The San Francisco 49ers’ season just ended with a whimper and even more injuries. They got absolutely blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles, 31-7, on the road in the NFC Championship Game. It was an anti-climactic and painful finish to a campaign that was once filled with so much promise. Here we’ll discuss the 49ers most to blame for their NFC Championship loss vs. the 49ers.

The Eagles and 49ers faced off in the NFC Championship at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. Despite a physical start from both teams, Philadelphia dominated the game. Behind star QB Jalen Hurts, the Eagles offense stepped up when needed. They displayed a strong ground game, and the defense suffocated the 49ers’ attack. Philadelphia’s defensive front also left 49ers QBs Brock Purdy and Josh Johnson injured. Philadelphia was also near-perfect in the red zone. This all resulted in an unexpectedly one-sided affair. The Eagles’ steady play secured their second Super Bowl trip in six years.

For now, let us look at the 49ers most to blame for their NFC Championship loss vs. the 49ers.

4. TE Tyler Kroft

Eagles LB Haason Reddick is a top contender for NFL’s DPOY award due to his persistent edge pressure. In Sunday’s game, the 49ers strangely chipped or blocked him with backup TEs and receivers. One such play was the one that injured QB Brock Purdy. In this sequence, San Francisco used backup TE Tyler Kroft in a one-on-one vs Reddick. Needless to say, it blew up in the Niners’ faces. Reddick finished the day with 3 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 fumble recovery.

3. Undisciplined 49ers

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Referee John Hussey and crew had an inconsistent day. However, the 49ers were undisciplined and lacked poise on crucial downs. In fact, they committed too many penalties. With both QBs getting injured, these self-inflicted errors were even costlier. San Francisco actually had 11 penalties for 81 yards. Seven of those resulted in Eagles first downs. On the other end, the Eagles had four penalties for 34 yards. Losing in the NFC Championship isn’t the end for the Niners, of course. However, losing with such discipline issues is frustrating. Future Hall of Famer and seasoned veteran Trent Williams was one of the guys who just let his frustration overwhelm him. He lost his cool and was ejected late in the loss, which just isn’t acceptable.

2. Coach Kyle Shanahan

The career of Kyle Shanahan both as an offensive coordinator and a head coach has been marked by a reputation for falling short in big games. This started with the Atlanta Falcons’ Super Bowl LI collapse under Dan Quinn. It then continued with the 49ers’ double-digit fourth-quarter lead losses in both an NFC Championship Game and a Super Bowl. Despite his success in San Francisco, NFL Championship Sunday was just not a good showing for the head coach.

One sequence that stood out was Shanahan’s failure to issue a challenge. Recall that he made an early mistake in the first quarter by not challenging DeVonta Smith’s catch. That eventually led to Philadelphia’s first TD. Strangely enough, replays later clearly showed Smith’s catch to actually be an incomplete pass. This was a sign of things to come for the 49ers, who just played like they were not well-prepared. The frustration culminated in a blowout loss and Trent Williams’ ejection. San Francisco had 11 penalties compared to the Eagles’ 4 and lost the turnover battle 2-0. It was arguably the worst poor performance from Shanahan & Co this season.

1. QB Depth

The 49ers’ QB injuries finally caught up to them in a loss. Despite rotating between Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Brock Purdy all season, they struggled against the Eagles’ fierce defense. Purdy left in the first quarter after a strip-sack injury to his wrist and elbow. However, he returned after his replacement, Josh Johnson, was injured. The game plan, which was already limited, became even more focused on short-range strikes. The team relied almost exclusively on Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel. Take note that McCaffrey even played as a Wildcat QB late in the game. Meanwhile, Purdy completed 4-of-4 passes for 23 yards and a 90.6 passer rating.