Like the San Francisco 49ers’ most recent victims — the Dallas Cowboys — the Philadelphia Eagles also feature a stout defensive line that can swallow opposing offenses alive. The Eagles’ pass rush is expected to be a big thorn in the side of San Francisco, but the 49ers trust head coach Kyle Shanahan to provide them with the right antidote to Philly’s defense come gameday.
The 49ers might even follow the same gameplan they had against the Cowboys, which was to run the ball down the throat of the Eagles.
Shanahan wouldn’t go into much detail about San Francisco’s game plan, but he hinted at a potential rerun of how they attacked the Cowboys in the Divisional Round.
“The better defenses you go against,” Shanahan said Monday, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “That style usually leads to slowing guys down and not allowing other teams to play how they want to.”
Against the Cowboys, the 49ers rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries. Knowing that Dallas had the personnel to trap Brock Purdy in the pocket, the 49ers opted to run the ball more and found success with Elijah Mitchell and Christian McCaffrey handling most of the duties on the ground. Purdy went just 19 of 29 for 214 yards with zero touchdowns, but also did not throw an interception. He was sacked twice for a loss of 15 yards.
The 49ers are just as wary — if not more — of the Eagles’ pass rush. For one, Philly finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the NFL with an 11.4 percent defensive sack rate.