The San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles will face off in the NFC Championship Game this Sunday, and it has the potential to be one of the more memorable title games we have seen in years.
Both teams are relatively evenly matched and have similar strengths, but Hall of Fame tight end and Fox Sports 1 personality Shannon Sharpe feels the 49ers will edge out Philly because of their coaching staff.
.@ShannonSharpe predicts a 49ers win in the NFC Championship Game over Eagles:
“This game is really evenly matched. The 49ers will come up with a gameplan to neutralize Jalen Hurts’ legs and win a close one, 23-20.” pic.twitter.com/LPFNoOtwiP
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) January 27, 2023
Kyle Shanahan, the Niners’ head coach, is regarded as one of the better tacticians in the league, while their defensive coordinator, DeMeco Ryans, has done an amazing job of fortifying their defense over the last couple of years and is now a hot head coaching candidate for multiple teams.
During Sharpe’s days with the Denver Broncos in the 1990s, he played for Shanahan’s father, Mike Shanahan, with whom he won back-to-back Super Bowls.
The biggest concern for San Francisco may be the ability of Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts to move the chains with his feet, an ability that allowed him to log 760 yards and 13 touchdowns by himself during the regular season.
However, the Niners boast the best defense in the league, and that defense ranked second in rushing yards allowed during the regular season.
On the other hand, Philly’s one weakness may be its rushing defense, and the Niners are equipped to expose it.
With Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell at running back, as well as wide receiver Deebo Samuel‘s ability to line up in the backfield, San Francisco can pull off big rushing plays at key points, just as it did against the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round last weekend.NEXT: NFL Insider Breaks Down The Latest On DeMeco Ryans