The 49ers travel to Philadelphia this weekend in an attempt to exact revenge on the Eagles.
The winner will be crowned king of the football world.
OK, as great as it sounds, that is clearly an overreaction.
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Let's keep this in perspective.
The Eagles (10-1) can take a major step toward earning home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Or, the 49ers (8-3) can climb to within one game of the Eagles while also locking up the head-to-head tie-breaker.
Whatever the case, both teams will play far more important elimination games in the postseason. And, if things go as many anticipate, there could be another NFC showdown in January to determine which team advances to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.
Let’s go to Threads to uncover this week’s assortment of 49ers overreactions:
San Francisco 49ers
Brock Purdy won't prove himself until he can beat the Eagles. That DL against the 49ers OL will make him jumpy and mistake prone. If he buckles, the 49ers will know what they really have. (richlucido)
The 49ers already know what they have: A quarterback who has done everything asked of him — and more. And he figures to be around for a long, long time.
His performance Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles is not going to do anything to change that.
Purdy, 23, has appeared in 23 NFL games, including playoffs, with 19 starts. The 49ers are 15-4 in his starts, including their loss in the NFC Championship Game when he sustained a torn elbow ligament in the first quarter.
In total, Purdy has completed 68.6 percent of his pass attempts for 4,814 yards with 35 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a passer rating of 110.5.
Purdy has proven himself over a full season’s worth of games. And there was even a break in the middle for teams, such as the Seattle Seahawks, to work during the offseason on ways to beat him.
With Purdy at quarterback, the 49ers won at Seattle in back-to-back seasons for the first time in franchise history.
On Thursday, he threw the first pick-six of his NFL career in the third quarter to give the Seahawks an opening to come back.
Then, he ripped their hearts out with a beautiful 28-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Aiyuk midway through the fourth quarter. The throw was made in a box between four nearby Seahawks defenders.
“I got to be smart with the ball,” Purdy acknowledged. “But at the same time, I still got to have that aggressive edge and not be afraid to rip stuff in tight windows.”
Playing at Philadelphia right now is about as difficult as it gets in the NFL for any quarterback. This one game will not define him — especially when he is likely to have many more important games in the future.
49ers must win in Philly next week because they won’t win in Philly in January if they have to play multiple playoff games on the road. They have to secure the 2-seed at a minimum. (rich.colbert)
Can the 49ers go on the road and win back-to-back playoff games? Yes.
Would it be an extremely difficult feat to pull off? Of course.
It does bring up an interesting question, however: If the 49ers go to Detroit for the NFC semifinal, win and play in Philadelphia the next Sunday, would they stay on the East Coast (or Midwest) to practice and prepare?
The Lions have the easiest remaining schedule among the top three teams in the NFC, but they seem to be leaking oil after a narrow escape against the Chicago Bears and a home loss to the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving.
But we agree, the 49ers will face an uphill climb if they do not secure one of the top two seeds.
The O-line deficiencies have been papered over by superb coaching and playmaking, but it’s hard to see that working out in a deep playoff run. (jonbonanno)
There is no question, the 49ers have gotten outstanding play from their quarterback and other skill players. And there is also little question about the scheme and play-calling.
We fully realize only negative plays from the offensive line get highlighted, so that’s why the 49ers’ offensive line is usually talked about only in those terms.
But the 49ers’ offensive line has to be doing a lot of things right, too. The 49ers are tied for third in the NFL, averaging 28.2 points per game. And the offense ranks third in the league at 386.1 yards per game.
Purdy has been sacked 21 times in 11 games this season. Only three teams have allowed fewer sacks this season. And the play of the 49ers’ offensive line is responsible for just eight of those sacks, according to PFF.
There could be some subtle changes coming to the offensive line, as Shanahan has suggested veteran Jon Feliciano will start sharing time with right guard Spencer Burford.
Do the 49ers have the best offensive line in the NFL? Of course not.
But with Trent Williams back healthy, an adjustment at right guard and the continued coaching of Chris Foerster, the 49ers’ offensive line should not stand in the team’s way, either.
Given the leaky kick coverage and the Odum injury, the 49ers need to stop daring teams to return kickoffs and should always go for touchbacks for the rest of the season. (terrencep2020)
Kicker Jake Moody has a strong leg, as he demonstrated earlier this season with field goals of 57 and 55 yards.
When considering the best- and worst-case scenarios on kickoffs, there is no question if a team has a kicker who can boot it deep into the end zone every time, then . . . he should boot it deep into the end zone every time.
If the plan is to kick it high and short, about the best the covering team can hope for is to stop the return man around the 20-yard line. On the other hand, one missed tackle, and you’re chasing an opponent into the end zone.
And, as noted, with George Odum out of action with a torn biceps, the 49ers’ kick coverage units have gotten a little weaker.
Christian Jackson McCaffrey: the best RB to ever wear Red & Gold (controversycow)
I’m sorry, we can’t put McCaffrey in that category just yet.
McCaffrey has been simply amazing since the 49ers acquired him in a trade last season from the Carolina Panthers. He has scored at least one touchdown in 19 of his past 20 games with the club.
McCaffrey leads the NFL with 939 yards, and his 11 rushing touchdowns in 2023 already are a 49ers single-season record with six games to play.
There is no discrediting McCaffrey’s skills or accomplishments.
Instead, let’s use this opportunity to shine some light on the past.
First, there was Hall of Famer Joe “The Jet” Perry, who led the NFL in rushing 1953 and 1954. He was NFL MVP in 1954.
Also, Roger Craig is a legitimate Hall of Fame candidate, a three-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Pro Bowl selection and 1988 NFL Offensive Player of the Year. He was the first player in NFL history to post 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 receiving in the same season.
If McCaffrey continues on this pace, and the 49ers finish the season strong, McCaffrey will receive mention for NFL MVP. That’s how important he has been to the 49ers.
McCaffrey has done a lot in his 25 games as a member of the 49ers. He is rising on the list of the franchise’s all-time greats, but he still has a ways to go.