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Eagles roll over 49ers to book second Super Bowl trip in last six seasons

The Philadelphia Eagles set the tone from the opening whistle in its NFC Championship showdown with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, advancing to their second Super Bowl trip in the past six years.

Nick Sirianni’s side delivered four rushing touchdowns and also forced two defensive turnovers in a 31-7 victory over the visiting 49ers. Miles Sanders scored two touchdowns while Boston Scott and Jalen Hurts also added one apiece in the dominant performance.

49ers quarterback Brock Purdy was knocked out of the game early by Eagles defensive end Haason Reddick before returning to limited action in the second half. Kyle Shanahan’s squad also were called for 10 penalties in the game, showing several signs of frustration in the second half.

Miles Sanders capped off a 11-play, 66-yard drive by rushing in from six yards out to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead. DeVonta Smith’s acrobatic catch on a 4th-and-3 would stand for the Eagles just before Sanders’ touchdown, despite the 49ers missing the opportunity to challenge a possible incomplete catch.

San Francisco’s opening drive did not go to fruition as Brock Purdy’s fumble was eventually ruled in favor of the Eagles. Haason Reddick’s sack of Purdy forced the ball go to fly in the air before being recovered by Linval Joseph. A challenge from Nick Sirianni went in Philly’s favor as the referees ruled a fumble and not an incomplete pass on the play.

Despite losing Brock Purdy to a first quarter injury, the 49ers tied things up with 8:29 left in the second quarter. Christian McCaffrey’s 23-yard run helped the visitors make it 7-7 following poor tackling from the Eagles defenders.

The Eagles continued to dominate in the trenches as Sanders recaptured the lead for the Eagles late in the second quarter. Sanders’ 13-yard score, his second of the afternoon, made it 14-7 before the Eagles defense stepped up with a huge takeaway.

Haason Reddick’s fumble recovery on the next 49ers drive gave the Eagles great field position, allowing another chance for first-half points. Three defensive penalties by the 49ers allowed the Eagles to march down the field before Boston Scott’s 10-yard rush extended the Eagles lead to 21-7 at halftime.

Purdy returned at QB for the 49ers in the third quarter, but the rookie couldn’t help his team avoid continued struggles against the dominant Eagles defense. Jonathan Gannon’s defense forced San Francisco to back-to-back punts on their next two drives.

Hurts led the Eagles downfield on their next drive, calling his own number for a pair of first down runs. The NFL MVP candidate also called his own number from the two-yard line, extending the Eagles lead to 28-7.

Jake Elliott’s 31-yard field goal capped the final score at 31-7.

The Eagles will face either the Kansas City Chiefs or the Cincinnati Bengals in Arizona in two weeks.

You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at [email protected].

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