The 49ers and Eagles appear evenly matched, meaning the NFC Championship game is likely to be decided by who wins in these stat categories.
The 2023 NFC Championship game is going to feature the two ideal teams from the conference, the one-seeded Philadelphia Eagles and the two-seeded San Francisco 49ers.
No Wild Card squads shocking their way to the Super Bowl. No sub-.500 teams that only managed to play for the conference championship because they came from an awful division.
Nope. Just the two best teams from the NFC, period. It’s the way it should be.
Interestingly enough, both Philly and the Niners are equally matched in a large number of different categories. Both teams have top-10 offenses and defenses, both have an array of weapons on offense and both are known for boasting formidable pass-rushes.
However, as FanSided’s Matt Verderame pointed out, “the winner is often decided on the margins.”
Let’s take a look at five stats that ultimately decide which team advances beyond the NFC Championship game.
49ers vs. Eagles stat No. 5: Time of possession
A little Football 101 here. But, especially in this case, possessing the football will be vital.
Both San Francisco and Philadelphia boast elite-level defenses, the former ranking No. 1 in scoring and the latter having an impressive 70 sacks on the year.
That said, the longer one is on the field, the more vulnerable it becomes, which was glaringly clear during the late stages of the 49ers’ divisional-round win over the Dallas Cowboys. In that contest, a good Cowboys defense was slowly worn down late in the third quarter and into the fourth, influencing the Niners’ victory.
On top of that, the Eagles own the third-best scoring offense during the regular season. The best way to keep Philly from scoring, offensively, is to not let quarterback Jalen Hurts and Co. on the field.
In this category, San Francisco had the edge with an average offensive time of possession per game of 31:57, which was second best.
Philadelphia was eighth at 30:50.