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Quarterback injuries finally catch up with 49ers in NFC title game loss to Eagles

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This is the point that requires the following acknowledgement: There is no guarantee San Francisco would have won even if Purdy was fully healthy the entire game. Philadelphia has been the league’s most consistent team all season, if not its best team. The Eagles won their first eight games, finished 14-3 and suffered two of their losses when quarterback Jalen Hurts was sidelined with a shoulder injury.

They are stout along the offensive line, have big-play threats on the perimeter, and ran the ball for 148 yards on 44 carries Sunday. Defensively, they have a talented secondary, and Reddick is among the league’s more underappreciated pass rushers, finishing with two sacks, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery against the 49ers.

That said, it also is true that the 49ers were the equivalent of a boxer whose hands were tied behind his back.

“You dress two quarterbacks and neither one of them can throw, and neither one of them is really available, (it) kind of limits what you can do, kind of limits our playbook to like 15 plays,” said tight end George Kittle. “(As) soon as Purdy came back in, they put six guys on the line of scrimmage. They loaded the box. It’s not like we can do any play-action off of it, so we just had to kind of run into it.”

Kittle said the attitude at that point was to have fun and “be violent.”

“That was kind of just our message: F it,” he said. “What else are you going to do? You just going to roll over and die, or you going to go out there and be violent, be physical, and do everything you can to put something good on tape. We didn’t really get to see all the 49er football that we wanted to put out there on tape, but life just kind of punches you in the face sometimes.”

Kittle spoke for many in the locker room when he said it felt “s—-y” to lose two quarterbacks and a game in the conference final. At the same time, San Francisco did not play a clean game. It had three lost fumbles and committed 11 penalties for 81 yards, though it contended some were dubious at best. Still …

“Not having Brock be able to throw the football, then having Josh go out — can’t draw it up any worse than that,” said Warner. “For us, on defense, we had to stop them and hold them to seven points, and we didn’t do that. It’s just unfortunate. Complementary football didn’t work out for us today, in the biggest moment. And it sucks.”

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