The Philadelphia Eagles entered the playoffs last season as the No. 1 seed in the NFC and dominated the San Francisco 49ers in the conference title game.
In the months since, several players have spoken about how injuries affected the outcome of the game. The loss still seems to be on the mind of Niners star receiver Deebo Samuel.
Samuel said there was «no question» the 49ers were the better team heading into the NFC title game, but quarterback Brock Purdy’s elbow injury kept San Francisco from winning.
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«We lost because we played with 10 people,» Samuel told Complex.com.
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After losing quarterbacks Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo to season-ending injuries, rookie seventh-rounder Brock Purdy stepped in toward the end of the regular season. He went 5-0 in five regular season starts with 1,374 passing yards, 13 touchdown passes and four interceptions.
Purdy tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow early in the Eagles game. He was replaced by veteran Josh Johnson.
And Johnson suffered a concussion in the third quarter. Purdy was forced to return to the game, but he couldn’t throw a pass and turned the ball over for the remainder of the contest.
Fast forward to May. Samuel believes the Eagles are one of the most overrated teams going into the 2023 season.
Samuel mentioned that the Eagles are his «most hated team» and has grown tired of all the talk surrounding Philadelphia. The Eagles had a busy offseason that included signing quarterback Jalen Hurts to a massive long-term contract extension.
The front office was also able to retain some key veterans like Fletcher Cox and Darius Slay. The team was also widely praised for its draft picks, which included Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith in the first round.
The moves have fed into the Eagles’ already trusting fan base, much to Samuel’s chagrin.
«All the crap that comes from the Eagles fan base and the players, you just get sick of it,» Samuel said.
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The Eagles remain the favorites to win the NFC this coming season and make a second straight Super Bowl appearance.
The Eagles and 49ers are scheduled to meet in the regular season.