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The 49ers Defense Is Facing Its Biggest Test Yet On Sunday

Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates with teammates after an interception against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter of the game in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Levi's Stadium on January 22, 2023 in Santa Clara, California.
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)


The immovable object versus the unstoppable force.

That could very well be an apt descriptor for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.

In one corner, the 49ers have the NFL’s best defense, and it is a defense that seems downright scary in more ways than one.

In another corner, the Eagles finished with the league’s best record along with the Kansas City Chiefs at 14-3, and they boast the best offense in the conference.

San Francisco is in for its stiffest test in some time, especially given that this contest will take place in Philly, which obviously has a harsher winter climate than coastal California.

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts showed improvement with his passing this year, throwing for 3,701 yards and 22 touchdowns against just six interceptions while posting a passer rating of 101.5.

Of course, his biggest strength is his ability to gain yards with his legs, an ability that led to him posting 760 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground this year.

Philly also has running back Miles Sanders, who added 1,269 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.

Its passing attack isn’t too shabby either, thanks to the likes of wide receivers A.J. Brown (1,496 yards and 11 touchdowns) and DeVonta Smith (1,196 yards and seven touchdowns), as well as tight end Dallas Goedert (702 yards and three scores).

The likes of defensive end Nick Bosa, middle linebacker Fred Warner and safety Talanoa Hufanga will have their hands full trying to clip the Eagles’ wings on Sunday.


Do The Eagles Have A Weakness?

However, on the other side of the ball, Philly may have a weakness the 49ers can expose.

Its run defense is merely mediocre, as it ranked 16 in yards allowed and 17th in touchdowns allowed during the regular season.

The Niners are perhaps the perfect team to expose that potential hole, between running backs Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell, versatile wide receiver Deebo Samuel and the great offensive mind of head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Get ready for what could be a fierce tug of war on Sunday.

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