Week 13 Eagles vs 49ers Picks
Man… the Eagles really know how to cut it close. Yet, they have consistently found ways to just get the win. Against the Buffalo Bills, the Eagles were given another real test with a great Josh Allen performance. With a quarterback that could extend plays and make difficult throws like Allen, the Bills had the recipe to outlast the Eagles defensive line. However, there is some clear mojo going on for this Eagles team. Even when they seem down and out of luck, they just have the knack for making big plays in crucial situations. Whether it’s a deep bomb to A.J. Brown or Devonta Smith, a big run from Jalen Hurts or D’andre Swift, or even an unbelievable kick from Jake Elliott, the Eagles mojo is apparent.
However, the stretch isn’t over yet, with the Eagles hosting the San Fransisco 49ers in an NFC Championship rematch. The 49ers are coming off a big turkey day win against division rival, Seattle Seahawks. Their biggest strength still hinges on their offensive weapons, and they have completely turned around from a bad stretch in the middle of the season. This game will be yet another test for the Eagles and it might be their most difficult so far.
Christian McCaffrey is Priority Number One
Christian McCaffrey is what makes this 49ers offense go. He currently leads the league in total rushing yards with 938 and has been just as threatening in the passing game. He has a real shot at surpassing 2000 total yards this season, while also leading the league in total touchdowns outside of quarterbacks. He’s unbelievable and his talents are only accentuated by the offense around him. The offensive line is excellent at paving holes for them. However, head coach Kyle Shanahan also does an extraordinary job of moving McCaffrey around utilizing all his talents. Whether it’s in the backfield outside the hashes as a receiver, as well as the slot, McCaffrey’s dynamism is hard to contain.
Wherever McCaffrey lines up, he has the power, the shake, and the speed to make an impact wherever he touches the ball. However, if you can limit him, it heaps a big reward. In each of the 49ers three losses, McCaffrey failed to surpass 60 rushing yards. Their only win with McCaffrey not reaching that threshold came in the early blowout win against the Dallas Cowboys. McCaffrey is relied upon for his dynamic abilities, but those abilities have also become a sort of crutch for the 49ers. If McCaffrey isn’t having his way or making too many plays, the 49ers can really struggle to move the ball in other ways. That’s not to say the Eagles need to eliminate McCaffrey from the game. They just need to make sure he doesn’t take over the game and single-handedly move the offense down the field.
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How Can the Eagles Stop the 49ers Playmakers?
The Eagles linebackers have not been outstanding over the course of the season. It will suffer even more this week with Zach Cunningham set to miss time. So, how will the Eagles fare against another team with dominant playmakers? Well, the good news is that they can use a lot of what they did against the Miami Dolphins in this game as well. Against Miami, the Eagles played a lot of 2 high safety coverages, that aimed to force the offense into harder throws outside the hash marks. Replicating the same strategy could help challenge Brock Purdy the same way they did for Tua Tagovailoa. It’s not an adjustment that will completely shut the offense down, but it will make Purdy prove he can consistently make tough throws.
Additionally, it will only buy more time for the pass rush to get into Purdy’s face, as opposed to letting him have quick easy throws in the middle of the field. The other thing the Eagles did a good job of against the Dolphins was keeping the offense in front of them. This will be important again going against Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. The goal should be to throw bodies at them as soon as they get the ball. They’ll break tackles, that’s just what they do, but making sure they don’t break tackles and then take the ball another 30 yards will be the key. The same goes for the screen plays the 49ers love to call, whether to running backs or receivers.
Eagles vs 49ers Picks: Bottom Line
Eagles Win 30-24
All of the Eagles vs 49ers picks from any number of different analysts and pundits are sure to be varying from show to show. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but the Eagles have been able to get the job done in every game so far in this stretch. Yet, in the eyes of many oddsmakers in Vegas, the Eagles are underdogs in this affair. This is also a very important game for Brock Purdy. Against great defenses, Purdy hasn’t played well this year, and he must prove that he can make some magic on his own when needed. Expect the Eagles defensive line to make Purdy uncomfortable throughout the game. He will still make a play or two but believe in the Eagles being able to frustrate the 49ers offense here and give them the edge.
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