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Donte Whitner breaks down where 49ers have ‘tremendous edge’ over Eagles



© Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers are out for revenge this weekend, when they’ll head to Philadelphia to face the NFC-leading Eagles.

There’s been much talk between either side after the disastrous NFC Championship Game last year, but Donte Whitner believes the 49ers have earned the right to be three-point favorites.

He joined Papa and Lund to break down the matchup on Monday.

The first thing the former 49ers corner sees is James Bradberry as the Eagles’ “weakest link in the cornerback room.”

Whitner thinks that if Brock Purdy has solid protection, he’ll go at Bradberry. While he’ll have to deliver the ball quickly on out routes that Bradberry likes to sit on, he thinks Purdy will have opportunities in the Cover-2 “honey hole.”

Without star safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson — who signed with the Lions this offseason — Whitner also thinks that the Eagles have no ball-hawking presence back deep.

Whitner actually thinks the 49ers could win substantially.

“When you look at what the 49ers have done over the last two weeks, when you look at the way that Philadelphia’s defense really isn’t playing championship football right now, I think that that’s why the 49ers are three-point favorites,” Whitner said. “I think that if you can run the ball and you can protect Brock Purdy, this game doesn’t really have to be close, guys. I’m telling you.”

He also sees a massive advantage for the 49ers in health, rest and preparation coming off their Thanksgiving win:

It gives them a tremendous edge. Last week, I think when the 49ers won on Thursday night, you better believe that Brock Purdy and the top offensive playmakers were really starting to get their install Friday, Saturday, Sunday, so that when you step on the field on Monday morning, everything goes fluid.

And the more you can practice the third downs, the special situations, the defense can see the quarterback run game and the draw game, the better you’re going to be on Sunday. And a lot of those top players that played 90-plus snaps and some of the guys that are beat up on the offensive side of the ball for the Philadelphia Eagles, they probably won’t get on the field until Thursday.

So it’s a tremendous advantage for the 49ers and then health and recuperation and the ability to have a mini bye goes a long way towards this end of the season push.

The Eagles have also had injuries to Lane Johnson (groin), Fletcher Cox (groin) and their linebacking corps. The injury reports later this week will provide more information.

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Catch Papa & Lund weekdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.