Haason Reddick's dominant play early in the NFC Championship game completely obliterated the framework of the contest.
On the San Francisco 49ers' first drive, Reddick screamed off the edge, beating a futile block by the tight end, and smashed the arm of Niners quarterback Brock Purdy, forcing a fumble. The hit hurt the rookie's elbow, leaving San Francisco with its fourth-string QB, Josh Johnson.
Reddick followed that up by sacking Johnson on the next series, underscoring the dominant performance from Philadelphia's defensive front in the 31-7 victory, sending them to the Super Bowl.
"This team played a hell of a game today," quarterback Jalen Hurts said after the game. "Reddick, he's been a bad dude all year. That's what we need going forward."
In his first season in Philly, the Temple product constantly discombobulated opposing offenses, generating 16 sacks in the regular season and forcing five fumbles while earning 26 QB hits.
On Sunday, Reddick produced three QB pressures, a turnover caused by pressure and two sacks on 14 pass rush snaps. The linebacker also recovered Johnson's fumble late in the first half that the Eagles turned into a TD to go up 21-7 at the break.
Reddick now has 19.5 sacks in 2022, including playoffs, the second-most sacks in a single season by a Philly player in franchise history (Reggie White: 21.0 sacks in 1987). Reddick has 3.5 sacks in the 2022 postseason (also 1.5 in Divisional Round), the most in a single postseason in Eagles history.
Even before the game devolved into a blowout, with the Niners unable to throw the ball following Johnson leaving with a concussion and Purdy unable to pass much due to the elbow injury, the Eagles' defensive line took control of the contest.
Philly earned eight QB pressures and two sacks on 13 dropbacks when using four or fewer pass rushers, per Next Gen Stats (56 such sacks this season, including playoffs; NGS-era record). The Eagles earned a 61.9 QB pressure percentage Sunday (Philly's highest in a game in the Next Gen Stats Era).
"You want to make the quarterback feel as uncomfortable as possible," coach Nick Sirianni said. "Whether that's with the fans making it loud or disguise in coverages or whether that's hitting them. No. 1, you don't want anyone to get dinged or hurt, so I hope (Purdy) is OK. But it did definitely change the game. Those guys' jobs is to hit the quarterback and affect the game, and they sure did that today."
The Eagles are the first team to allow seven or fewer points and 175 or fewer total yards in a playoff game since the 2010 Ravens in the Wild Card Round versus the Chiefs. Additionally, Philly became the first team to allow seven or fewer points in back-to-back playoff games since the 2000 Ravens.
Yes, it came against the 6th-seeded Giants, and a 49ers team decimated at QB, but Philly has steamrolled to the Super Bowl.
"We came out, played a complete game in all phases, and we got the job done at the end of the day. That's all that matters," Reddick told CBS after the game. "We got the job done, and we're on our way to the Super Bowl.
"We're on a mission. We're on a roll. It starts with our faith and belief in each other. Coaches, players, everyone who comes in the building. We all believe, and we're fighting together at the end of the day. And it showed today."
Next on the docket: Win Philly its second Lombardi Trophy.