When Christian McCaffrey struggles, so do the 49ers, and the Eagles are home to a top-tier run defense.
When the 49ers traded for running back Christian McCaffrey in the middle of the 2022 season, it brought stability to a backfield that desperately needed some. In 2023, the 49ers are 8-3 with McCaffrey, and he has become the emphasis of their offense. This team's offensive success depends on his success.
In 2023, all three of the 49ers losses have come in games where McCaffrey rushes for 55 yards or fewer. The Niners are 1-3 in those instances. They are 7-0 in games where he runs for 75 yards or more.
When San Fran faces the Eagles on Sunday, they will take the field with the NFL's second-best rush defense in terms of yards allowed.
The Eagles have only allowed one running back to rush for over 75 yards in 2023. Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco ran for 89 yards in Week 11. That was the highest total the Eagles have allowed by a wide margin.
If the stout Eagles' run defense can keep McCaffrey in check as they have with everyone else that they have faced, Philadelphia should soar to an 11-1 record. That would give them a chokehold on the NFC's top seed and aid the Birds in their quest to lock up the top spot in the NFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.