December is shaping up to be a month of rematches and critical games against playoff-caliber opponents for the Eagles. As the 2023 NFL regular-season schedule is announced over the course of two days, we now know that the Eagles will host San Francisco at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, December 3 at 4:25 PM in the first meeting between the teams since last season's NFC Championship Game.
This is the second game on the schedule that has been announced – the Eagles are hosting the New York Giants on Monday, December 25 at 4:30 PM – and it sets up what could be a December filled with important games against teams that have high expectations.
The 49ers reached the NFC Championship Game in 2022 by reeling off 10 consecutive wins after a 3-4 start and then defeated Seattle and Dallas in the postseason with rookie Brock Purdy, the final selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, at the quarterback position. The Eagles quickly set the tone in that game, driving 66 yards on 11 plays and putting the ball in the end zone on a Miles Sanders 6-yard run on the first possession of the afternoon.
It was a rout from that point on as the Eagles went on to win, 31-7, to reach Super Bowl LVII.
A lot has changed since that time. The Eagles have new coordinators on offense (Brian Johnson) and defense (Sean Desai) and they've had an eventful offseason upgrading the roster in free agency (adding running back Rashaad Penny, quarterback Marcus Mariota, linebacker Nicholas Morrow, and safety Terrell Edmunds, among others), the NFL Draft (first-round picks defensive tackle Jalen Carter and linebacker Nolan Smith leading the way), and the trade route (adding running back D'Andre Swift). The 49ers have had to replace Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans, offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, and safety Jimmie Ward.
San Francisco added former Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave in free agency as their prized signing. There are questions about who will play quarterback for the 49ers – Brock Purdy had offseason elbow surgery and won't be ready to throw for a couple of more months, third-year man Trey Lance is recovering from two ankle surgeries, and Jimmy Garoppolo signed with the Raiders in free agency.
Still ... the 49ers are formidable and December starts with a great game matching two of the best teams in the NFC. Just as is the case with the Christmas Day game against New York, this one is a national game and that is no surprise: The Eagles are expected to receive maximum national exposure this season.
The remainder of the Eagles' schedule will be released on Thursday at 8 PM.