Football

49ers vs. Eagles: Clipped Wings

The San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles played a physical game. It was low-scoring, ugly in some spots, and a lot of mistakes were made. Ultimately, it was the Niners who prevailed on Sunday, 17-11.

Niners QB Eagles
Sep 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) audibles during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers and Eagles Passing Game

The 49ers and Eagles both had impressive games through the air in Week 1. Jimmy Garoppolo had a 300 yard, 1 TD performance against Detroit. Jalen Hurts had his best game as a pro against Atlanta with 264 yards and 3 TDs.

The quarterback play on both sides were rather inconsistent. Garoppolo did not have his best showing on Sunday. Especially early on, Garoppolo missed multiple targets, even on screen passes. Garoppolo would start the game 2-6 with only 11 yards before he could find his rhythm. He would end up getting better as the game went on, including throwing his one touchdown in the two-minute drill before halftime to take the lead. The ball was caught by rookie Jauan Jennings for his first career catch and TD. The Niners took that lead and not let go.

Hurts would have an interesting day in his own right for the Eagles. In the first game of the year against Atlanta, the Eagles used a shorter passing game, using screens and quick passes. As a result, we did not see a lot of deep passes from Hurts. This week, the Eagles decided to use a more vertical attack with more shots downfield. It had its moments, namely a big 91-yard bomb to Quez Watkins. But past that, Hurts would be held in check with an 11-22, 99 yard stat line sans the 91 yard pass to Watkins. On the positive side, Hurts did show his ability on the ground, adding 82 yards and a score as well.

The 49ers and Eagles struggled to get their main weapons the ball. Tight End George Kittle only totaled 19 yards on 4 catches. And after a great debut last week for DeVonta Smith, he only caught 2 for 16 yards.

Miscues

This was an ugly game that contained numerous mistakes, many of which would cost the Eagles the victory.

First, Hurts threw a 38-yard pass to Jalen Reagor that would have been given the Eagles a 10-0 lead late in the first quarter. However, the instant replay would show that Reagor had stepped out of bounds prior to catching the ball. Because of that, the touchdown would not only be called off, but Reagor would be penalized for illegal touching.

In the next quarter after the long pass to Watkins, the Eagles would have four chances to get in the endzone. After three tries, the Eagles decide to go for it on fourth down. If you may remember the Philly Special in Super Bowl LII, the Eagles tried to duplicate that play, with Greg Ward Jr. throwing the pass. The 49ers were not fooled, and Ward ended up throwing the ball away. The Niners would go on a 97-yard drive to score a TD before halftime. And insult to injury, some former Eagles weren’t too happy about that play.

The last two mistakes came toward the end of the game. With San Francisco trying to run the clock out, JaMychal Hasty gets the ball on a toss play. He would fumble the toss, with the ball going out of bounds far behind the line of scrimmage. However, the fumble would be negated by a personal foul call by DE Derek Barnett, giving up a first down. The very next play, Trey Sermon runs up the middle and he fumbles, with Darius Slay recovering it. But instead of that outcome, the fumble is called back due to a helmet-to-helmet hit by K’Von Wallace. The Niners kicked a field goal to make the score 17-3, all but icing the game.

Injuries Aplenty in Philly

The 49ers and Eagles left this game with their fair share of bad injuries. For San Francisco, they came into this game down one running back in Raheem Mostert, put on IR after Week 1. During the game, they also lost two more running backs. Sermon suffered a head injury due to the hit from Wallace in the 4th. Hasty left the game with an ankle injury, also in the 4th. And even Pro Bowler Kyle Juszczyk went down with a lower body injury in the quarter. Leaving Elijah Mitchell and Trenton Cannon as the lone backs to finish the game.

The Eagles suffered some big blows of their own. Namely to Brandon Graham, a longtime piece in the Eagles’ defense. According to initial reports, the 33 year old Graham suffered an Achilles injury that will keep him out for the rest of the season, according to Graham himself. Fellow Pro Bowl teammate Brandon Brooks also went down with a pectoral injury. This was Brooks’ second game back after missing all of 2020 with an ACL tear.

Both teams are playing in primetime next week. The Niners are welcoming in Green Bay for their home opener. The Eagles are taking the trip to face their hated rival, the Dallas Cowboys, next Monday night.

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