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Observations from the Eagles’ win over the 49ers, 25 to 20

Not dead yet!

Philadelphia Eagles v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Hey! The Philadelphia Eagles won a football game!

The Birds beat the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night. Final score: 25 to 20.

The Eagles are now 1-2-1 on the season. And first place in the NFC East! Lol.

Read on for some observations and postgame thoughts!

FIRST QUARTER

  • The 49ers won the toss and elected to defer.
  • The Eagles’ offense opened with a three-and-out. Scintillating stuff.
  • Jalen Mills got the start at cornerback with K’Von Wallace — and not Marcus Epps! — starting at safety.
  • Good special teams tackle by Rudy Ford in his first game back from injury. Credit where it’s due: the front office found a good special teams player in him.
  • Nick Mullens bailed out the Eagles’ defense by overthrowing a wiiiiide open Kyle Juszczyk with Nathan Gerry trailing way behind. Should have been a long touchdown. Nice of Mullens to help the 49ers go three-and-out instead.
  • With Lane Johnson leaving to get looked at, the Eagles were down to the following offensive line configuration: LT Jordan Mailata, LG Nate Herbig, C Jason Kelce, RG Matt Pryor, RT Jack Driscoll. Not exactly what the Eagles envisioned for this year!
  • Wentz stepped up into pressure and had his pass deflected into his seventh interception of the year. More struggles from No. 11.
  • Two straight three-and-out by the 49ers offense. The Eagles’ defense came to play early. Derek Barnett bullied Trent Williams to pick up half a sack along with Javon Hargrave. Barnett also drew a holding penalty. Encouraging signs from the 2017 first-round pick!
  • Wentz had Richard Rodgers open down the field (what a phrase) but threw a duck and it was broken up. Just a bad underthrow with too much loft. Funny because Wentz has too often lacked touch on his throws. Over-correction?
  • Doug Pederson orchestrated a nice drive that got the Eagles into the red zone and then Wentz punched it in with his legs on a keeper. Totally had the defense fooled. Wentz has struggled with his arm but he’s made plays with his legs. The Eagles went for two (!) and Wentz hit Zach Ertz for the successful try. Great to see Pederson back to being aggressive! EAGLES 8, 49ERS 0.
  • The 49ers answered the Eagles’ touchdown with a scoring drive of their own. Gotta admit, this run by Brandon Aiyuk was pretty awesome. EAGLES 8, 49ERS 7.

SECOND QUARTER

  • K’Von Wallace got stiff-armed by George Kittle. The 49ers’ tight end is such a monster after the catch.
  • Genard Avery (!) picked up a sack with the 49ers opting not to really block him. Eagles won the trade!
  • The Eagles got to a 3rd-and-1 around midfield but Jordan Mailata false started to ruin a quarterback sneak attempt. That mistake combined with a Wentz throwaway forced the Eagles into a punt.
  • Cre’Von LeBlanc got beat off the line clean by Kittle to get the 49ers into the red zone. Just not easy to defend.
  • Avery (!!!) hit Mullens to force an interception (!!!) by Rodney McLeod. The Eagles’ first takeaway since a Sidney Jones pick in Week 17 last year! Huge play. Good thing I’ve never previously doubted Avery’s ability ... or Howie Roseman for making that trade. (I’m sorry.)
  • Kelce had a wild snap that led to a 17-yard loss. They were fortunate that Wentz was able to recover it. Then Wentz took a sack to bring up 3rd-and-34. The Eagles brought Hurts in for a quarterback run up the middle before punting. Not your typical coward’s draw.

THIRD QUARTER

  • Missed tackles by Barnett and Gerry contributed to a long 49ers drive that got to goal-to-go territory. Mullens hit Kittle in the end zone for the 49ers’ second touchdown with Duke Riley beat. No one surprised to see Philly’s linebackers as a weak point. EAGLES 8, 49ERS 14.
  • Wentz threw low over the middle to Sanders, who had a lot of open space ahead of him, to bring up 3rd-and-9. More accuracy issues. Then Wentz ran for the first himself. Really relying on his legs more than ever. The 49ers challenged the spot to bring up 4th-and-1 but the Eagles picked up the first anyway with a sneak. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-8 in the red zone and Wentz almost threw a pick but it was dropped. The Eagles settled for a 35-yard field goal. The Eagles ran 16 plays just to pick up three points. Such a laborious offense. EAGLES 11, 49ERS 14.
  • Another play where Wallace failed to stop Kittle. Real tough draw for the rookie safety.

FOURTH QUARTER

  • Josh Sweat sacked Mullens for a 12-yard loss and the Eagles forced another three-and-out. It’s been an active season for Sweat with sacks in three out of four games.
  • Strap strip-sack! Tongue twister. LeBlanc knocked the ball out of Mullens’ hands with his helmet and Malik Jackson recovered to give Philly’s offense the ball at San Fran’s 45-yard line.
  • The Eagles tried a trick play with Jalen Hurts looking to throw back to Wentz but he had to settle for a 4-yard run instead. Wentz had Ward open over the middle and inexplicably threw way wide of him. More poor accuracy. Wentz redeemed himself with a completion to John Hightower to move the chains on 4th-and-4. But then the 49ers sniffed out a sweep to Killins for a 12-yard loss. But then the 49ers got hit with a penalty for an automatic Eagles first down. Another bad snap from Kelce knocked the Eagles back to 2nd-and-18. And then Wentz aired it out deep to TRAVIS FULGHAM for a 42-yard touchdown! Perfect throw by the Eagles’ quarterback and a great catch as well. Turns out Fulgham looking good training camp may have meant something. Huge drive! EAGLES 18, 49ERS 14.
  • Mullens threw DIRECTLY AT Alex Singleton for a pick six! That was too easy. EAGLES 25, 49ERS 14.
  • The 49ers benched Mullens for C.J. Beathard, who the Eagles really beat up on in 2017. They did not beat up on him here as the 49ers went 75 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown. The 49ers went for two but the throw was off. Five-point game with 2:02 to play. EAGLES 25, 49ERS 20.
  • The 49ers went for an onside kick but the Eagles recovered it at San Fran’s 49-yard line with 2:01 left. They ran with Corey Clement (why not Miles Sanders?!) for a yard on first down, they ran with Boston Scott (why not Miles Sanders?!) for no gain on second down, and Carson Wentz was sacked on third down (why not Miles Sanders?!). That only took 21 seconds off the clock. The Eagles had to punt.
  • The 49ers took over with 1:40 left in the game at their own 12-yard line. They had no timeouts to work with. The 49ers moved to the Eagles’ 33-yard line and got to 4th-and-10 with seven seconds left. Beathard’s hail mary attempt was ... no good! Eagles win!

FINAL SCORE: 25 to 20, Eagles win


RAPID REACTION

  • Well, the Eagles’ season isn’t dead yet! Still a lot of issues here, hardly like everything is great now. They narrowly beat a very injured 49ers team missing their starting quarterback. Still, they fought hard and they deserve credit for that. Well done.
  • Carson Wentz certainly wasn’t good. But he wasn’t terrible! That’s an upgrade. Still too many issues with accuracy but he made some big plays when it counted the most. Can he build on a performance like this? That’d be ideal.
  • Doug Pederson did a good job with what little he had to work with. His best game of the season.
  • Jim Schwartz’s defense has rebounded since that awful performance against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2. The Eagles’ high-priced defensive line has especially come alive. Kudos to them.
  • The Eagles are fortunate that C.J. Beathard didn’t start tonight, huh?
  • Big game for the unheralded guys like Genard Avery, Travis Fulgham, and Alex Singleton! The All-”Who?” Team.

INJURIES

  • Lane Johnson left the game to get looked at before the Eagles’ second drive. He returned for the third drive. Then he limped off again and didn’t return until the third quarter.
  • Darius Slay got hurt after the 49ers’ first touchdown. He came back in on the next drive.
  • Rudy Ford picked up a hamstring injury in the second quarter. He did not return.
  • T.J. Edwards picked up a hamstring injury in the second quarter. He did not return.
  • Jason Kelce got banged up but came back in.
  • Fletcher Cox got hurt late in the third quarter. He later returned.