Who are the X-Factor’s for the Philadelphia Eagles vs 49ers?
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, A.J. Brown was held to 22 receiving yards in Divisional Playoffs, his second fewest total in a game this season.
However, we all know the impact that Brown has made on the Eagles offense this season, helping to transform one of the worst pass offenses in the NFL, to one of the best.
In 2020, the Eagles averaged an NFL worst 6.2 yards per attempt. That number went to 6.8 in 2021 and now is an NFL best 8.1 yard per attempt, with a big thanks going to Brown.
Brown added a vertical threat to the offense that was certainly lacking in 2021, with seven touchdowns of 20 or more yards this season.
This is a game where Brown should be able to take advantage of those air yards and find the end zone from 20 or more yards out. The San Francisco secondary is ranked near the bottom of the league on passes of 20 or more yards downfield.
Overall, they are ranked 27th in QBR on such passes and tied for 25th one touchdowns allowed over 20 yards.
If there is one player to keep an eye on in this game, Brown might be that guy.
Over on the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles will have their hands full with running back Christian McCaffrey. The Niners have gone 12-1 since the trade and have averaged nine more points per game since adding him to the roster.
He has also scored a touchdown in 8 straight games, so the Eagles need to find a way to keep him, along with George Kittle and Deebo Samuel out of the end zone.
These three rack up the YAC yards (yards after catch), they averaged 6.1 yards per play with all 3 on field this season.
So how do the Eagles try and slow them down? Pass rush.
The Eagles need to win up front, with Haason Reddick vs Mike McGlinchey being a key battle on the outside and Javon Hargrave against the interior of the 49ers O-Line being another one the Eagles can win.