The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the NFC Championship Game featuring the San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles.
|37.95%||2||Opp. Rush %||41.46%||10|
|62.05%||31||Opp. Pass %||58.54%||23|
Against the Spread
Eagles ATS at Home: 7-3
49ers ATS Away: 3-4
Eagles ATS as Favorite: 9-8
49ers ATS as Underdog: 1-1
We have not seen this matchup yet this season, but the top two seeds in the NFC both reached the Conference Championship doing what they do best last weekend.
The Eagles cleaned up against the Giants, winning 38-7. They went up 14-0 in the first quarter and 28-0 at the half and never looked back. This has been the case with the Eagles all season. They have been the hottest starting team on offense early in games.
Philadelphia leads the NFL in points per drive (3.16), touchdown rate per drive (39.8%), and scoring rate per drive (53.1%) in the first half of games this season. Their 6.4 yards per play in the first half are second only to the Chiefs in the opening half. The Eagles have outscored their opponents by 149 points in the first half this season, the largest differential in the league. No team in the NFL has trailed for fewer second half snaps than the Eagles this season.
This will be a strong test of the best scoring offense in the league to open up games versus the best defense in preventing early points. The team that is second in the league in first half scoring differential is the 49ers (+105 points). They have done so on the strength of a defense allowing a league-low 1.49 points per drive in the first half of games this season.
Both of these defenses have sat among the league’s best the entire season. Not only are they both in the top five in yards allowed per play, but the 49ers lead the NFL in points allowed per drive (1.45) while the Eagles are ninth (1.72 points).
In the Divisional Round, these teams combined to allow two touchdowns on 20 possessions. The 49ers have forced a turnover on 15.8% of opponent possessions (first) while the Eagles have a takeaway on 14.7% of opponent possessions (third). These are also two of the best early-down defenses in the league, with the 49ers ranking second in the league in yards allowed per play on first down (4.8) while the Eagles are third (4.8 yards as well, only decimals below without rounding).
The Eagles have played five games against top-10 defenses in EPA allowed per play. In those games, they dipped down to 1.93 points per drive, with a touchdown on 23.2% of those possessions and scoring on 33.9% of those drives. Jalen Hurts did not start in two of those weeks as a grain of salt, but this will be the best defense the Eagles have faced this season.
The 49ers just played their fourth game of the season against a top-10 defense and their first legitimate test last weekend since Brock Purdy took over as the starting quarterback. Their 4.9 yards per play on offense were the fewest they have had in a game Purdy has started and ahead of only the Cowboys and Giants this past weekend. They had just three games with fewer yards per play than what they posted on Sunday during the regular season. Of the four teams that won this past weekend, San Francisco had the lowest third down conversion rate (50%) and lowest red zone conversion rate (33.3%) to go with the fewest yards per play.
These teams are very evenly matched across the board in terms of objective metrics and the overall subjective depth of their rosters. The one area where the 49ers will once again have to keep answering the call on this week is can Purdy and this offense with him under center punch up in weight class versus another front-end defense while this defense will be tasked with slowing down another offense at the front of the league.