49ers can’t overcome Purdy’s injury and penalties as Eagles cruise to NFC Championship 31-7

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffery runs past Philadelphia Eagles defenders at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday JAN 29, 2023. (San Francisco 49ers)

by Marko Ukalovic

It was the matchup we wanted, but it wasn’t the game we deserved to watch.

San Francisco 49ers Brock Purdy was injured on the team’s first offensive possession as the Philadelphia Eagles defense set the tone and the home team took advantage of every mistake the visiting team made in a 31-7 victory to win the NFC Championship on Sunday evening at Lincoln FinancialField.

Philadelphia advanced to Super Bowl LVII to take on the winner of the AFC Championship in Glendale, Arizona. San Francisco’s magical run of a 12-game win streak was snapped in a game that went wrong in every way possible.

“Guys are pretty down in there. We were really excited for the game, and we really wanted an opportunity to play that team. They (Philadelphia) played great,” said 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.

The Eagle marched down the field on its first possession. On a 4th and 3 from the 49ers 35-yard line, Davonta Smith made an acrobatic, yet controversial, one-handed catch for 29 yards to the six-yard line. It set up Miles Sanders six-yard rushing touchdown.

Purdy was injured when Haason Reddick knocked the ball out of Purdy’s right arm while he was making a pass attempt. The play was initially called an incomplete pass, but the Eagles challenged the play, and it was overturned to a fumble that was also recovered by Riddick. Purdy’s elbow was injured and limited him the rest of the game.

I feel like my arm stretched out, felt like there were a lot of shocks all over from my elbow down to my wrist, front and back. Just pain all over,” Purdy said about how his injury felt.

San Francisco used good field position to set up their first scoring drive. Backup quarterback Josh Johnson marched the 49ers down the field as running back Christian McCaffery was the catalyst as he touched the ball on six plays that finished off with a 23-yard rushing touchdown where he broke two tackles to scamper in for the equalizing touchdown.

Philadelphia answered back just before the end of the first half. Sanders recorded his second rushing touchdown with a 13-yarder with 1:36 remaining in the second quarter to complete a 14 play 75-yard drive. Three penalties by San Francisco’s defense on the drive allowed the Eagles to keep marching down the field to set up Sanders untouched run to the end zone.

On the ensuring drive, Johnson fumbled a snap on a 1st and 10 at his own 36-yard line. Reddick recovered the ball at the 30-yard line.

The Eagles cashed in the turnover with a Boston Scott 10-yard rushing touchdown with :16 left in the second quarter to give Philadelphia a two-score lead.

“A lot of things didn’t go our way. We had self-inflicted wounds on the defense all the way through. However, you want to draw it up or talk about it, it just wasn’t our day,” 49ers linebacker Fred Warner said.

Johnson was injured on the 49ers first drive of the second half when Ndamukong Suh knocked Johnson down hard to the grass and Johnson’s head hit down on the ground suffering a concussion. Purdy came back in but handled the ball off to McCaffery for a short gain making San Francisco punt the ball.

San Francisco’s special teams kept another drive alive for Philadelphia. Jordan Mason was called for roughing the kicker when he ran into punter Brett Kern. The Eagles made the 49ers pay six plays later with Jalen Hurts one-yard rushing touchdown to give the Eagles a commanding 28-7 lead.

Despite Purdy returning to the game, he was not able to throw the ball down the field and San Francisco’s offense became one-dimensional the rest of the game as Philadelphia’s defense did not allow San Francisco to score another point.

Things turned ugly with four minutes left in the game when a big skirmish in the middle of the field led to ejections of 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams and Eagles K’Von Wallace.

Riddick, who was the defensive MVP for Philadelphia, finished with two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery & a tackle for loss.

Hurts finished 15 of 25 for 121 yards with no passing touchdowns and no interceptions to go along with his one rushing touchdown. Kenneth Gainwell led Philadelphia in rushing with 48 yards on 14 carries. Sanders chipped in 42 yards on 11 carries to go along with his two touchdowns.

Purdy went 4 of 4 for just 23 yards. Jonhson finished 7 of 13 for 74 yards before his injury knocked him out of the game. McCaffery, despite playing with a calf contusion for the second consecutive week, was the lone bright spot for San Francisco with 84 rushing yards on 15 carries. He also chipped in four receptions on 22 yards.

“It just didn’t turn out our way. We got beat. Wish we had another shot at it with everybody. But that’s life, that’s the way it goes,” McCaffery said.

GAME NOTES: San Francisco finished just 2-for-8 on third down conversions. Philadelphia went 5-for-15.

Philadelphia out gained San Francisco 269-164 in total net yards.

San Francisco still leads the over series with Philadelphia 20-15-1.

San Francisco 49ers podcast with Joe Hawkes: McCaffrey expected to be in line up today; Mitchell questionable with injured groin

The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (left) and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) appear in animation form as they get ready for the NFC Championship Sun Jan 29, 2023 (animation image from Fox Sports)

On the 49ers podcast with J Hawkes:

#1 Joe, running back Christian McCaffrey missed two practices during the week but look good on Friday and is expected to be in the line up today in Philadelphia after suffering a bruised calf.

#2 Running back Elijah Mitchell took just one third snaps on Thursday at practice. Mitchell still hurting was injured in last Sunday’s game against the Dallas with a groin injury.

#3 Mitchell got his injury late in the game last Sunday against the Cowboys and this week he and McCaffrey missed two practices but worked hard to try and get back in tonight’s line up.

#4 Former wide receiver Jerry Rice will be an honorary captain representing the 49ers for Sunday’s NFC Championship at Lincoln Financial Field. Rice who has been a frequent face at 49ers games and is looking forward to representing the 49ers .

#5 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy who was sacked twice by the Cowboys last week but that didn’t slow him down Purdy got up and threw for 19 completions out of 29 passes and 214 yards and no touchdowns. 49ers and Eagles in Philadelphia expected to be a tight game.

Joe Hawkes does the 49ers podcasts each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor: Will the Omenihu arrest be a distraction to 49ers Championship game?

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Charles Omenihu (94) celebrates during the second half of an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Santa Clara, Sat Jan 14, 2023 (AP News photo)

On the 49ers podcast with David:

#1 San Francisco 49ers defenseman Charles Omenihu arrest on Monday for domestic violence who has been accused for pushing his girlfriend to the ground. Omenihu bailed out and misdemeanor charges are pending.

#2 David from the aspect of the 49ers in Philadelphia facing one of the toughest teams in the NFL against the Eagles. Will the 49ers and their whole focus should be on the upcoming NFC Championship game but could the arrest of Omenihu be a distraction to the team and the upcoming game.

#3 Dave it’s onto the 49ers and Eagles match up at Lincoln Financial in Philadelphia how do you see the match up between both of these clubs this Sunday.

Join David Zizmor for the San Francisco 49ers podcast at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NFL Championship podcast with Tony Renteria: A look at 49ers @ Cowboys and Bengals @ Chiefs Championship games this Sunday

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (left) and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts who match up in the NFC Championship this Sun Jan 29, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Stadium in Philadelphia (photo from sportskeeda.com)

On the NFL Championship podcast with Tony Hayes:

#1 NFC Championship San Francisco @ Philadelphia: In Sunday’s NFC Divisional game between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers you saw a well defended game on both sides. The Cowboys defended the 49ers run game, and San Francisco didn’t score one touchdown.

#2 It was a game that the Cowboys could have had in hand. Thankfully for the 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy who was able to get San Francisco in field goal position as kicker Robbie Gould didn’t miss a field goal or an extra point all game long in the 19-12 win.

#3 Tony 49ers and Eagles at Lincoln Financial in Philadelphia do the Eagles have the home field or will the defense keep them in games and will it be another game of short yardage for Purdy and the 49ers offense?

#4 AFC Championship Cincinnati vs. Kansas City in Kansas City: Tony talk about Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his high ankle sprain. Mahomes in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars bent the ankle in an awkward position when he was stopped by two Jaguar defenders. Will his injury play a big part of his game for running and dropping back against the Bengals.

#5 The Bengals have persevered through this post season with wins over the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville. They played with the best of them in cold, snowy elements and Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow who threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills can beat you with his getting rid of the ball quickly and handling the ground game. How do you see this one between the Bengals and Chiefs Sunday?

Join Tony for the Super Bowl LVII podcast next Tuesday with two weeks of coverage of the Super Bowl at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

49ers send home Cowboys with gritty 19-12 win in Divisional round matchup, will face Eagles for NFC crown

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy celebrates his team’s win with his parents at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday Jan 22, 2023. (San Franscico 49ers)

by Marko Ukalovic

SANTA CLARA — The team by the Bay is heading back to the NFC Championship.

The San Francisco 49ers grinded out a 19-12 victory over the Dallas Cowboys
in the NFC Divisional Playoff game on Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium.

San Francisco earned a trip to its second consecutive NFC Championship game and
third in the past four years. Dallas goes home disappointed with its second
consecutive playoff defeat at the hands of the 49ers after finishing the
regular season with a 12-5 record.

“It hurts,” said Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott after the game.
“Very disappointed we weren’t able toto come out. Disappointed in my play.
Disappointed for the guys in the locker room. It’s unfortunate. Sucks.”

Both defenses set the tone early in the first half not allowing either
offense to sustain long drives and forcing punts. Turnovers played a key factor
in San Francisco’s victory as they won the turnover battle two to one.

Deommodore Lenoir intercepted Prescott at the 27-yard line and returned it
six-yards with 5:49 remaining in the first quarter. San Francisco cashed in the
turnover with a 26-yard field goal by Robbie Gould.

Dallas answered back with a 14 play 74-yard scoring drive when Prescott
connected with tight end Dalton Schultz for a four-yard touchdown reception to
give the Cowboys its first lead of the game.

Cowboys’ kicker Brett Maher, who came into the game having missed four of
his last five PAT attempts, had his attempt blocked by Samson Ebukam as the
kicking woes for Maher continued.

“That’s just God putting me in a good spot to block it. All I did was did my job and put my hands up. The kick was low, and I just thanked God he was able to help me block that because that’s a point off the board,” Ebukam said.

With the score tied at 6-6 late in the second quarter, Prescott threw his
second interception of the game when a pass intended for Cee Dee Lamb,
deflected off the hands of Jimmy Ward and picked off by Fred Warner who
returned it to the Cowboys 12-yard line.

Once again, San Francisco settled for a Gould field goal, a 50-yarder, to
end the first half up by three points.

“The defense getting those turnovers, the offense being able to make some third downs (conversions). I don’t think in the first half we had one first down running the ball. I think they were (from) throwing the ball. I think that changed big in the second half. Winning the turnover battle and everything after that,” 49ers head coach Mike Shanahan said.

Dallas received its first break of the game when Ray Ray Mcloud was stripped
of the ball on a punt return after the Niners defense stalled the Cowboys drive
at their own 48-yard line. Kevlin Joesph knocked the ball out of McCloud’s
hands and the ball was recovered by Damone Clark.

Dallas capitalized with a 25-yard field goal by Maher.

The 49ers regained the lead when they marched down the field on their next
possession with a 10 play 91-yard drive that was finished off with a Christian
McCaffery two-yard rushing touchdown. The drive was set up by a 29-yard circus
catch of a reception by tight end George Kittle.

“This is exactly where you wanna be right?” Kittle said about
being one game away from the Super Bowl. “At the start of year back in
OTA’s, all you are doing is preparing for the Super Bowl. To be one step away
from that, it’s awesome.”

Each team would exchange field goals in the fourth quarter. However, when it
mattered at the end, San Francisco’s defense clamped down and held the fort by
not allowing Dallas to get close to scoring the equalizing touchdown late the

With 4th and 10 at their own 18-yard line with just over two minutes
remaining in the fourth quarter, head coach Mike McCarthy decided to punt the
ball with three timeouts left instead of going for it. San Francisco gained two
first downs to milk the clock down 45 second before giving Dallas one last
desperate final drive that resulted in the game clock running out and ending
the Cowboys season.

“We didn’t have enough today. And the guys laid it out there. I don’t
know how close you were to the field. It was an extremely physical football
game. Both teams laid that out there, so, we came up short,” McCarthy

Purdy, despite being pressured throughout the game by Dallas’ front four,
had an efficient game going 19 of 29 for 214 yards with no touchdowns or
interceptions and a QB rating of 87.4. Running back Elijah Mitchell led all
rushers with 51 yards on 14 carries. Kittle led the 49ers in receiving with
five receptions for 95 yards.

“We just stuck with it,” said McCaffery about the offense being more successful in the second half. “I don’t like making blanket statements after games without watching the tape, but you could just feel guys sticking with it, not panicking, just talking it one play at a time.”

Prescott finished 23 of 37 for 206 yards with one touchdown, two
interceptions with a QB rating of 63.6. Lamb led all receivers with 10 catches
for 117 yards. Schultz chipped in five catches for 27 yards to go along with
his touchdown.

GAME NOTES: San Francico finished 7-for-14 on third down conversions. Dallas
was just 5-for-15.

San Francisco is now 19-19-1 overall against Dallas and 10-10 at home against them. The Cowboys is 5-4 against the 49ers in the postseason. 

Dallas running back Tony Pollard suffered an apparent broken leg in the first half and did not return to the game.

UP NEXT: San Francisco takes on the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC
Championship Game on Sunday at 12:00pm at Lincoln Financial Field.

San Francisco 49ers podcast with Joe Hawkes: How Purdy and Prescott match up in today’s Divisional game

The Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott (4) threw four touchdowns in his last game and the San Francisco 49ers Brock Purdy (13) threw for three touchdowns in his last game. J Hawkes talks about the Prescott and Purdy match up on the 49ers podcast today. (photo from ESPN)

On the 49ers podcast with J Hawkes:

#1 Joe, one thing you could say about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy he’s keeping his mistake ratio down a 1.6% turnover rate the best mark for a quarterback in 2022 and Purdy didn’t even play the entire season.

#2 Purdy is noted for not having big plays and having a throw rate but with the supporting cast around him it’s no problem and Purdy is getting the job done and making the throws when he has to.

#3 Joe, when you compare Jimmy Garoppolo to Purdy, Garoppolo didn’t protect the ball as much as Purdy so analysts are saying there is no reason why Purdy can’t take this team to the Superbowl.

#4 Purdy’s turnover rate since week 13 through 15th out of 30 quarterbacks not bad for a first year under center and called in in an emergency back on Dec 4th. In Purdy’s last four games his turnover rate had dropped 1.6% which is the best rate in the NFL.

#5 Joe, talk about what the Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott in his last game he handled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throwing 25-33 for 305 yards with four touchdowns. How do you see the Cowboys and Prescott matching up against the 49ers this afternoon.

Joe Hawkes does the San Francisco 49ers podcasts each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Second half surge power 49ers to 41-23 win over Seahawks in Wild Card matchup

Brock Purdy helped the San Francisco 49ers defeat the Seattle Seahawks in a Wild Card game at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday Jan 14, 2023. (San Francisco 49ers)

by Marko Ukalovic

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Believe it or not, the San Francisco 49ers once trailed in the game.

San Francisco outscored the Seattle Seahawks 25-6 in the second half as they rolled to a 41-23 blowout victory in the first game of Wild Card weekend on Saturday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium.

The 49ers have won 11 games in a row and advanced to the division round next weekend where they will host their second playoff game with the opponent still to be determined with the outcomes of the other two Wild Card games. Seattle’s Cinderella season came to an end after they finished the regular season 9-8 and earned the final playoff berth in the NFC.

“(Winning) 11 in a row in this league is not easy to do,” said 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk about his team firing on all cylinders at the right time. “It is so tough to win any game in this league so for us to string it together like that I do feel like that we’ve hit a good stride.”

This is the first time San Francisco has beat an opponent three times in the same season.

San Francisco jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter as their number one defense forced Seattle’s offense to two consecutive three and outs to start the game.

On the 49ers second offensive possession, Christian McCaffery was the catalyst of the drive. He began it with a 68-yard run on a sweep to the left. McCaffery concluded the five play 85-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Brock Purdy, who became the first rookie quarterback in 49ers franchise history to start a playoff game.

“There was some emotion going into the game, you just feel it. Once the game started, I was like hey it’s 11 on 11, I gotta do my job. I gotta get it (the ball) to the guys when they are in space and go from there. Overall, it wasn’t ‘o my gosh we’re in the playoffs’. We just gotta play our game and let everything else fall into place,” Purdy said.

Seattle responded with a Kenneth Walker III seven-yard rushing touchdown on a drive that completed a 14 play 78-yard drive.

The 49ers settled for a 33-yard Gould field goal after 10 plays and 60-yard drive on its next possession.

Seattle answered back with a five play 71-yard scoring drive. Quarterback Geno Smith threw a deep bomb down the left sideline to DK Metcalf for a 50-yard touchdown reception. It was the Seahawks first lead in the game as they went up 14-13 with 5:01 remaining in the second quarter.

“We expected a tight game, it was a tight game,” said 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan regarding his team’s performance in the first half. “That’s playoff football. But I expected us to score first in the second half and respond.”

Down 17-16 to start the second half, San Francisco began the third quarter with a long methodical drive. Purdy drove his team down the field before finishing off the 13 play 75-yard drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak to regain the lead the 49ers would never relinquish.

The game changing play of the game happened on Seattle’s next drive. With the Seahawks deep into 49ers territory, Charles Omenihu stripped Smith of the ball on a sack that was recovered by Nick Bosa at the 49ers 30-yard line for the game’s first turnover.

“It was a huge play; it changed the momentum of the game. They (Seattle) were in field goal territory, so for us to get that turnover, it was a game changer. We were up by six (points). If they make that field goal, they get momentum (back). It was a big play at the right time,” 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw said.

San Francisco capitalized on the turnover with a seven play 70-yard drive when Purdy on a play action pass to Mitchell for a 7-yard touchdown reception. Purdy connected with Kittle on the two-point conversion for a 31-17 lead.

The 49ers drove the steak right through the heart of the Seahawks when Purdy connected with Deebo Samuel on a play action roll out that resulted in a 74-yard touchdown reception down the sideline where Brandon Aiyuk delivered the key block on the play.

“We’re a two seed for a reason. We know we just have to go out there and play our game. I think we scored on all of our drives in the first half besides one we had a three and out. Our defense said ‘hey we’re going to tighten up, we’re going to get some turnovers.’ They did exactly what they said they were going to do. And when our defense gets turnovers, our offense scores points. And that’s why we’re so good,” Kittle said.

San Francisco’s defense created its second turnover when Deommodore Lenoir intercepted a pass from intended for Tyler Lockett and returned it to the Seahawks 37-yard line.

Seattle closed out the scoring with 1:48 remaining in the fourth quarter when Smith connected with Metcalf for a three-yard touchdown.

Purdy, who played his best game as a starter, finished the game with 18 of 30 for 332 yards and three touchdowns to go with his four overall touchdown performance, no interceptions and a QB rating of 131.5. Samuel had one of his best performances of the season with six catches for 133 yards and one touchdown to go along with 32 rushing yards on three carries.

McCaffery had another dominating performance in the trenches as he led all rushers with 119 yards on 15 carries while chipping in two receptions for 17 yards and one touchdown.

Smith went 25 of 35 for 253 yards with two touchdowns and one interception with a QB rating of 98.9. Metcalf led all receivers with 10 catches for 136 yards to go along with his two touchdowns. Walker III chipped in 63 yards on the ground in 15 carries.

GAME NOTES: San Francisco finished the game 6-for-11 on third down conversions. Seattle was 6-for-13.

UP NEXT: San Francisco hosts a Divisional Playoff game on either Saturday 1/21 or Sunday 1/22. Team and time TBD.

San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor: 49ers crush Seahawks 41-23; Advance to Divisional round next week

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) is congratulated by wide receiver Jauan Jennings after scoring against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara on Sat Jan 14, 2023 (AP News photo)

On the 49ers podcast with David:

#1 Dave, this Wild Card playoff was not even close the San Francisco 49ers (14-4) landslided the visiting Seattle Seahawks (9-9) behind the amazing quarterbacking of rookie Brook Purdy 41-23 who threw for four touchdowns.

#2 The Seahawks came out in the first half looking like they might make this a competitive contest with a one point 17-16 lead but that was all erased in the second half as the 49ers shutout the Seahawks in the third quarter and opened up the offense with 18 points in the fourth quarter.

#3 Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll during that second half tried to get them on track but quarterback Geno Smith unlike the first half just couldn’t execute in the red zone and the 49ers pass rush keep Smith running in the third quarter where Seattle was shutout.

Join David for the 49ers podcasts Wednesdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NFL Playoffs podcast with Dave Zizmor: Can 49ers Purdy take on the league to get to the Superbowl?; Chargers battle Jaguars Saturday; plus more

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy affixes his cap after the 49ers defeated the Las Vegas Raiders on Sun Jan 1, 2023 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. On Sat Jan 14, 2023 at Levi Stadium the 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks for the Wild Card Playoff. (AP News photo)

David talks NFL playoffs and predictions:

#1 Dave, let’s take each scheduled game one at a time, lets start with Saturday’s NFC Wild Card game Seattle and San Francisco.

#2 Next we have game two of the Saturday playoff doubleheader with the Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars.

#3 Four games are scheduled for this Sunday’s playoffs with the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills.

#4 New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings is the second game for the afternoon and Tony will give you his prediction.

#5 The Baltimore Ravens are in Cincinnati to face the Bengals a 5:15 kickoff.

#6 Rounding playoff schedule the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers kickoff at 5:15 on Monday Night Football as well Dave who do you like in this one.

David Zizmor filled in for Tony Renteria. Dave takes you through each playoff game during the post season on Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com