What scares Brooks most about Eagles' matchup vs. 49ers' offense

  • Programming Note: Watch 'Players Only' with Donte Whitner and Barrett Brooks on 49ers Pregame Live beginning at 11 a.m. PT on Sunday.

The NFC Championship Game will be a box office showdown between the top-seeded teams, and the matchups will be about as even as possible. 

The 49ers’ dominant, top-ranked defense will go up against an MVP candidate in Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and one of the NFL's best offensive lines on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

But Super Bowl champion and current NBC Sports Philadelphia analyst Barrett Brooks, who spent his first four years in the NFL with the Eagles, revealed what scares him the most about Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

“That they create matchups with all that movement,” Brooks told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Donte Whitner without hesitation. “Even though we have a veteran team and guys that will get in position and play well, that movement, man, creates matchups where they’re going to get a receiver on a linebacker or getting a running back lined up over a smaller corner.

“Shanahan loves to create those type of matchups. And then all of a sudden, here comes a fullback that hasn’t done anything all day, he runs like he’s going to block and he’s off the flat for a 30-yard run. That’s the type of offense that he has. They send so many different players so many different ways.”

San Francisco's offense primarily operates through its running game. Shanahan's versatile and deceptive rushing schemes have proven to be a nightmare for opposing teams, as he uses motion to manipulate the defense, create a hole and then attack it with one of his many offensive weapons. It's like magic. 

The use of shifts, motion, and misdirection make defenses adjust and then quickly regret it. One guy motioning can change eight other guys' responsibilities. 

And when that happens, it happens quickly. 

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But Brooks believes there's a way the Eagles can limit Shanahan's scheme. 

"The Eagles have to stay disciplined and stay within the framework of their defense," Brooks said. "They, too, have a simplistic type of defense, but when you get a whole bunch of guys moving around, that movement sometimes the calls don’t come out like they’re supposed to. That’s the biggest thing to me. Can they step up on the movement and make sure they make the adjustments to the younger guys on what they’re supposed to do." 

Philadelphia has allowed just 301.5 yards per game to opposing offenses, good for second in the NFL. The only team better is, yep, you guessed it -- the 49ers, who are allowing just 300.6 yards per game on the season.  

Both teams will have so many different playmakers all over the field, and the game is shaping up to be one for the ages. 

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