One of the most famous sayings in sports is that you have to move on to the next play and can’t get hung up on what already happened. Months after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, the San Francisco 49ers still can’t seem to let it go.
On Jan. 29, the Eagles beat San Francisco 31-7 to win the NFC title and advanced to a Super Bowl LVII matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. The 49ers lost starting quarterback Brock Purdy minutes into the game after he suffered an elbow injury. It’s something that clearly bothers many on the roster today.
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In an interview with Complex.com, 49ers’ receiver Deebo Samuel talked about the team’s new rivalry with the Eagles and what happened in the NFC Championship Game. While he said he didn’t want to keep talking about what could’ve happened, the star receiver made it clear he believes Purdy’s injury is the only reason Philadelphia won.
“We lost because we played with 10 people. I ain’t going to keep going on about what could’ve happened and what would’ve happened but yeah, it would’ve definitely been a different outcome (if healthy).San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel on the NFC Championship Game loss to the Philadelphia Eagles
Samuel isn’t the first 49ers player to downplay the loss to the Eagles and express extreme confidence that San Francisco should be the reigning Super Bowl champion. In February, wide receiver Brandon AIyuk explained why he is confident the 49ers were ‘hands-down’ the best NFL team last season.
Aiyuk and Samuel aren’t alone in their criticism of the Eagles. Before parting ways with San Francisco, former 49ers kicker Robbie Gould said defenses can have a “pretty solid day” if they simply make Jalen Hurts play quarterback. He was also critical of the Eagles’ path to Super Bowl LVII, saying they never had to play a full game against anyone.
Nearly 100 days after a disheartening loss on the doorstep of another Super Bowl appearance, the 49ers fell short. It’s clear they haven’t completely moved on from the defeat and there is now a strong hatred of the Eagles. Fortunately for the football world, the 49ers will play at Philadelphia during the 2023 NFL season.