NFC Championship 2023 Comparisons: Defensive Backs

Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Leading up to the Eagles match-up with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Sports Talk Philly and Eagledelphia will compare the personnel of the two teams each day until gameday is here.

In this edition of our week-long comparison, we will look at the running backs that the Eagles and 49ers will field on Sunday.

Philadelphia DBs | Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Marcus Epps, Reed Blankenship, Josiah Scott, Zech McPhearson, K’Von Wallace, Josh Jobe

The same things that can be said about the Eagles defensive lineman can also be said about their backs: throw in some offseason additions with the veterans and you have a great combo. James Bradberry and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson have been particularly fun to watch.

Bradberry has three interceptions and one for a touchdown, 44 combined tackles and two tackles for loss. Gardner-Johnson has had six interceptions, one sack, 67 combined tackles, five tackles for loss and two quarterbacks hits. What they’ve been able to do on the field this season helped the Eagles defense thrive as a whole.

It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for the Eagles defensive backs. Some key veterans haven’t had a lot of big moments this year as they usually might. Josiah Scott has also been frustrating to watch.

The Eagles have made an adjustment to move Chauncey Gardner-Johnson into the slot to replace Avonte Maddox during his absence. This has kept Scott off the field and instead put breakout safety Reed Blankenship on the field, who has served the team well – to a stronger extent than Scott had been able to. The Eagles are hoping to have Avonte Maddox available to start this Sunday, so that would theoretically give the Eagles their best defensive backfield they’ve had since week eight. That group gave up 35 points (largely due to rushing) in week one against Detroit, but has not allowed more than 17 points in a game they’ve all started, regardless of if a player left mid-game or not.

49er DBs | Deommodore Lenoir, Charvarius Ward, Jimmie Ward, Samuel Wormack III, Ambry Thomas, Tashaun Gipson Sr., Talanoa Hufanga, George Odum, Tarvarius Moore

The 49ers defensive backs match up nicely with the Eagles. Since this competition is going to be the battle of the two best NFC teams, it’s going to be interesting to see how the 49ers defensive backs take on the explosive Eagles offense.

Last week versus the Cowboys, Deommodore Lenoir was the biggest playmaker with four tackles, one assist and one interception. Charvarius Ward and Jimmie Ward both had five tackles and one assist. Tashaun Gipson Sr. and Talanoa Hufanga got in on the action, too.

The 49ers defense is one of the highest-ranked defenses in the NFL, however, most of the battle is going to come from the trenches.


The Eagles backs are set for a big game. Purdy crumbles under pressure, allowing for the backs to have their way with the 49ers offense.

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