We have entered the home stretch to find out who will represent the NFC in Super Bowl LVII. On one hand you have the 49ers riding an underdog wave of the next “Rudy” in 3rd string QB Brock Purdy. On the other, the final steps of validation for Jalen Hurts who leads a talented Eagle roster at home in this contest. However here at Taylor Blitz Times the excitement generates from the two best offensive lines and the NFL’s #1 & #2 ranked defenses taking the stage.
Did you know the difference between the NFL’s #1 and #2 ranked defense is less than a yard this season? San Francisco 300.59 ypg to Philadelphia 301.47?? Yet a tell tale sign is how those defenses fared coming down the stretch. In the last 7 games the edge goes to the Eagles (286.2 ypg) to (331 ypg).
The Eagles rushing attack led by Miles Sanders (1269 yds 11TD) and Hurts (760 yds rush/ 13TDs) is the 5th best in the NFL. With design runs whether they come from RPOs, sweeps or scrambles should be able to maintain their 147.5 yards per game average. The graphic below shows the 49ers are 1-3 when allowing just 100 yards.
Christian McCaffrey has to have a career game to keep the 49ers in it. Yes the Niners have other backs and Deebo Samuel but they will need their best play makers to win on bubble screens and jet sweeps. McCaffrey will need to make Eagle defenders miss and silence a raucous Philly crowd.
Otherwise this game lands in the hands of a 3rd string QB whose Cinderella story is coming to an end. Not only will the hostile crowd be at full throat but the Eagles vicious pass rush will be loose. The Eagles have a historic pass rush which has recorded 70 sacks. Just 2 shy of the record set by the 1984 Chicago Bears. We haven’t seen this many since the 1989 Minnesota Vikings (71) and its a sack by committee defense. Hassan Reddick (16 sacks) Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat and Jay Hargrave each finished with 11! Where are you sliding the line to?
The line of scrimmage is where this game will be won or lost and the edge has to go to Philadelphia. Once T Lane Johnson made it back last week and showed he can gut it out the Eagles looked like the team that was 14-1 with Jalen Hurts in the lineup. This game looks to be close for a quarter and a half with the Eagles pulling away 38-16.
As we clearly stated in our 2020 NFL draft preview, Jalen Hurts deserved to be the 2nd quarterback drafted after Joe Burrow. In the next 10 hours we will find out if they can rematch their 2019 college football playoff.
The Eagles are going to be headed to Super Bowl LVII.
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