NFL playoffs 2023: Conference championship games, schedule, odds, injury updates, matchup previews and team news


Kyle Shanahan was happy as hell, just happy, and he wasn’t going to talk his way out of this moment. From the moment of his team.

Did his 49ers look stunning on Sunday as they fooled around and the Cowboys, 19-12, survived at Levi’s Stadium? Maybe not. resourceful? Yes. Hard? Absolutely. Efficient? Most of time. But the high-flying team now heading into Philadelphia’s epic matchup of next weekend’s NFC championship game is the Eagles, who destroyed the Giants in their divisional round game.

But Shanahan’s message after the game was mostly: So what? His team is prepared for that. More than ready. After the 12th win in a row, his team is burning for it.

“I know we have a pretty good team,” Shanahan said. “We have a very talented team. A team that works well together. I know (the Eagles) do. You’ve been as good as anyone from the beginning of this year until now.”

Ever worry about sending your rookie quarterback Brock Purdy into such hostile territory for his first playoff start?

“Like any other game, you won’t be able to hear as well,” Shanahan said. “We’re not going to make any more of it. We won’t be able to hear either, so we’ll be working quiet cadence, which we did well when he hit the road. We’re up against a good team in a tough environment – that’s why it’s fun to take to the streets.”

Sometimes the coach’s words don’t quite match the mood in his dressing room after a game. Sometimes they really do. And on Sunday, as is usual for these 49ers, every conversation had a Shanahanian theme. The 49ers belong in this game just like the Eagles belong in this game. It will not be an easy game for either side. It will probably be a game to remember.

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