We're taking a look at the four Championship Game teams this week; San Francisco yesterday, Philadelphia today. The Eagles are only slight favorites (2.5 points), and it's definitely a game that could go either way.

The Eagles dismantled the Giants last week, but level of difficulty goes way up here. The Giants were ranked 25th in total defense (and 18th in total offense) while San Francisco had the league's top defense (both yards and points allowed) and was also 5th in total offense during the season. They're good, and no one should be expecting the Eagles to come close to their numbers during the season, when they were 3rd in both yards (389) and points (28) per game.

The oddsmakers numbers have this the lower-scoring of the two contests (an over-under of 45.5) and we'll go along with that. The Eagles scored at least 3 touchdowns in 14 of their 18 contests this year, but seem about as likely to finish with only 2 TDs this week.

A report last week suggested Jalen Hurts wasn't completely over the shoulder injury that sidelined him for two games (losses at Dallas and against New Orleans) at the end of the season. Perhaps not, but Hurts wasn't listed on the injury report last week, and was doing his usual types of things against the Giants: 16 of 24 for 154 yards and 2 TDs as a passer, plus 9 for 34 and another touchdown as a runner. It's the rushing production that's key, of course; he averaged 51 yards, with 13 touchdowns in 15 games, during the season. With Josh Allen eliminated and Patrick Mahomes dealing with a high-ankle sprain, Hurts should run for more yards this week than the other three quarterbacks put together. With San Francisco having one of the league's best run defenses, Hurts might finish with more production than any of his team's running backs, as well. As a passer he's iffier, but he made strides in that area this season (247 yards per game, with 22 TDs, compared to just 210 and 16 a year ago). San Francisco was leaky at times defending the pass this season, finishing 22nd, with some notable late-season breakdowns -- 280-plus yards and 2-3 touchdowns against Miami, Washington and Las Vegas. There was some garbage-time production in there, and San Francisco has pretty well contained Geno Smith and Dak Prescott for most of their two playoff games, but it's a vulnerability (which the AFC is well-equipped to exploit, should San Francisco make it to the Super Bowl). Hurts has a nice trio of receivers, and he's working behind a top shelf line. Something close to average passing production is possible, and when factoring in what he'll do as a runner, he's in the mix to be the top quarterback (fantasy-wise) this week.

Miles Sanders, conversely, looks like the least of the four starting running backs -- arguably 5th, behind a pair from Kansas City. He definitely has the worst matchup, with San Francisco 2nd in run defense during the season, allowing just 78 yards per game, and with just 11 touchdowns. He's one of the two least likeliest to be involved in the passing game, with just 20 receptions in his 18 games. More than 1 catch just twice since Week 5. Sanders will be the main runner, but even that has resulted in him playing under half the snaps three games in a row, just slightly more than Kenneth Gainwell. Gainwell won't have nearly as many carries (his 12 for 112 and a score last week was due to the blowout nature of the game), but he's a much bigger part of the passing game. In his last eight Gainwell has caught 15 passes for 128 yards, with a pair of rushing scores. Even Boston Scott (17 for 92 with 2 TDs the last three games) could mix in for some touches, though definitely the No. 3 (last week's blowout is best disregarded). In any case, poor situation for Sanders.

The Eagles should need to lean on the pass, resulting in plenty of targets for the main wideouts. A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith each had close to three times as many targets and receptions as any other wide receiver on the roster, and nearly four times as many yards. Brown was a little better for yards (88-70 per game) and touchdowns (11-7), Smith caught more balls (95-88). Both should be busy, and it's definitely where the offense should come from, with San Francisco just 22nd defending the pass, and with 80 percent of the touchdowns thrown against this defense (16 of 20) going to wide receivers. There have been a lot of good wide receiver games against the 49ers the last eight weeks, including the first two playoff games.

Hill, Mia.91461
Godwin, T.B.5540
Lockett, Sea.7680
Metcalf, Sea.7550
McLaurin, Was.4771
Dotson, Was.6761
Adams, L.V.71532
Green, Ari.3911
Metcalf, Sea.101362
Lamb, Dal.101170

That favorable outlook doesn't extend to Quez Watkins. He's been the No. 3 all season, averaging just 2 catches for 21 yards, with 3 TDs. Watkins, it should be noted, caught a 91-yard pass (without scoring) from Hurts the last time these teams played each other, in 2021, but Brown wasn't on the roster at the time. Unlikely he (or Zach Pascal, who has 15 catches all season) is much of a factor.

The season-long numbers don't look quite as favorable for Dallas Goedert, with San Francisco allowing only 4 touchdowns to tight ends. But Dalton Schultz caught 5 passes (should have been 6…) and the Cowboys' only touchdown last week, and the 49ers will definitely have their hands full with Philadelphia's elite wideout duo. Goedert has caught touchdowns in three of the last five he and Hurts have played in together (including last week), as well; an average of nearly 6 catches for 58 yards in those games. Tough to confidently move him ahead of the other two elite tight ends still playing, but he might be a better value -- capable of finishing with similar numbers, and less expensive in drafts and/or salary cap competitions.

The Eagles kicked the fewest field goals of any of the teams still playing (22); fewer than anyone but Tennessee, in fact. They kicked a league-high 53 extra points, but that worked out to Jake Elliott averaging under 7 points per game. Here he gets the league's toughest matchup, with San Francisco allowing only 16 field goals during the season, which is 5 fewer than any other team. It's the playoffs and given the quality of the opposing offense there could be more instances of teams driving into field goal range and settling for 3, but a lesser situation for Elliott.

It's also a lesser situation for the Eagles Defense, with San Francisco turning it over just 17 times while taking 31 sacks, the 3rd- and 6th-lowest totals in the league, respectively. But with the Eagles recording 70 sacks (just 2 off the NFL record) and 27 takeaways (4th), followed by 5 more and an interception against the Giants, we're putting a favorable grade on them anyway -- definitely the best defense Brock Purdy has seen. Purdy took 2 sacks and was fortunate to have an interception (arguably 2) dropped last week. The Eagles don't have a notable returner. They had a pair of defensive touchdowns, same as San Francisco allowed, during the season; Brock Purday has played very well, but he seems likeliest of the four quarterbacks still playing to come up with a careless throw or two along the way.

Next: Cincinnati.

--Andy Richardson