By Leonardo Ramirez
These are not the brightest days for Niner fans. The 49ers fall short to The Eagles in the NFC Championship game in a gut-wrenching loss 31-7. A game that wasn’t only disappointing to watch from a fan perspective. But the fact we never got the opportunity to watch these two generational teams fully go at each other, doesn’t sit right with me. Looking at both rosters top to bottom, how gifted they are on both lines of scrimmages, how well-coached both these teams are, and how skilled these two teams were in terms of talent. And in a year, the NFC felt significantly weaker than it’s been. As dominant as these two teams were all season, seamlessly stomping on every team they played because nobody could challenge them, we would expect to see these two heavyweights finally collide.
We all saw what happened. Brock Purdy gets injured on the Niners 8th offensive play of the game and later reported that Purdy suffered a complete tear of the UCL in his throwing elbow and will undergo surgery where he will miss a significant amount of time. Purdy’s injury occurred when Eagles Edge Rusher Haason Reddick practically got a free rush after he beat 49ers Tight End Tyler Kroft and hit Purdy’s arm as he was throwing. And that’s where all the frustration came from for the Niners. Not only was it another NFC Championship game the Niners lost, but the fact we didn’t see the game play out to its full anticipation. I thought these teams would put so much stress on each other, and challenge each other both schematically and on the line of scrimmage, but the moment Purdy went out this game was over.
The 49ers defense in a lot of ways put up a valiant effort, but after a strong first half and a couple of self-inflicted penalties, this team and defense just lost all hope. They were put in a couple of bad spots due to sudden turnovers so that never helps. It’s unfortunate, cause it’s a game you can’t properly evaluate for the Niners or Purdy. Just to give a glimpse of the clear disadvantages and the unfortunate turn of events for the Niners and their QB room. Brock Purdy the starting third-string quarterback got hurt on the Niners first series and suffered a complete tear of his UCL, Purdy was incapable to deliver a ball the whole game. Purdy finished the game 4/4 for 23 total yards. Josh Johnson went 7/13 for 72 yards, 2 sacks, and a fumble, and of course, Christian Mccaffrey was 0/1. on what seemed like a drawn-up improvised play.
When Josh Johnson came in, the game was just way beyond his league. I’m not going to sit here and disrespect or criticize him, he went out there competing, and unfortunately got hurt, It’s just not an ideal situation you would want Josh Johnson to go into. He’s a great backup quarterback, who’s been around numerous teams and different offenses and is a very respected professional. But there’s a reason he’s been on so many teams. He’s not the kind of guy you would want to play in an NFC Title game. I think one of the most upsetting thing to see watching Josh Johnson play was the little things you would think a veteran quarterback would have cemented in your head. They weren’t getting in and out of the huddle quickly enough, having issues getting the ball snapped, and 3 delay of game penalties. Johnson looked scared and outta place. The fumbled snap was just awful, the most rudiment thing you have to do as a quarterback is catching the snap and that snap hit him right between the 17 on his jersey. Now I’ve said I don’t wanna linger on this too much because it’s not fair to critic a fourth-string quarterback going into their first NFC Championship game mid-way through the first quarter.
And that’s just the somber tone I had throughout this entire game, mostly because we didn’t see these two teams fully compete and as a football fan I just feel we missed out on what could have been an all-time championship weekend. The game felt ripped away by the 49ers from the injury gods before the game even started. And again, it’s disappointing not seeing this playout. Reflecting on the 49ers historical season, the ending just feels a bit inconclusive. Ultimately I had to come to terms with their 2019 Superbowl run and why they came up short because we saw the whole game play out, the same thing as last year’s NFC Championship loss. But this year we didn’t get to find out why this team didn’t win the Superbowl or see why they lost to Philadelphia, because of injuries.