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Slay: George Kittle's pregame comments 'triggered' Eagles' defense

Kevin Sabitus / Getty Images Sport / Getty

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle provided the Philadelphia Eagles with added motivation for their NFC championship matchup Sunday.

On the latest episode of his "Big Play Slay" podcast, Eagles cornerback Darius Slay explained he and his teammates took offense to Kittle saying their defense looked good - on paper.

"In the football world, we know how to take that," Slay said. "That's basically saying not too physical ... we look talented on paper, but are we gonna put the paper to the field?

"So as a defense, with us being one of the best defenses in the league as well, we took that as kind of disrespect. 'Cause we didn't say they looked good on paper. We said they're a great defense, they're a great team. We were trying to show our respect, (and) respect is due. But him saying that triggered a lot of guys in the locker room, including myself. Even though I still have a lot of respect for the guy, it triggered us to go out and play a lot harder to show who's physical. ... As the game was going on, you (saw) who (was) the most physical team."

The Eagles' defense forced three turnovers, recorded three sacks, and limited the 49ers to 164 yards of offense in their 31-7 win at Lincoln Financial Field. Kittle finished the game with three catches for 32 yards.

Slay: George Kittle's pregame comments 'triggered' Eagles' defense
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