The Common Threads Tying Together the NFC’s Unfamiliar Finalists

The Eagles and 49ers don’t have much recent history together, but they’re linked by how they were built. Plus, the injuries that could affect the AFC championship and why

Travis Kelce is so hard to cover. Four teams and three games left. Let’s go … • The 49ers and Eagles have faced off just twice over the last five seasons—the Niners

beat the Eagles in Philly in Sept. 2021, and the Eagles beat the Niners in Santa Clara in Oct. 2020. So for both teams, there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve this

week. That was reflected when I asked Fred Warner on Sunday what he knows about the Eagles. “Not much,” Warner responded. “Obviously from afar, they look like a heck

of a team. I gotta watch the tape but I got a lot of respect for their team as a whole, and especially their offense, great O-line, great receivers, great running back, running

quarterback. You can't draw it up any better than that.” One commonality here: Both teams have quarterback on rookie contracts, and loaded rosters around them. Another

commonality? Both have cap numbers pushed to the future. The Eagles have just two eight-figure cap numbers this year. That number will grow to five next year. Similarly, the

Niners have four this year, and will have seven next year. So both are built for the here and now. (We’ll have more on the roster construction of the four conference finalists a

little later in the week).