NFC Championship Game: San Francisco 49ers 7-31 Philadelphia Eagles – live - The Guardian

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And it all ends with a loud “Fly Eagles Fly” sing-a-long. This is the most Philadelphia Sports thing to happen, at least for the next two weeks.

Jalen Hurts is up to talk. “Let’s take a moment to show love to these fans,” he says. He then immediately adds, “It’s a special city.”

That is the correct way to do things in Philadelphia Jalen.

We immediately go to the trophy presentation. That was quick, I’m used to championship games where it takes 10 minutes or so to get the whole setup together.

The conference championship games don’t quite get the same level of attention.

The Eagles are Super Bowl bound!

The Philadelphia Eagles are heading to Super Bowl LVII where they will face the winners of the upcoming AFC Championship Game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs (which the Guardian’s David Lengel will be liveblogging over here).

Eagles win! 49ers 7-31 Eagles, final score

49ers 7-31 Eagles, FINAL

Gainwell gets the ball and takes the ball six yards. Gardner Minshew is now in the game which is basically an opportunity for the Eagles crowd to give their love to Hurts. Minshew kneels out the remainder of the time and that will do it. The Philadelphia Eagles have won the NFC Championship Game!

I think that @HunterFelt, who is live-tweeting the 49ers-Eagles game for The Guardian may (entirely understandably) have fallen asleep...

— Deborah (@deborah_c) January 29, 2023

I am awake, it just took me quite a bit of time to figure out what exactly happened during the on-field fight. Combat sports are not my area of expertise.

49ers 7-31 Eagles, 2:00, 4th quarter

After all that, Samuel fumbles on 4th and 3. The Eagles recover. Boston Scott gets the ball for the next few possessions, not that it matters much.

Oh yeah and Trent Williams was also rejected on the previous play for doing this:

49ers 7-31 Eagles, 4:13, 4th quarter

Purdy is back out there at quarterback for the next play. He throws to Kittle for a yard. 2nd and 10, McCaffrey runs for five yards but the big action happens after the play as the two teams get into a tussle on the field. There are offsetting penalties and the Eagles’ K’von Wallace gets ejected.

49ers 7-31 Eagles, 4:58, 4th quarter

Samuel is out to receive the kickoff and keeps it alive for a good while before getting taken out at the SF 31. McCaffrey is forced to throw one deep on the next play and it is, as one would expect, incomplete.

Email from Justin Kavanagh:

At least Greenlaw has paid his respects to Rocky Balboa while in Philly. It’s more than most of the 49s have left on the field tonight.

Couldn’t get out of Philadelphia without at least one “Rocky” reference.

Field goal (Eagles) 49ers 7-31 Eagles

49ers 7-31 Eagles, 5:17, 4th quarter

Gainwell gets pushed back for three yards on the gifted first down. On 2nd and 13, Gainwell gets the ball to the SF 6. 3rd and 7, Gainwell is tackled immediately. The Eagles field goal unit comes on to change the score from merely “insurmountable” to “entirely insurmountable.”

Jake Elliott’s 31-yarder is good! The FOX broadcast goes to break with Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom.”

49ers 7-28 Eagles, 7:42, 4th quarter

Gainwell picks up 12 yards for a first down that takes them to the SF 28. He gets the ball again, but gets stuffed. 2nd and 10. Gainwell gets stuffed again, this time for a loss. 3rd and 12. Gainwell gets stopped again but…

There is yet another flag! It’s on Dru Greenlaw, who is caught trying to do a little boxing. An unnecessary roughness penalty gives the Eagles 14 yards and a first down.

49ers 7-28 Eagles, 10:28, 4th quarter

Now we’ll most likely see the Eagles try to run the ball. Indeed, Gainwell picks up three yards to the 49ers’ 40-yard-line. Eagles guard Landon Dickerson is injured on the play, so he leaves the field.

49ers 7-28 Eagles, 10:56, 4th quarter

On 4th and 2, Samuel gets pushed for a loss and the Eagles take over on downs. The hometown crowd cheers. It’s all falling action from here on out.

49ers 7-28 Eagles, 11:43, 4th quarter

2nd and 4, McCaffrey picks up 5 yards for a first down. 1st and 10 at the SF 39, Kittle picks up four yards. The clock keeps ticking and you feel like the Eagles will take this. Samuel gets another yard on 2nd and 6, it’s now 3rd and 5. Tick, tick, tick. McCaffrey gets three yards.

49ers 7-28 Eagles, 14:34, 4th quarter

McCaffrey picks up three yards. Here’s the other problem: the Niners are down so big that they can’t afford to keep running the ball but Purdy can’t really throw.

Finally there’s a flag on the Eagles, who got caught offside. That’s a five-yard penalty and it’s 1st and 5. On the next play, Samuel scrambles for forever but can only pick up a single yard.

Email from Gareth Davis:

Jesus Christ. How many penalties/yards is that on the Niners now? If they had a modicum of discipline they might be keeping this a little tighter, possibly giving themselves a chance and at the very least attracting sympathy for the QB injuries. As it is, it’s hard to feel sorry for a team repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot through idiotic and almost wholly avoidable flags.

That about sums it up, the 49ers weren’t winning with anybody at quarterback playing like this.

49ers 7-28 Eagles, end of the 3rd quarter

McCaffrey gets nine yards on the next play. On 2nd and 1, he gets the ball to the 28-yard-line for a first down. Now, however, they have just one quarter remaining and Johnson will officially not be returning.

49ers 7-28 Eagles, :43, 3rd quarter

Samuel takes the kickoff to the San Francisco 25. You’ll never believe this, but there’s a flag on the play! It’s holding on You Guess What Team. The 49ers take a ten-yard penalty.

Touchdown! (Eagles) 49ers 7-28 Eagles; 00:43, 3rd quarter

Boston Scott picks up two yards on the next play. The Eagles are at the one yard-line. 2nd and goal. The Niners defense stuff Hurts for no gain (not an easy thing to do).

They can’t stop him on third down however, as Hurts rumbles in for a touchdown (with help from his linemen) that might have already ended all the drama here.

The extra point is good. What did I say about not seeing a one-sided blowout in this game?

49ers 7-21 Eagles, 2:28, 3rd quarter

Hurts runs on the next two plays, taking the ball to the San Francisco 21. On 2nd and 8, Hurts goes off for a first down. The Eagles are at the seven-yard line. No make that the third-yard line, after an unnecessary roughness call against the 49ers.

49ers 7-21 Eagles, 4:05, 3rd quarter

Hurts runs for four yards on the next down and then throws incomplete. On 3rd and 6, Hurts throws long but incomplete to Quez Watkins. Kern’s punt is short, but there’s a penalty on the play. It’s a roughing the kicker penalty that gifts Philadelphia an extra 15 yards and a first down.

49ers 7-21 Eagles, 5:26, 3rd quarter

Gainwell picks up a six yard gain on first down but gets stuffed for a one-yard loss on the next play, a great stop by Bosa. 3rd and 5. Hurts tosses a low throw that’s scooped up by Gainwell who gets a 17-yard gain to keep this drive alive. Considering the game situation, that could be a backbreaking completion allowed by SF.

49ers 7-21 Eagles, 6:46, 3rd quarter

Hurts hands it off to Boston Scott, who I always will refer to by his full name. Boston Scott only picks up one yard. 2nd and 9, Hurts scrambles for a six-yard game. 3rd and 2, Hurts finds Smith for a first-down that puts the Eagles at their own 24.

49ers 7-21 Eagles, 8:40, 3rd quarter

McCaffrey, freed from the pressures of emergency quarterbacking, carries the ball a yard. It’s 3rd and 13, Purdy throws a weak pass to McCaffrey who manages to pick up three yards after being pushed back. The 49ers punt again, pinning the Eagles to their own nine-yard line.

49ers 7-21 Eagles, 10:47, 3rd quarter

Purdy has returned to the field but there’s a worry that he might not be able to throw? Samuel takes the ball first and he gets pushed back four yards.

49ers 7-21 Eagles, 10:56, 3rd quarter

McCloud receives the Eagles’ punt and takes is to the San Francisco 45 where… somebody will come in to play offense. Stay tuned to find out!

The football gods saw all of our "Kyle Shanahan doesn't need a QB" takes and they're punishing us

— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) January 29, 2023

49ers 7-21 Eagles, 11:01, 3rd quarter

The Eagles start at their own 17 after the punt. Sanders picks up three yards. 2nd and 7, Hurts throws incomplete on the next two plays. The 49ers defense shuts the Eagles down and now we’ll see exactly what they’re going to do on QB. Purdy is trying to warm up on the sidelines.

Josh Johnson removed due to injury

49ers 7-21 Eagles, 11:49, 3rd quarter

I cannot believe this, but Josh Johnson is now out of the game after hitting his head on the turf.

McCaffrey runs for four yards on the next play as Purdy reenters the game to hand it off. Mercifully that’s not enough for a first down and the 49ers don’t have to figure out what they’re going to do at QB because they just punt.

On 1st and 15, Johnson throws to Caffrey who only picks up a yard. On 2nd and 14, Johnson’s long throw to Samuel is nearly picked off. And then it gets worse for the Niners …

Start of the second half!

49ers 7-21 Eagles, 14:17, 3rd quarter

49ers start at their own 25. McCaffrey gets pushed back three yards. On 2nd and 13, Johnson throws incomplete. Eagles almost have a quick stop, but Johnson finds Kittle for a 22 yard gain! They’re at their own 44 just like that.

Email from Reg Gorczynski:

watching in snowy Toronto...this game became a non contest as soon as Purdy was injured....[Niners] defence is excellent but no team can hold out in a key game like this with only half a team...and Johnson is a 4th string journeyman QB for a reason!

I feel like Philadelphia wins this, but the 49ers can still at least put a scare in them in the second half. At least I hope so, I have a lot more bad puns I need to expose to the widest audience possible and our readership is biggest when the games are competitive.

Email from David Good:

SF working hard to prevent this being any sort of contest. My impression is they play better after halftime, which is pretty much the only reason I’m still watching. The Eagles haven’t had to do much more than be competent (although Reddick has been immense). How do you think they stack up against the Bengals/Chiefs?

A healthy Mahomes would probably give the Chiefs the edge, but I’m not sure they would have that even come Super Bowl time. I like the Eagles over the Bengals, but I have a tendency to underrate Cincinnati (as their fans will tell you).

But, again, this game isn’t over yet, even if it feels that way.

Email from Niall Mullen:

Given the QB situation, I wonder what Colin Kapernick is doing?

Never not relevant when looking at quarterback situations around the league.

Email from Ben Dunn:

This game reads better than it watches. Who come in if JJ goes down? Does CMC throw and hand off to himself for the rest of the game?

It honestly might be Deebo Samuel? That would be interesting but I don’t think Niners fans particularly would want “interesting” right now.

I hear you as far as this game, at one point after the 17th or 18th delay I yelled “oh come on” to the TV screen. There has been no continuity.

Halftime thoughts

Well this was supposed to be a lot more entertaining game, wasn’t it? Brock Purdy’s injury and a series of increasingly backbreaking penalties have put the Niners in a huge hole and they are going to need a huge comeback here.

The good news? We’ve seen more improbable ones during these playoffs.

End of first half: 49ers 7-21 Eagles

Miles Sanders hops over the goalline for a touchdown in the first-half
Miles Sanders hops over the goalline for a touchdown in the first-half. Photograph: Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

McCloud takes the opening kickoff to the San Francisco 41 yards. There might just be enough time on the clock for the 49ers to do something here. Johnson overthrows to McCaffrey. 2nd and 10, but just five seconds to go. Samuel gets a first down on the next drive, but it doesn’t matter because time has officially expired.

Touchdown (Eagles) 49ers 7-21 Eagles; 00:16, 2nd quarter

Boston Scott gets a rare touchdown that does not hurt the New York Giants on the very next play! This feels like it could be the game-changing drive of the afternoon.

The Eagles go for a two-point conversion but get called for having too many players on the field. Instead, they go for an extra-point attempt, which is successful.

49ers 7-14 Eagles, :21, 2nd quarter

So, instead of being able to answer, the 49ers have to rely on their defense to prevent the Eagles from extending their lead before halftime. Hurts throws to Goedert for a five yard gain and then does that again on the next play.

The Eagles get to the SF 20 and then there’s another freaking penalty on the 49ers, which is half the distance to the goal. So they will be in a 1st and goal situation.

49ers 7-14 Eagles, 1:11, 2nd quarter

On the 49ers first play, Johnson finds Samuel for a 11-yard gain. That’s good. On the next play, however, the ball comes loose and the Eagles’ Hasson Reddick recovers the fumble for Philadelphia. Absolute nightmare for San Francisco. Eagles have possession at the SF 30.

49ers 7-14 Eagles, 1:36, 2nd quarter

Great blocking by Jason Kelce on that touchdown drive. Elliott’s kick goes into the end zone for a touchback. The 49ers have time here to answer or at least they would if they weren’t down to the Last Quarterback Standing.

Touchdown! (Eagles) 49ers 7-14 Eagles; 1:36, 2nd quarter

Eagles fans: happy. Photograph: John Angelillo/UPI/REX/Shutterstock

Sanders picks up five yards on the next down. On the next down, he picks up 13 yards which is enough to take him right to the end zone, pretty much untouched. The extra point is good and the Eagles retake the lead!

49ers 7-7 Eagles, 1:55, 2nd quarter

Sanders only picks up a yard on 1st and 10. On 2nd and 9, Hurts throws incomplete but my god there is another freaking penalty. It’s on the 49ers again, who have been their own worst enemy. That’s a five yard penalty that makes it 1st and 10 at the San Francisco 18.

Email from tomatkinsbd89:

Pub Trash Talk

Djimi Traore has a Champions League medal. Stephane Guivar’ch has won the World Cup. Paul Collingwood has an MBE for scoring 10 in an Ashes series. Are we about to see the equivalent for Josh Johnson?

Um, possibly? These references are a little out of my areas of expertise as an Ugly American.

49ers 7-7 Eagles, 2:00, 2nd quarter

Gainwell goes off for a 17-yard carry. That’s a big one. That takes the Eagles to the 49ers’ 24 and us to the two-minute warning!

49ers 7-7 Eagles, 2:53, 2nd quarter

So, the Eagles are back on their 42 yard line. Finally, we get an actual football play, as Hurts finds Goedert for four yards. On the next play, Hurts finds Gainwell who gets nine yards and a first down. 3rd and 2, Gainwell gets four yards and the Eagles have a first down at the San Francisco 41.

49ers 7-7 Eagles, 4:36, 2nd quarter

Hurts’s next pass is incomplete. Hurts can’t find a play on the next drive, either passing or rushing, but they draw another defensive penalty. This time it’s illegal use of hands and the Eagles have first down on their 47.

And there’s another penalty on the next play, a false start on Philadelphia. Can we just get on with it already? That’s five yards on the Eagles.

49ers 7-7 Eagles, 5:08, 2nd quarter

Hurts passes to Sanders who gets tackled immediately at the Eagles 39. 2nd and 6, Hurts unleashes a long bomb but Smith can’t get separation. Incomplete pass. On the next play, Hurts throws to Brown, it’s incomplete but there’s defensive pass interference on the play. Automatic first down at the Philadelphia 39.

49ers 7-7 Eagles, 6:39, 2nd quarter

Robbie Gould’s kick goes into the end zone for a touchback. The Eagles start at their 25. Sanders gets the ball on first down, taking it for four yards. He gets four yards again on this second carry. A big 3rd and 2 for Philadelphia here. Hurts tries to carry it itself and, despite a neat spin move, he can’t quite get there. Eagles have to punt…

Or no they don’t! Hurt sneaks it again and this time he picks it up. A key fourth-down conversion for Philly.

Email from Peter Evans:

Hi Hunter

Are we going to see the 4th pick quarterback taking a team to the superbowl ????

It’s officially on the table!

Touchdown! (49ers) 49ers 7-7 Eagles; 8:29, 2nd quarter

“They had to go the backup chains.” More randomness occurs! On the next play, the Eagles pressure Johnson who has to throw it incomplete. 2nd and 10. McCaffrey breaks free off tackles… and he takes it all the way into the end zone. The 49ers are a PAT away from tying this game.

And the extra point is good! Tied game!

49ers 0-7 Eagles, 9:16, 2nd quarter

Johnson finds McCaffrey again who almost picks up another first down, taking the ball to the Eagles 25. On the next play, Johnson sneaks it through the Eagles’ defense for a two-yard gain. They’re at the 23 now.

49ers 0-7 Eagles, 10:31, 2nd quarter

Johnson passes to McCaffrey who just barely misses picking up a first down but picks up a few more yards on second down to bring the 49ers to the Eagles 37.

49ers 0-7 Eagles, 11:27, 2nd quarter

Ray-Ray McCloud carry-carries Kern’s punt to the Eagles 46-yard-line, meaning San Francisco will once again have great field position.

49ers 0-7 Eagles, 11:24, 2nd quarter

With all that, it’s hard to remember that the Eagles have just a one-score lead. Sanders gets the ball on 1st down and gets pushed back a yard. 2nd and 11, Hurts barely escapes getting dragged back into his end zone for a safety by Bosa. Hurts’s next pass is incomplete and that’s a three-and-out forced by the Niners’ defense which is keeping them in this game.

Email from David Good:

Hi Hunter,

How’s it going? As a game of football, this pretty much sucks, but as a random incident generator this is premium stuff.


That about sums it up: a lot has happened, but not much has gone on. Or vice-versa, perhaps.

49ers 0-7 Eagles, 13:07, 2nd quarter

On 1st and 15, Johnson is sacked for five yards. It’s 2nd and 20, Johnson’s throw is incomplete. 3rd and 20 at the 44. Johnson’s pass is incomplete but there’s yet another flag here. It’s on the offense though, so Philadelphia declines. What a huge opportunity wasted by this 49ers team, which has to punt. Mitch Wishnowsky’s punt is caught at the Eagles’ seven-yard line.

49ers 0-7 Eagles, 14:12, 2nd quarter

I have no idea what to say about this 49ers team if they manage to win this game with Johnson at quarterback. It would be absolutely absurd. Much of it will be on McCaffrey and the running game. On 2nd and 1, McCaffrey picks up 7 yards. 1st and 10, there’s delay of game call on SF, with a five yard penalty.

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