For the second consecutive year, the San Francisco 49ers are one of four teams left standing in the NFL Playoffs.
It’s the second straight year the Niners will be on the road in the NFC Championship Game as well, this time heading east to Philadelphia to take on the top-seeded Eagles. Last year the 49ers didn’t have to stray too far from home, playing the title game at SoFi Stadium against the Los Angeles Rams.
This time around, however, the Niners are the No. 2 seed and have perhaps an even better team than they did last season. George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Ayiuk are all still top weapons for Kyle Shanahan, but the addition of Christian McCaffrey is a critical difference in the gameplan.
There’s also the quarterback situation, as Brock Purdy is making just his eighth start in the NFL after being drafted with the last pick in the NFL Draft this past April.
San Francisco is battle-tested, though, having won a warmup game Wild Card weekend against the Seahawks and a gritty game against Dallas in the NFC Divisional Round. Make no mistake about it, the Niners are coming to Philly as the underdogs, but they’re also carrying with them a winning formula with some of the most dangerous players in the league.
What time is the 49ers game today? (Updated January 29th)
The good news for San Francisco is that it’s historically had Philadelphia’s number. The two teams have met 34 times with the Niners owning a 19-14-1 record.
Lately, however, the Eagles have had the upper hand. San Francisco is 1-2 under Shanahan, which includes three meetings dating back to 2017. The Niners only win came a year ago, and it was in Philadelphia against a Jalen Hurts-led, Nick Sirianni-coached team. Things have obviously changed on the Eagles side of things since then, but it’s a confidence booster.
Another interesting trick Shanahan used was digging up some NFL history to motivate his team. This past week he showed the team film from the 2002 NFC Championship Game, in which the underdog Tampa Bay Buccaneers upset the Eagles. There are a ton of parallels between this Niners team and the Bucs team that pulled off the upset, from both being No. 2 seeds with world-class defenses, to both being warm-weather teams needing to win in a frigid and hostile environment.
Here’s when the 49ers play today and where to catch the NFC Championship action:
- Date: Saturday, January 29th
- Start Time: 3 pm ET / 2 pm CT
- TV Channel: FOX
- Announcers: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olson
- Live Stream: Fox Sports Go | Fubo.tv
With only one game per conference remaining, 49ers fans will get to hear Fox’s “A-Team” announcing crew of Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olson. Not for nothing, but it might be the last game Olson gets to call as part of the top announcing team at FOX. If Tom Brady retires from the NFL this offseason, he has a $375 million deal on the table to take the color analyst job Olson has alongside Burkhardt.
Of course, if Brady comes to San Francisco next season (or somewhere else), Olson will be allowed another season in the booth.