3 reasons the 49ers lost the NFC Championship game

Hopes were high that first-year quarterback Brock Purdy could pull out an improbable upset to send the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl, but all his team’s best efforts fell short of the mark against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

The Eagles dominated in nearly every aspect of this game, especially when they sent Purdy to the bench with a wrist injury in the first quarter. This was one of the sloppiest games played by the 49ers this season and was characterized by their undisciplined play and penalties that came to define their effort.

Here are 3 key reasons why San Francisco saw their season end on Sunday:

Brock Purdy's injury pushed Josh Johnson into an impossible position.

The early injury to Purdy put veteran backup, Josh Johnson, in a nearly unwinnable situation. Down to their fourth-string quarterback, San Francisco was unable to find traction on offense, and resorted to throwing the ball, which kept Christian McCaffrey from exploding to a better performance.

Johnson would exit the game in the third quarter with what appeared to be a head injury, which forced the 49ers to trot Purdy back out despite the wrist issue. Needless to say, San Francisco’s quarterback situation played a major part in this game.

Penalties killed any chance that San Francisco had of making a comeback.

After the injury to Purdy, San Francisco couldn’t seem to stay out of their own way on either side of the ball, committing key penalties that kept them behind down to the final whistle. This game was chippy, and both teams seemed committed to letting the other hear about every aspect of their performances.

A late-game scrum that resulted in the ejection of veteran offensive lineman Trent Williams best encapsulated the losing effort put up by the 49ers in terms of their team discipline.

Vaunted 49ers defense couldn't keep Eagles out of the end zone.

Whether because of tough breaks in field position or the flat-out exceptional effort of Philadelphia’s offensive weapons, San Francisco seemed wholly unable to keep the Eagles out of the end zone. This flew in the face of everything that the 49ers’ defense showed during the regular season, where they were among the best at keeping opponents from scoring touchdowns.

Even if Purdy were able to play in all four quarters, it would have been a tall task for him to score more than 32 points to give San Francisco a legitimate shot at a win.

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire