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How the 49ers embraced the antics in win vs. the Eagles

The 49ers added fuel to the rivalry and ultimately backed up their talk with a major win Sunday.

San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers swiftly defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 42-19 on Sunday, gaining revenge for their loss to their counterparts in last year’s NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Memorial Field.

It was a matchup fueled with back-and-forth antics between both teams, both pregame and during the game, leading to several heated moments in an evolving rivalry.

Ultimately, the 49ers were able to overcome those moments, which involved the ejection of linebacker Dre Greenlaw after an altercation with Philadelphia’s head of security off the sidelines, and pull out the victory, improving to 9-3 on the season and placing them just one game behind the No. 1 seed.

How were the 49ers able to get past the emotional portion of the game?

It all started with Samuel, who has been at the forefront of the back-and-forth chirping between the 49ers and the Eagles.

After catching seven passes for 79 yards last week, Samuel added four catches for 163 yards and three total touchdowns this weekend in a dominant performance where he worked almost exclusively after the catch.

Following the game, Samuel chalked up the chatter to being “fun and games”, but didn’t let that get in the way of his primary objective.

“I mean, it’s part of the game,” Samuel said about the trash talk and the chatter. “Hopefully nobody took it to heart because it’s just all fun and games at the end of the day.”

While Samuel isn’t opposed to the trash talk, the receiver knew the task at hand, acknowledging to reporters that he was in the “zone” all week.

“I ain’t gonna lie, I was in that zone like all week long for us,” Samuel revealed to reporters postgame. “I really wasn’t even listening to them, to be honest. I was just so locked in and ignoring all the noise.”

While his teammates understood the history between the 49ers and the Eagles, they didn’t believe that it’d get in the way of Samuel’s work ethic, which was reflected by his performance.

“Going into the week, obviously, Deebo had a little something to him,” quarterback Brock Purdy said postgame. “That’s just that’s just who he is. And he can do that. He’s good enough to do that. But was it a distraction or anything like that? No. Deebo’s practiced hard all week. Every single week he’s done that.”

“Going into this game, yeah, he had a little [history] with obviously the way things went down last year in the playoff game, and he’s definitely looked forward to this game coming back into this place,” Purdy added. “So, he was pumped about it and stoked and ready to go. And man, all I had to do is give him the ball and some space, and he made the rest happen.”

Do performances like Samuel’s surprise his teammates, especially when he sets the bar high with his words? Not at all, according to stars Fred Warner and Nick Bosa.

“Deebo is one of the best football players I’ve ever seen,” Warner said postgame. “Performances like that don’t surprise me. It’s only a matter of time when he does kind of pop off like that. And people were saying things about things that he may have said before the game, but I think it’s safe to say his actions spoke louder than his words.”

“I think he’s the epitome of unselfishness. He got paid, and obviously that comes with a lot of pressure to be the guy,” Bosa said. “And when you have so many dudes, you’re not going to get those ops very often. But I love the fact that he could talk and set the stage and walk into a hostile environment and just thrive, and that’s what greatness is made of, for sure.”

Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk delved into the antics between the two sides, sharing how it only heightened the “fun” behind the game, which ended up in the 49ers’ favor.

“It made it a bunch of fun just because the hate, you could say, between both sides, it made it super fun,” Aiyuk said. “And we got the dub.”

With the win, the 49ers stand at 9-3 and comfortably own first place in the NFC West, with a matchup against the Seattle Seahawks coming at Levi’s Stadium in Week 14.

The Eagles, on the other hand, dropping to 10-2, and face a tough Dallas Cowboys team on the road this week. Should Philadelphia lose, and San Francisco win, the 49ers would claim possession of the No. 1 seed due to the tiebreaker.