The Philadelphia Eagles return to the Super Bowl after a 31-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers that stayed true to their identity, with a strong ground game, quarterback sneaks and a relentless defensive front.
All four of the Eagles’ touchdowns came on the ground, including two by Miles Sanders and one by quarterback Jalen Hurts, who sneaked over the goal line from 1-yard out late in the third quarter.
Temple graduate Hassan Reddick led the Eagles defense with two turnovers: a strip sack and a fumble recovery in the first half.
The 49ers aren’t the same formidable opponent they were during their 12-game hitting streak. Quarterback Brock Purdy injured his elbow on Redick’s strip sack midway through the first quarter. He was replaced by Josh Johnson, who became the fourth quarterback to play for the 49ers this season until Johnson suffered a concussion early in the third quarter.
Purdy then returned, but was clearly down, and Christian McCaffrey went into wildcat layup to close out the game.
It was a devastating end to the season for the 49ers, who came to the brink of the Super Bowl despite repeated injuries at the most important position on the field.
For the Eagles, the game marked a triumphant return to the Super Bowl five years after their last appearance — this time, with a different head coach, Nick Siriani, and a different quarterback, Hurts.
Despite Purdy’s injury, the 49ers stayed in the game for most of the first half. But late in the second quarter, after Sanders’ second rushing play of the game, Johnson fumbled a snap. Redick recovered the ball, and the Eagles scored for the second time less than two minutes later, giving them a 21-7 lead.
Hurts’ touchdown extended Philadelphia’s lead to 28-7 late in the third quarter. The 49ers managed just 47 yards of offense in the second half, and key penalties on defense and special teams stretched the Eagles’ drives and further limited their chances of a comeback.