After a stinging conclusion to their 2022 season and an offseason filled with trash talk, the San Francisco 49ers went into Philadelphia on Sunday with a singular focus: Obliterate the Eagles.
They accomplished that mission via a 42-19 blowout that established the balance of power in the NFC firmly in favor of San Francisco. Before the game, 49ers players set the tone by showing up to the game wearing all black.
On Tuesday, left tackle Trent Williams explained the wardrobe choice. He did not mince words.
Trent Williams and the @49ers came out ready on their business trip to Philadelphia 💪
— Inside the NFL (@insidetheNFL) December 5, 2023
“A couple of week ago, I already knew I was gonna come all black,” Williams told Ryan Clark. “I knew that was gonna be my mindset.
“My mindset was gonna be time to kill. We’re going to a funeral.”
These guys really don’t like each other.
Here’s a look at a few 49ers players showing up in all black Sunday including Williams, Deebo Samuel and Chase Young.
The 49ers showed up in all black for the Eagles funeral pregame
Then stood on business for 4 quarters and routed the eagles at home pic.twitter.com/Gw1xtPYBMS
— Jake (@D1SCHER) December 4, 2023
Williams told Clark that the coordinated color scheme wasn’t discussed — that his teammates joining him in black was a coincidence.
“It’s crazy,” Williams continued. “I didn’t discuss that with anybody else. And it just so happened that other guys on the team felt the same way. It was such a coincidence.
“But honestly, that was the mind frame. A come-to-kill competition.”
Coincidence or not, the message was clear. And the 49ers delivered it on the field.
Despite losing last season’s NFC championship to the Eagles by 24 points, some 49ers players contended that they were the better team and would have won had quarterback Brock Purdy not been injured. Samuel said before the Super Bowl that “I don’t think the game would’ve been close” with a healthy Purdy.
They were clearly the better team on Sunday with Purdy on the field.
While Sunday’s result brings some satisfaction to San Francisco, a regular-season win can go only so far in exorcising the demons of last season’s NFC championship. The best way to truly settle this would be a playoff rematch in January.
If we’re lucky as football fans, we’ll get one.