The San Francisco 49ers are back! After defeating the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving Thursday, the 49ers are now 8-3 and riding a three-game winning streak. During the 49ers three-game losing streak in the middle of the year, they seemed like pretenders and their status a Super Bowl contenders was in jeopardy. Thankfully, the 49ers got back on track during their bye week and look like the same team they did during their five-game winning streak to start the year.

The 49ers aren't just winning again, they're dominant. Since their bye, they've beaten the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks — and two of those have teams with winning records. They've won by a combined score of 92-30 as their offense plays with precision and their defense returned to stuffing opponents, getting to the quarterback and forcing turnovers

If San Francisco keeps playing like this, they shouldn't just be considered a contender, but the favorite to win the NFC Championship game and advance to the Super Bowl. Of course, the main obstacle the 49ers face is the Philadelphia Eagles, who defeated them in last year's NFC Title Game after Brock Purdy suffered an elbow injury early in the game. The Eagles have seemingly picked up where they left off last year, going 9-1 to start the year and even just overtaking the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs.

However, this 49ers team is not necessarily the same as last year's team. If anything, they're better suited to knock down the Eagles. The 49ers will get a taste of if they can beat Philly next week when they play in a highly anticipated Week 13 matchup. Even with a win, it may be too late for the 49ers to get the No. 1 seed since the Eagles have to lose at least two games, but that doesn't mean San Fran can't get past them in the playoffs. Let's take a look at three reasons why this 49ers team should be favored to win the NFC.

Brock Purdy is playing his best football

A huge reason the 49ers are better this year is the play of second-year quarterback Brock Purdy. Though Purdy was phenomenal in his first few starts last season before his untimely injury, he's taken his play to another level this year. Purdy has particularly developed even stronger connections with George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk. He's also began taking more shots downfield and become a consistent deep ball thrower. He's had at least one outstanding deep pass in each of the last three games including his 66-yard touchdown to George Kittle, the 76-yard throw to Brandon Aiyuk against the Buccaneers, and a 28-yarder to Aiyuk with multiple Seahawks in the area.

Purdy currently leads the NFL in completion percentage, yards per attempt, QBR and passer rating. Against the Buccaneers, he became the first 49ers quarterback since Joe Montana to have a perfect passer rating. This a huge step up from a year ago when Purdy was the 49ers' third man up and was getting comfortable. Now, it's evident that he's more than just comfortable and it's making San Francisco dangerous going into January.

The 49ers pass rush and defense are back

Another reason the 49ers will threaten the Eagles is their pass rush and defense have returned to form. At their worst, the 49ers defense got zero sacks against the Minnesota Vikings during their losing streak. Since the bye, they've gotten at least four sacks in every game for a total of 15 in the past three weeks. Nick Bosa is back to form after starting the year a bit slow, putting up at least 1.5 sacks in each game. This should scare Philadelphia, whose offensive line hasn't been perfect like normal. Against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, they gave up five sacks.

On top of that, the 49ers defense leads the NFL in takeaways with 21 combined interceptions and fumbles. The 49ers have forced at least two turnovers in each of their past three games. Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts has thrown nine picks this year, tied for the fourth-most in the NFL.

The Eagles have more weaknesses than a year ago

Their record makes the Eagles appear like they're just like they were last year, but they are not quite as dominant. Philadelphia is still a great team, but they are far less consistent. On offense, they are no longer a machine as the offensive line isn't at the same level and Hurts can play inconsistently at times. On defense, they rank fifth-last in passing yards allowed per game and miss the presence of C.J. Gardner-Johnson. This 49ers team will be able to easily expose that pass defense and if A.J. Brown or DeVonta Smith doesn't go off, it may be the Eagles who have a hard time keeping up with the 49ers.