Kyle Shanahan

Mariucci names person who gives 49ers offensive edge over Eagles

NBC Universal, Inc. Matt Maiocco discusses the 49ers’ offensive line matching up with Eagles’ talented defensive line, and asks NBC Sports Philadelphia analyst Barrett Brooks on “49ers Talk” how he sees the matchup playing out.

Ahead of the 8-3 49ers’ Week 13 showdown against the 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, there has been plenty of discourse surrounding the two teams’ electric offenses.

While both teams hover near the top of the NFL’s offensive statistics, each averaging a third-best 28.2 points per game, one former 49ers coach believes San Francisco holds an offensive edge over Philadelphia because of someone on the sideline.

NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia’s “Takeoff Podcast” with John Clark and explained why 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan gives San Francisco an offensive advantage over the Eagles.

“I love, love, love the play-calling and the game-planning,” Mariucci told Clark. “Kyle Shanahan, to utilize those weapons -- he’s like a maestro. Kyle can game-plan you and play-call you like nobody else.”

Shanahan has the 49ers' offense ranked sixth in both total yards (4,247) and total points (310). 

And while running back Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL with 939 yards on the ground, Mariucci believes Shanahan’s passing scheme is a key reason for San Francisco’s offensive dominance and is something to watch against the Eagles’ defense.

“Man, they got receivers all over the place," Mariucci explained to Clark. "Their yards of separation with each catch are better than everybody. Why? Because they’re open. It’s not because Brandon Aiyuk is Jerry Rice, he’s a heck of a player. The schemes and the creativity are really outstanding. It’s because when I watch I go, ‘Wow, this offense is pretty darn cool to watch.'

“That’s going to be a storyline in this game -- if the pass defense of the Eagles can hold up against the play-action passing game of the 49ers. The Eagles' defense…Darius Slay and [James] Bradberry -- [Kevin] Byard too, now. Really excellent players. But they’ve been giving up a lot of yards, and they’ve been giving up a lot of touchdowns.”

Philadelphia’s defense has allowed a fourth-worst 255.7 passing yards per game and has given up a fifth-worst ​​2,813 passing yards.

Comparatively, Shanahan and San Francisco should cherish this matchup, as the 49ers are eighth in passing yards per game with 250.1.

Simply put, the 49ers excel in all facets of offense due to their robust talent and chemistry. 

But as Mariucci described, Shanahan’s ability to utilize his roster to the best of their abilities gives San Francisco an edge over Philadelphia. 

The 49ers' offense is primed to dominate as they’ll hopefully showcase four full quarters of a Brock Purdy-led offense to the Eagles for the first time in a potential NFC title game preview.

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