49ers alter balance of power in NFC by soundly beating Eagles in Week 13

It didn't send the Niners to the Super Bowl, but Week 13's win over the Eagles sure had to feel good for San Francisco after the NFC Championship game last January.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (L) and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (R)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (L) and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (R) / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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42. 42. Final. 19. 54. 49ers Eagles final score

Despite a sluggish start, the 49ers ultimately imposed their offensive will in a high-profile showdown against the top-seeded Eagles in Week 13.

The Philadelphia Eagles made it all the way to Week 13 having suffered just one loss on the season.

They now have two.

Quarterback Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers just improved to 9-3 and are a mere game behind Philly in the NFC playoff picture after pulling off a convincing 42-19 victory on the road over head coach Nick Sirianni's squad.

And while it wasn't always pretty for Purdy and Co., especially during the first quarter, head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense finally started imposing its will and ultimately began pouring it on despite whatever shifts in momentum Philly tried to reclaim.

What started out as minus-6 yards after two offensive possessions turned into 456 net yards for the Niners, whose defense subsequently contained quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia offense to the tune of 4.8 yards per play.

Brock Purdy gets personal vengeance after UCL injury last January

He might not have said it, but Purdy had extra reasons to come back and avenge what happened between these two teams during the NFC Championship game last January at the very same venue.

In that game, of course, the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft tore his UCL in his throwing elbow but has returned stronger than ever.

And he, too, made a massive statement at Philadelphia.

Purdy's line? An impressive 19-of-27 mark for 314 yards, four touchdowns against zero interceptions for a 148.8 passer rating while getting some help from his friends after the catch, too, such as wide receiver Deebo Samuel:

Samuel also had plenty of reasons to put on a show, particularly after he was a focal point of all the smack talk between the two squads since last January. And he finished the game with four catches for a team-leading 116 yards, three rushes for 22 yards and the three touchdowns.

To properly talk smack, it helps to back it up. Samuel did that and then some.

Christian McCaffrey continues push for NFL MVP award

While plenty of attention was focused on Purdy and Samuel, running back Christian McCaffrey was equally as impressive and put up numbers that will only assist his bid for NFL MVP, even if it's unlikely for a non-quarterback.

McCaffrey, who tied a franchise record by scoring his 12th rushing touchdown of the year, enjoyed 93 rush yards on 17 carries while adding another 40 through the air on three catches.

While McCaffrey getting the league MVP award is highly unlikely (Purdy is arguably a bigger favorite here because of his position), there's no questioning the impact the All-Pro rusher has had on Shanahan's offense.

Week 13 was a prime example.

Tempers flare between 49ers and Eagles, Dre Greenlaw ejected

A lot of the smack talk between these two teams was subdued in the days before the game, but it's no secret San Francisco and Philadelphia don't like each other right now.

In the third quarter, the pressure cooker boiled over when linebacker Dre Greenlaw suplexed Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith along the sidelines, which drew not only a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty but also the ire of both players and coaches on Philly's sideline.

Then, right after an altercation between Greenlaw and the Eagles' chief of security, Dom DiSandro, the 49ers backer was subsequently ejected:

DiSandro was ejected not long thereafter, but that's a trade Philly would take every day.

Not only did Greenlaw need to maintain his cool, but he also can't afford to be baited or tempted by any non-coach or non-player on the other team.

Philadelphia seemed to take all the momentum after that incident, scoring a touchdown to make it a one-possession game. But the Niners answered right back with one of Samuel's three touchdowns. That was crucial, and Greenlaw's two mistakes ended up not costing San Francisco much in that regard.

More importantly, the 10-2 Eagles still hold the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture, but San Francisco trails by only a game with a 9-3 record.

Should the two teams finish the regular season with identical records, the end result of Week 13 would grant the 49ers a crucial tiebreaker.

And potentially homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

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