The Eagles defense did their best to give this one away, but made just enough plays for the Eagles to hold on for a 27-24 win on the road in San Francisco.
We'll start with the good tonight, which was mostly on the offensive side of the ball. First, Kevin Kolb looked like a different quarterback from the guy we saw last week. He was much more poised, he was looking downfield and making good, accurate throws. He did have one turnover, but it was after a blindside hit... that's gonna happen. Kolb finished 21/31 for 253 yards and a TD. Plus he had at least one possible TD flat out dropped by Brent Celek.
It was funny, I noted in pregame how amazing it was that we were only seeing Kolb's 4th career start tonight. For all the arguing we've done about him, for all the articles written and airtime spent discussing whether he's a total bum or a good QB... We had seen three career starts before tonight. It feels like the guy has played an entire career here. I was joking on twitter during the game with @McNabborKolb about this.
In four career starts we've now seen Kolb look ok, then really good, then bad before getting hurt after a half, then pretty good. Count me in the "I still don't really know what we've got here" column. I will say, his scramble to convert a 3rd and 18 was a thing of beauty.
Jeremy Maclin had a quietly big night catching 6 passes for 95 yards, including a 41 yarder from Kolb. That said, the Eagles best player on offense was once again LeSean McCoy. Shady rushed for 92 yards, including a dazzling 29 yard TD. He also added 5 catches and accounted for 138 yards of total offense. That said, he was almost the goat.
The Eagles defense had just given up another TD and the offense gets the ball back under two minutes needing just one first down for the win. On first down a run loses 4 yards. On second down, they run a very nicely set up screen where Shady makes on man miss and appears to have a path to a first down until he goes down 2 yards shy of the flags. The Eagles fail to convert 3rd and 2 and suddenly they've put the game in the hands of a defense who had just given up two straight TDs. All McCoy had to do was lurch forward and he likely would have had the first and ended the game.
The defense would come up big though. With the 49ers driving, Trevor Laws hit 49ers QB Alex Smith just as he was throwing and the ball floats down-field and into the waiting arms of rookie corner Trevard Lindley. Game over.
That last drive was really a microcosm of the whole game for the defense. They really struggled at times tonight giving up 24 points including 14 in the 4th quarter and 365 yards of total offense. This was against the 2nd worst ranked offense in the NFL coming into tonight. On the other hand, they forced a whopping 5 turnovers. One of those turnovers was returned for a TD after rookie Brandon Graham stripped Alex Smith and Quintin Mikell picked up the ball to take it in for the TD.
It certainly wasn't pretty, but any win is a good win in the NFL. Any win on the road is even better. We're now tied at the top of the NFC East at 3-2 with New York and Washington.
Oh and Dallas is in last at 1-3 :)