The Eagles knocked off the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 on Sunday to capture the NFC Championship and a spot in Super Bowl XVII. The week before, the Birds rolled the New York Football Giants 38-7 in the NFC-D round.
That’s a aggregate score of 69-14. That is dominance. There have been reports of a 49ers player spreading conspiracy theories that the NFL wanted the Eagles in the Super Bowl.
Longtime 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey wasn’t one of them. The 6-foot-8, 310-pounder out of Notre Dame and William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, was gracious in defeat.
San Francisco lost both its quarterbacks to injury by the third quarter.
Brock Purdy suffered an elbow injury early in the game. His replacement, Josh Johnson suffered a concussion on the 49ers first possession of the third quarter and was done for the day.
All the visitors could do the rest of the game was hand the ball off or try to pull off reverses or trick plays that, without a quarterback, aren’t so tricky.
McGlinchey was asked what it was like playing as if he had one arm tied behind his back.
“It’s terrible, it stinks,” McGlinchey said at his locker after the game. “But that’s the way football is. It’s the way life is. Sometimes the stars aren’t aligning for you and your team. Especially when you play a group as talented as the Eagles are and as good as they are, and as disciplined as they are. That’s the result. It’s unfortunate that injuries shook out the way that they did today. You can’t take anything away from Philly and what they did. There are a lot of great competitors on that side and I wish them the best going forward.”
McGlinchey was asked about how tough it was to handle Haason Reddick and the Eagles front seven that produced three sacks, seven quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
“They’re great players,” McGlinchey said. “I thought we did well for the most part up until things went sideways for our offense. It’s a good fight. If you are a football guy, or study football well, the offense and defensive line in this game are some of the best units in the league.
"It was a helluva fight going up against those guys a number of times now. They pack a punch every time. They are great players and have had a helluva year…one of the best units in football. Hats off to them.”
The Eagles leading tackler was asked about winning in such a dominant fashion in both playoff games
“It’s incredible,” said Edwards, who finished with three solo tackles. “All we want to do it win. We don’t care how it looks, whether it’s pretty or not. All we want to do is win. Our best is needed right now. [The score] was a testament to the prep we put in all week and the mindset we came in here with. And it felt good for sure.”
Johnson admitted he has been dealing with pain. He said some of the healing that took place has been lost from playing. Johnson has consistently been listed as “limited participation” in practice. So far his torn abductor has held up, but with a price.
“Whatever healed in those three or four weeks…whatever healed up got reopened. But it wasn’t as bad today as it was after the Giants game.”
Johnson was reflective after winning his second NFC title. He was asked how important to appreciate the opportunity to do something great because for most, it does not happen very often.
“Time flies by real quick,” Johnson said sitting at his locker after the game. “That’s what you realize. I remember during our first Super Bowl run, (tight end) Brent Celek was talking about how he reached the NFC championship game his first or second year and they lost. He’s like ‘I’ll be back soon…then it wasn’t until year eleven he came back and went to the Super Bowl (2017 season).
"I don’t take anything lightly. I’m cherishing it with the guys who have been here for the last decade and appreciate it with all the young guys that have all the energy.” *
Email Al Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org