The 49ers deployed their offensive weaponry in a big way Sunday in a no-doubt 42-19 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, punking the defending NFC champions in their own yard.
Yet none in the cavalcade of stars — Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk — shone as brightly as Deebo Samuel.
The same Samuel who unabashedly told the world after Philly’s 31-7 win in last year’s title game that the 49ers lost because they played with 10 men after Purdy departed in the first quarter with a torn UCL in his throwing elbow. The guy who called Eagles cornerback James Bradberry ‘trash’ during Super Bowl week.
Samuel didn’t do much trash-talking this week other than to unflinchingly say he regretted nothing. He was apparently saving his energy to make a point not only to the Eagles but to everyone else he is still one of the NFL’s most unique and explosive weapons.
“I ain’t going to lie, I was in that zone all week as far as, they beat us in the NFC Championship, talking trash, I mean, it’s part of the game,” Samuel said. “Hopefully nobody took it to heart because it’s all fun and games.”
In laying waste to the Eagles, Samuel scored touchdowns on a 15-yard lateral and pass receptions of 48 and 46 yards from Purdy. He finished with four receptions for 116 yards and three rushes for 22 yards. It was his first career game with three touchdowns.
It was like watching the 2021 Samuel all over again, when he was the dominant offensive player as a receiver and runner as schemed by coach Kyle Shanahan in a march to the NFC title game. It was the year that earned Samuel a three-year, $73.5 million contract extension that until Sunday must have had the 49ers wondering if they’d done the right thing.
Samuel had the seminal play for the 49ers with 3:54 to go in the third quarter after Dre Greenlaw had been ejected for a late hit penalty and a sideline spat with out-of-line Eagles director of security Dom DiSandro, who was also tossed.
The Eagles went on to score on a 1-yard run by Jalen Hurts, trailed only 21-13, and the Philadelphia home fans had come alive.
Then Samuel put the game irreversibly into the 49ers’ favor by taking a short pass in the middle of the field and turning it into a 48-yard touchdown. Samuel caught the ball at the 42-yard line, broke the tackle attempt by Nick Morrow, and then set sail toward the goal line through the heart of the Eagles’ defense.
©#YR@ MediaNews Group, Inc. Visit at mercurynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.