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5 stats to know, matchups to watch for San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles matchup

NFL Week 13 is highlighted by an afternoon matchup between the San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles on FOX. Not only is the 49ers vs Eagles matchup an NFC Championship Game rematch, it could also be a playoff preview.

Philadelphia boasts the best record in the NFL, holding a two-game lead over the closest teams atop the standings. A win would make the Eagles heavy favorites to have the NFC’s No. 1 seed, which brings the all-important bye in the first round of the playoffs.

Related: Why the Philadelphia Eagles vs San Francisco 49ers is the most important game in 2023

However, there’s a strong argument to be made that San Francisco is the better team. The 49ers’ point differential (+140) is more than double the Eagles’ point differential (+64), and San Francisco dominated the Dallas Cowboys whereas Philadelphia struggled to beat its rival at home.

Let’s dive into the stats you need to know and matchups to watch for the 49ers vs Eagles game.

Related: 10 players to watch in San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles matchup

Philadelphia Eagles have already made NFL comeback history

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

It’s often said that cats have nine lives. The Eagles have more. Even before the calendar turned to December, Philadelphia became the first team in NFL history to win four games in which they trailed by double-digit points. The Eagles are also tied with the NFL record for most comeback wins (four) in a season, sharing the mark with three other NFL teams who won four consecutive games that they trailed at halftime.

The examples, of course, are exciting memories for the fan base. After trailing the Buffalo Bills 24-14 at halftime in Week 12, the Eagles responded by outscoring Buffalo 17-7 in the fourth quarter and then won on a walk-off overtime touchdown. One week earlier, Jalen Hurts woke up after a 17-7 halftime deficit with two second-half rushing touchdowns to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 21-17 in Week 11. As for the 49ers, they’re not exactly comeback kids.

Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers’ historic issues with fourth-quarter comebacks

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia has earned its reputation for comebacks and chaos. However, every team has a different style and San Francisco does not win games with late rallies in the closing minutes. Quite literally under Kyle Shanahan, big comebacks have never been a thing.

Related: Bold predictions for San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles

The 49ers are 0-36 under Shanahan when they’ve trailed by at least eight points in the fourth quarter. Putting things into perspective, the only coach with a worse record in that situation is Jay Gruden (0-41). The other head coaches with winless records in that spot (Eric Mangini and Hue Jackson), no longer work in the NFL. It seems to be just a weird quirk for Shanahan teams, but it’s worth noting in case the Eagles are leading by eight-plus points in the fourth quarter.

Big problems on right side of 49ers’ offensive line

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Entering NFL games today, the 49ers’ offensive line has allowed the 10th-fewest pressures (108) and the third-fewest sacks (eight) in the NFL. A big part of that is the timing of the offense, with Brock Purdy, posting an above-average time to throw average of 2.7 seconds. However, there are problems up front for San Francisco.

Of the 108 pressures surrendered, right guard Spencer Buford (24 pressures, 7 penalties) and right tackle Colton McKivitz (27 pressures, 5 sacks allowed) are responsible for 47.2 percent of those pressures surrendered. If you tack on center Jake Brendel, the right side has allowed 64 percent of the pressures Purdy has faced. Against an Eagles’ pass rush with Jalen Carter (37 pressures) and Haason Reddick (24 percent pass-rush win rate), that’ll either force Purdy to get rid of the football even faster or he’ll need to make smart decisions versus pressure.

Eagles’ secondary can be exploited with relative ease

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

After boasting one of the best NFL defenses a year ago, Philadelphia’s unit has taken a step back in 2023. While the pass rush is excellent, Father Time has taken a toll on the Eagles’ cornerbacks. It’s been an issue all season but has been especially apparent in recent weeks.

  • Opposing QBs vs Philadelphia Eagles defense (Weeks 8-12): 96.1 QB rating, 305.3 passing yards per game, 11-3 TD-INT, 6.8 yards per attempt, 63.7 percent completion rate

Brandon Aiyuk will likely draw plenty of attention from Darius Slay. Once one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, Slay has allowed the ninth-most receptions (45) in the NFL this season on 69 targets. As for James Bradberry, he’s allowed seven receiving touchdowns this season with a 100.9 QB rating when targeted (PFF).

Brock Purdy, Jalen Hurts situational comparison

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers vs Eagles game delivers a matchup between the two best teams in football and it’s a showcase for two young quarterbacks in the MVP race. Purdy and Hurts are both having success in part because of the system they play in, but they’re executing at a level better than any of their predecessors.

While each quarterback’s skills are different, they do share similarities. Both are operating as the point guard in a quarterback-friendly system, hitting perennial Pro Bowl offensive weapons in space to make big plays. We can also compare the two quarterbacks in certain situations.

Related: NFL QB rankings

QB ratingCompletion %TD-INTYPA
Jalen Hurts vs pressure86.452.6%7-37.4
Jalen Hurts vs clean pocket98.974.6%11-77.6
Brock Purdy vs pressure82.753.2%7-47.3
Brock Purdy vs clean pocket127.379.9%12-210.6
Statistics via Pro Football Focus

Related: NFL expert picks

All of this matters, of course, because of the defenses Purdy and Hurts are facing. Philadelphia has the seventh-highest pressure rate in the NFL (24.8 percent) and boasts the fourth-highest quarterback hurry rate (10.1 percent) in the league. Meanwhile, San Francisco has racked up 15 sacks in three games since it acquired Chase Young.

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