On Sunday, the team will take on the San Francisco 49ers for the right to go to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2018.
ABOVE PHOTO: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts prepares to throw the ball. (Photos: Webster Riddick)
By Chris Murray
For the Philadelphia Sunday SUN
If there is one thing that the Philadelphia Eagles showed in their 38-7 Divisional Playoff win over the New York Giants, it’s that they can beat you in any number of ways.
“Being able to efficiently run the ball, throw the ball efficiently and if the quarterback can do it as well it’s a good thing to have and I think it’s a special thing when we’re able to do all of that,” Hurts said. “It’s like pick your poison when we’re executing and have the right attention to detail in everything that we’re doing. We definitely want to pose a threat to the defense and that’s something we work on every day.”
Thanks to that ability, the Eagles advanced to their second NFC Championship game in three years and will take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday for the right to play in Super Bowl LIVII in Glendale, Arizona.
The Birds got off to a fast start and never looked back. The team scored on four of their first five possession to take a 28-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
On the Eagles first two drives, Jalen Hurts threw touchdown passes to Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead. For the game, Hurts completed 16-of-24 passes for 154 yards while also gaining 34 yards on nine carries including a five-yard run for touchdown.
Hurts showed no ill effects from his injured right shoulder and played more like an NBA point-guard in the way he passed the ball and kept the Giants defense off balance with his threat to run.
“Jalen is always going to help the running game big time because of what he can do and the threat that he poses on the backside,” Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said. “Even if he is not carrying the ball, even if he is not having runs to him, he’s still going to affect the game and that’s what he did … He runs the show out there.”
Speaking of the running the football, the real knockout blow in this came courtesy of the Eagles rushing game. After Hurts’ two touchdown passes, the Birds’ rushing attack scored the next three touchdowns. The Eagles were 10-of-14 (71-percent) on third down conversions.
Sirianni said that while his offense is “still climbing,” and striving to be better he likes where they are right now.
“We like where we are at right now. We have a great offensive line, great backs. We have great receivers, great quarterback. We have great tight ends,” Sirianni said. “We’re just ready to go to the next challenge. Our goal is to make sure we’re playing our best ball at our next game. We look to build on what we did today.”
The Birds’ rushing attack compiled 268 yards on the ground including the Birds’ final three touchdowns. Leading the way for the Eagles ground attack was Kenneth Gainwell, who gained a 112-yards rushing including a 35-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. Miles Sanders added 90-yards on 17 carries.
“It was the offensive line first and foremost,” Sanders said. “The stuff that they do throughout the week to prepare with Coach (Jeff Stoutland-offensive line coach) is amazing,” Sanders said. “It’s just the mentality when we know we’re going to get a chance to run the ball the O-line and the running backs take it upon ourselves to make a statement every time.”
Meanwhile, the Eagles defense kept Giants quarterback Daniel Jones from making plays with both his arms and legs. Unlike the game against the Minnesota Vikings where he passed for 300 yards and ran for 78, Jones was sacked five times by the Birds, held to 24 yards rushing, and completed only 15 passes for 135 yards.
“We knew [Giants QB] Daniel [Jones] could make plays with his legs, and our [defensive line] did a good job of keeping him in the pocket when we needed to,” said Eagles cornerback James Bradbury, a former Giant who intercepted a Jones pass late in the first quarter. “And I’m also getting after him – there were sometimes back there where we were getting coverage sacks. We were tight in our coverage, tight on our man, and it allowed them to rush the quarterback and get some plays on the ball.”
With the goal of the Super Bowl in sight, the Eagles will try and end the magic season of former “Mr. Irrelevant” Brock Purdy by defeating the San Francisco 49ers, who defeated the Dallas Cowboys 19-12 on Sunday.
You can catch the game on Fox-29 on Sunday, beginning at 3 p.m.
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