But who will prevail in Philadelphia in Week 13? Here are our staff predictions.
The Eagles may have the services of Dallas Goedert and Lane Johnson offensively. They’ll need those two the way the Eagles have performed defensively recently. Philadelphia has been out gained by 109 yards on average during the previous four games.
But you also have to credit Jalen Hurts, who is 5-0 when trailing at halftime or by double-digits this season. That’s three more victories than the rest of the NFL combined.
The stigma attached to the Eagles' most recent opponents, the Chiefs and Bills, are that they’re this high-flying offense’s with star quarterbacks running the show. The latter part of that statement is true. But I beg to differ on the former.
I remember not long ago that same Bills offense scoring 14 points at home against the might Giants defense. They’ve struggled to string together offense in every game since — and no, we’re not counting a game where Zach Wilson was involved.
The Chiefs go full quarters without scoring. Their skill players pale in comparison to what the 49ers bring to the table.
It’s a bad scheduling spot for the Eagles who feel like they’re in an identical spot to where the 49ers were when the Bengals came to Santa Clara earlier this season. Hurts and that offense will score because that’s what they do.
But this is the game where water meets its level for an Eagles defense that has lived on the field for a month straight. I’ll copy the Bengals score in this revenge spot for the rested road team 49ers 31, Eagles 17.
The Eagles are 10-1. One could make the argument that Philadelphia hasn’t put together a full game this season. The 49ers, on the other hand, have put several full games together and their wins have largely been dominant. If the 49ers from the last three weeks show up Sunday in Philadelphia, the 49ers will win. For the record, I have a great deal of respect for the way Philadelphia finds ways to win games. The 49ers have yet to secure a victory this season in a game in which things haven’t been smooth.
Coming off a mini-bye and heading to Philadelphia is the best-case scenario for the team who will face four teams following their bye this season. The 49ers had a few impact players miss practice on Wednesday, but for the most part, the team is healthy and rolling into this matchup. It’s time for the 49ers to execute the plan they had in place for the NFC Championship game. I’m looking at you, Deebo Samuel.
The Eagles defense has spent what seems like a year on the field these last two weeks with just about 140 snaps combined on defense. The plan should be ball control, clean football, converting points off turnovers, and winning the time of possession battle. Expect a heavy dose of the run game on Sunday and Brock Purdy to make timely throws on 3rd down and in the red zone.
The 49ers win this one 31-24. It won’t bring back the NFC title or put them in the number one seed, but it will send a message that this team can go into Philadelphia and win.
Both of these teams are really good at playing football; that is obvious. This is a matchup between the two best teams in the world, and it feels like we are on a collision course for another NFC Championship Game between the two.
Keep in mind Sunday is not that; it’s just a regular season game. An Eagles win would put Philadelphia three games ahead of the 49ers with five to go and the tiebreaker, all but dooming San Francisco to a first-round home game.
I would say there’s a 90 percent chance this is a close game and a 10 percent chance it’s a blowout. If it stays close, Philadelphia has shown it can win close games in many different ways, while San Francisco hasn’t shown it. With an 80 percent chance of rain, I expect a wet, sloppy, ugly, hoss fight of a game to break out.
Unfortunately, the Eagles have shown it can win ugly and the 49ers have not. Eagles 20, 49ers 14 (Hey! If the 49ers win the playoff rematch, only the history books will remember this game)
Last year, I remember picking the Eagles to beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game and the outrage that came with that selection. But, I do believe the circumstances surrounding this specific game have changed. Philadelphia’s defense has struggled the last three weeks, giving up the fourth-most yards per game. Now, they’ve won all three of those in comeback fashion, but I don’t know if they’ll get that opportunity this weekend.
Additionally, when you look at the schedule, the Eagles, sitting at 10-1 are the midst of an extremely difficult five-game stretch, with the most important game on their remaining slate coming next week against the Dallas Cowboys. With the 49ers being on extra rest, I wouldn’t be surprised if they look like the fresher team.
My hot take for this game is that the 49ers will win, inching them to within one game of the No. 1 seed, but they’ll ultimately fall short of obtaining the top seed and the first-round bye that comes with it because of one more loss later this season.
Score: 49ers 27, Eagles 17