled with his runs. Catch a break on the TD with a Philly defender knocking the safety/corner off the tackle, but great run nonetheless.

Points: 0

#46 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:32pm

If they can continue to base drives on the refs failing to observe the camera wires, they have a good chance.

Points: -1

#47 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:34pm

It's the 49ers who are getting hosed by the refs this game, not the other way around.

Points: -2

#36 by vrao81 // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:01pm

Defense and special teams are keeping SFO in this game. Now offense has to deliver! 49ers have the ball in eagles territory.




Points: 0

#38 by vrao81 // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:06pm

McCaffrey keeps getting the ball..not a bad strategy.

Points: 1

#40 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:09pm

Wow, the plug-and-play Shanahan offense rolls on. Albeit more due to McCaffrey than anything Josh Johnson is doing.

Points: 0

#42 by DoubleB // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:12pm

He threw it away on the busted boot play. A fair amount of backup QBs would have taken an epic sack there.

Points: 0

#48 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:35pm

These calls might be correct, but this game still isn't much fun to watch right now.

Points: 2

#57 by coboney // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:47pm

It's also all one sided on the calls.

For example on the Hands to the Face, the Eagles player also had a grip on the 49ers defender jersey. That's a classic just don't call anything as everyone is going at it.


We've seen stuff going all that way and also of course the Refs messing up the Smith phantom catch.

Points: -2

#140 by horn // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:52pm

Maybe don't give up 3 first-half rushing TDs to the better team? Instead of moaning about the refs like your  obviously RTP calls, late hits, not snapping the ball in time, obv D holding, obv personal fouls? Just a thought.

Points: -1

#49 by morganja // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:37pm

Too many penalties against one team. I think a lot of people are going to be turning this game off. Game sucks so far. 

Points: 0

#50 by vrao81 // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:37pm

Ugh that fumble and subsequent eagles td might be a dagger.

Points: 2

#53 by DoubleB // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:42pm

The fumble was just awful. 

Penalties are killing SF, but there's a chess game between Ryans and the Philly run game and the run game is winning hands down.

Points: 4

#52 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:41pm

While the Eagles have played better, it's the fumble luck and big missed call by the refs that have made this game one-sided. Bad luck for anyone hoping for a competitive game.

Points: 4

#56 by Spanosian Magn… // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:46pm

Brutal fumble by Johnson. I thought the LT moved early and was a little surprised they didn't blow the play dead. I get why you can't challenge did/didn't false start, but I am finding the idea of an offense challenging themselves that they did in fact commit the penalty to be rather amusing.

Points: 0

#59 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:49pm

Live, I thought it was a play that was going to be blown dead. It even seemed that might've been why Johnson dropped the ball.

Points: 0

#98 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:50pm

I think I’ve seen that before, but I can’t think of the context where it happened. Team turned it over but had an uncalled 12 men or something like that?

Points: 0

#58 by JS // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:48pm

I'm all for the refs calling games properly, and not "letting them play," which really means not letting them play, but that drive was going nowhere without multiple borderline calls. Too bad for SF, but their coverage vs the Phi receiving corps is their worst matchup.

Points: 1

#60 by Mr Shush // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:51pm

It is honestly difficult to refrain from throwing things at my television when Peter King is talking.

Points: 6

#61 by coboney // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:51pm

Josh Johnson has been busy playing like he should still be coaching High School football (or maybe the Texans ?) and not filling in a playoff NFL game. Some of the stuff is the things you hire a 10 year vet for in this spot - things like Delay of Game and Illegal Formation procedural shit that a journeyman vet should be able to handle well.

Points: 2

#63 by morganja // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:54pm

Four first downs by penalties, and a totally blown turnover on downs, in one half. All one sided. That is how refs can take such an incredible must-see match up, and turn it into a total waste of time. 

Points: -3

#142 by horn // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:54pm

It's 3 first-half rush TDs that killed the 9ers. Stop whining.

Points: -4

#143 by horn // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:54pm

It's 3 first-half rush TDs that killed the 9ers. Stop whining.

Points: -2

#64 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:56pm

The 49ers might be better on offense in this second half... But it's hard to imagine the Eagles won't keep scoring themselves too. I think it will take two or three turnovers for the 49ers to have a chance.

Points: 0

#65 by vrao81 // Jan 29, 2023 - 4:58pm

49ers better have a great scoring drive to open the 2nd half..otherwise this one is over. 

Points: 1

#66 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:01pm

This is ridiculous. A strange set of circumstances has just about ruined one of the biggest games of the year.

Points: 2

#83 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:19pm

It could be worse. Remember Buffalo-Cincinnati.

Points: 2

#231 by KnotMe // Jan 30, 2023 - 1:23pm

If we must have tragedy, why can't it happen when the Colts play the Texans?

Points: 0

#85 by Spanosian Magn… // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:22pm

I'm (perhaps perversely) finding this really compelling. Christian McCaffery at QB? Kyle Juszczyk at QB? Maybe they'll bring out the single wing. There's nothing to lose at this point, I hope they try something weird.

Points: 1

#69 by coboney // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:03pm

Now Josh Johnson is getting evaluated for an injury - concussion maybe?


Purdy came in for 1 play and handed off.

McCaffrey is the emergency QB.

Points: 0

#70 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:04pm

This would be the time where a team opts for Goliath strategies -- i.e., a hyper-conservative game plan since your opponent probably can't score on offense.

Points: 2

#71 by IlluminatusUIUC // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:06pm

We're maybe a quarter away from the "Neutralize Bobby Boucher" offense where they just kneel on it. 

Points: 1

#82 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:19pm

I love that movie. They were a fun team to make in NCAA Football.

Points: 0

#72 by vrao81 // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:07pm

49ers with good field position at their 46..that will make it easier to pin the eagles deep once they punt

Points: 5

#73 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:12pm

There's a decent chance that someone in the stands would be a better option for the 49ers at QB than what their actual options are. Anyone who played QB in college anytime within the last decade would at least be able to throw the ball down field.

Points: 1

#123 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:10pm

That guy could huck the ball down field, at least. He would be much better than someone who literally can't throw the ball down field at all. Someone who chucks 50/50 balls down field is an upgrade over what Purdy was in the second half.

Points: 2

#75 by rh1no // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:13pm

Hurts has consistently overthrown receivers. When he hasn't, his receivers have dropped a couple of perfectly-placed passes. Kern has shanked two punts (one of which was arguably impacted by camera wires). The Eagles have been bailed out on offense by bone-headed penalties on the 49ers defense, and (of course!) the incomplete pass that the refs missed.

Right now, it doesn't look like either of these teams could hang with the Chiefs or the Bengals.

Points: 2

#145 by horn // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:55pm

didn't see any perfectly placed passes dropped, tbh. Saw a huge miss by Hurts though or it would have been yet ANOTHER 38-7 Eagles playoff win. 

Points: 0

#154 by Tutenkharnage // Jan 29, 2023 - 7:14pm

You realize the Niners have been the best team in the league for about two months, right? 

Points: -1

#76 by vrao81 // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:13pm

Their own hope might be a defensive or special teams td, a la the packers playoff game last yr.

Points: 0

#78 by Anger...rising // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:14pm

If there's going to be zero threat of Purdy throwing, they might as well have McCaffrey play quarterback.  At least it would force the Eagles to account for 11 players.

Points: 4

#81 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:18pm

Yes, exactly. Go with the Wildcat. Play to your strengths since you can't pass at all anymore.

Points: 1

#79 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:17pm

That Smith catch?  It wasn't -- it hit the ground.

It didn’t. The question was whether he bounced OOB before he secured it.

Points: 0

#84 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:22pm

Strange but true: the 49ers are actually averaging more yards per play at the moment (by a tiny margin, 4.3-4.2).

Points: 2

#88 by vrao81 // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:25pm

49ers with more penalties. Running into the kicker and late hit.

Points: 1

#89 by Spanosian Magn… // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:25pm

Oh my god why is Hurts even playing at this point? It'll be an upset if San Francisco even gets a field goal at this point - don't risk him getting hurt, whether by a bad luck play or a frustrated opponent doing something stupid.

Points: 3

#100 by Spanosian Magn… // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:50pm

In an ordinary game, yes. In one where you're up 2 (now 3) scores in the 4th on a team that literally can't run passing plays, it's already over.

Points: 4

#91 by morganja // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:27pm

6 first downs by penalty!

Points: 0

#92 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:36pm

They should take Purdy out. He can't throw so you are just pointlessly exposing a guy who might be the future of your franchise to injury.

Points: 5

#93 by thok // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:43pm

At this point I'd legitimately accept Niners forfeiting the game or kneeling on the rest of their offensive plays just to minimize injury risk, and I say that as a Niners fan.

Points: 1

#96 by coboney // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:48pm

I meant at this point, we're not even really playing. We're just running all of Kyle's crazy runs into 9man boxes and the defense trying like hell, while the Eagles just run some.


Also apparently now, punching the ball is a penalty.

Points: 1

#102 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:52pm

Punching the player after forward progress was stopped is frowned upon. 
It’s worth taking the chance, though. Like hitting the kicker was worth it. The offense can’t move the ball.

Points: 1

#106 by coboney // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:55pm

He was blocked into the kicker the non-plant leg.


It was textbook running into the kicker - a 5 yard penalty. Not the 15 yard roughing the kicker which they decided to call for ... reasons.

Points: 1

#131 by rh1no // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:27pm

Sorry, man. But that was roughing the kicker.

When in doubt, it is a foul for roughing the kicker.

Yes, there was little one-handed shove on the defenders back, but it did not meaningfully impact his trajectory or the speed at which he collided with the kicker. Yes, the defender contacted the kicking foot of the kicker, but it was a sever contact.

The refs botched the incomplete pass no-call that led to the Eagles' first TD, but this game was not decided by any ref bias.

Points: 2

#97 by Spanosian Magn… // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:48pm

Although exposing Christian McCaffery to extra hits is probably not a great idea either.

Points: 2

#99 by coboney // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:50pm

The backup emergency QB is Kyle Juzchek.


I'd say lets do it! Juzchek niners for the last 5 min since the team won't stop or find a surrender option. Go out and play some silly stuff.

Points: 2

#101 by Spanosian Magn… // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:51pm

When I suggested the single wing up-thread, I wasn't really kidding.

Points: 0

#104 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:54pm

The problem is the Philly D is used to seeing the single wing, because Hurts.

Points: 2

#103 by morganja // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:53pm

7 penalties for first down!

Points: -3

#146 by horn // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:56pm

Stop committing penalties then? Or should SFO be exempt from the rules because....reasons?

It's 3 first-half rush TDs that killed the 9ers. Stop whining.

Points: -2

#108 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:57pm

Even without losing Purdy, SF’s problem has been trying to get the ball out before four Eagles slam into the QB. Even McCaffery almost took a sack.

Points: 2

#111 by DoubleB // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:04pm

Ignoring the penalties, missed calls, and missing QBs, the Niners haven't played well. Great point about the OL--they haven't protected well. And they haven't really stopped the run as they had all year. 

Points: 0

#120 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:08pm

You can't ignore the missing QBs, though. They've played almost half a game with no QB at all... Nearly the rest of the game with a fourth stringer who didn't practice with the starters the whole week.

Points: 1

#132 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:30pm

Part of the reason they burned through two QBs was the o-line was getting it’s ass kicked.

Shanahan may want to consider why his system gets so many QBs hurt, though. This cost him last year, too.

You shouldn’t be cycling through QBs like it’s a Bears-Vikings game from 1984.

Points: 4

#135 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:38pm

Unless you let your QBs get hit 60 times or something, losing two QBs to injuries in a single game is just terrible luck, pure and simple.

Points: 1

#147 by horn // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:58pm

False. It's not 'terrible luck' to repeatedly choose to attempt to block Haason Reddick with a TE. That's on Shanny and the QB not getting the ball out fast. But mostly the coach.

Points: 3

#149 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 7:00pm

I meant more season-long. Last year he lost Lance as well and Garoppolo limped through like three different injuries. This year Garoppolo just broke, and the guy behind him.

That’s not the norm anymore.

Points: 2

#109 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jan 29, 2023 - 5:58pm

Woof, when Ndamukong Suh is acting as the voice of reason…

Points: 5

#110 by mehnsrea // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:02pm

SF was outclassed and overmatched from the kickoff. Maybe everyone can somehow excuse this from Shanahan’s “genius” resume.

Points: 0

#113 by occams_pointed… // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:05pm

I am pretty sure having their QB go down had a lot to do with this outcome.

Shanahan made it to the NFCCG with Mr Irrelevant. That's genius 

Points: 4

#125 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:13pm

Foles was an NFL veteran who'd been to the Pro Bowl. Purdy is a seventh round rookie. Not the same thing.

Points: 2

#128 by occams_pointed… // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:17pm

Is anyone doubting Peterson as a good coach?

He did another fine job with the Jaguars helping them recover from the Urban Meyer shiite-show

Points: 4

#148 by horn // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:59pm

Planning to block Reddick with a TE. Not a genius. 

Kinda like blowing a 28-3 Q4 lead by continuing to throw the ball with Matt Ryan. 

Points: 0

#152 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 7:07pm

What? Continuing to throw is the smart play. Getting first downs is the way to close out a game, not running the ball three times into the middle of the line and then punting again.

Points: 2

#228 by SandyRiver // Jan 30, 2023 - 10:16am

Ryan's real failing (along with that horrible sack) was calling for the snap with 10-15 seconds on the play clock.  Take it down inside 5 and the Pats run out of time.

Points: 0

#118 by coboney // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:06pm

I mean its kinda tough to judge the offense when the 3rd string QB who is playing got injured really early. Then the 4th string QB, who didn't look great, got injured and the 3rd stringer game back in, clearly unable to throw much.


After the first drive the defense really clamped down for a long while until the offense situation got just too much on them.

Points: 3

#114 by JS // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:05pm

What a shame. This has been a non-game since 21-7. Nobody's throwing, the outcome hasn't been in doubt, we're all just hoping nobody gets hurt or DQed for the SB.

Points: 1

#116 by Cythammer // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:06pm

What an ugly game, in a variety of different ways. There hasn't been a well-played, competitive game these last two weeks outside of maybe 49ers-Cowboys. Sadly, with Mahomes injured the odds of another messy game are pretty good.

Points: 0

#119 by JS // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:07pm

I do feel the Phi lines have won the up-front battles, and I expect them to win more clearly against the Cin or KC lines in two weeks. 

Points: 2

#124 by DoubleB // Jan 29, 2023 - 6:11pm

I agree 100%. I see the betting spread being incorrect (slanted to the AFC), particularly if it's KC in the Super Bowl.

Points: 0

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