PHILADELPHIA -- Haason Reddick's eyes couldn't help but light up when he saw a tight end line up against him one-on-one. The most dominant edge rusher in the NFL this postseason, Reddick prognosticated what would happen once Kyle Shanahan set up the formation.
"Really, really bad things."
Reddick was able to get to Brock Purdy on that second-and-6 rush, knocking the San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback out on just the sixth offensive play of the NFC Championship showdown. It was yet another game-changing play by a pass rusher who has lived off them in the playoffs.
"It was a play-action pass. I was literally ripping it to BA (49ers wide reciever Brandon Aiyuk)," Purdy said. "He was coming open and I thought it was going to be a big play. He just came from my blind side at the time, from my right side, and the ball came out."
Reddick has Philly going wild. #NFLPlayoffs— NFL (@NFL) January 29, 2023
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Each of Reddick's franchise-record 3.5 postseason sacks have turned out to be a huge difference maker in Philadelphia's run to the Super Bowl. His first sack Sunday knocked Purdy out of the game and resulted in an UCL injury for the 49ers quarterback. The second sack was also on a second-and-6, knocking backup quarterback Josh Johnson back nine yards and putting San Francisco in a third-and-15 situation with a fourth-string quarterback.
Reddick even knocked out Johnson later in the game with a concussion in the third quarter, forcing Purdy to reenter the contest even though he couldn't throw the ball. The 49ers were out of options because of Reddick.
"He wouldn't have gone back in unless he had to," Shanahan said of Purdy's injury, as the 49ers were without a third quarterback. "We knew the second he was out we were going to go wildcat, so we would've mixed both in but we didn't get long enough drives to show that either."
Reddick finished with two sacks, three pressures, a quarterback hit and a tackle for loss in the dominant win -- all of his plays coming in the first 33 minutes as the Eagles built a 14-point lead thanks to his pressure on the quarterback. This is part of a dominant postseason for Reddick, who has 3.5 sacks, 12 pressures, four quarterback hits, and a pressure rate of 31.6%.
Not only has Reddick taken over the postseason, but he leads the NFL in sacks with 19.5 (including postseason). Reddick has 80 pressures and 30 quarterback hits to go with his 19.5 sacks in 19 games. Since the start of December, Reddick has 11.5 sacks and 48 pressures -- a span of eight games.
The Eagles signed Reddick to a three-year, $45 million deal in the first week of free agency. Of all of their free agent signings who have sparked this Super Bowl run, Reddick has been the best one of the bunch.
He's the best offseason signing in the NFL, too -- the most dominant pass rusher the Eagles have employed since Hugh Douglas was terrorizing quarterbacks in the early 2000s.
"He's been a bad dude all year," Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts said. "That's what we need going forward."