Thanks to a swarming Jim Schwartz-designed defense, the Eagles were able to overcome their own struggles on offense and eventually outlast a San Francisco team which came ready and determined to play despite miserable weather conditions and a host of injuries on both sides of the ball.
The Eagles were hanging on to a shaky 3-0 lead right up to the final few minutes of the 1st half, largely due to the total pressure brought by the 49ers’ defensive front upon the Eagles’ offensive line and pass-protection packages. The Birds were getting pushed around badly on offense, make no mistake about it. Had it not been for some key plays by their own defense, the Eagles would have had zero scoring opportunities going into halftime. We would have been grumbling about Doug Pederson’s playcalling and his offensive line blocking scheme. Instead, the Eagles defense bailed him out for another crack at it in the second half.
Part of the success of the Eagles’ defensive effort was due to a rookie QB getting very little help from his depleted offensive line against a fierce Philly rush. QB C.J. Beathard, the rookie out of Iowa was sacked four times, absorbed 12 QB hits and was intercepted twice in a 33-10 Eagles win that gives them a 7-1 record at the halfway point — the best in the NFL.
Safety Rodney McLeod set up the Eagles’ first short-field score with an INT off a tipped pass.
Then second-year cornerback Jalen Mills — known as “The Green Goblin”— came up with his best play as a pro by undercutting a Beathard pass intended for Pierre Garcon late in the second quarter before weaving his way through traffic for a 37-yard touchdown. That play changed the momentum to Philly for the rest of the game.
Great play all day by the other cornerbacks Patrick Robinson and Rasul Douglas along with solid support from safeties Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Jaylen Watkins and Corey Graham was too much for the beleaguered Beathard and his 49ers offense to overcome. LB Mychal Kendricks was also outstanding in coverage and in containment of Beathard’s rollout escape attempts.
In the second half Beathard shoveled a 21-yard TD pass to Matt Breida and ultimately finished 17 of 36 for 167 yards with two interceptions in his second career start.
Carson Wentz himself ended up on the ground quite a bit (seven QB hits, three sacks) as the Niners tested replacement Halapoulivaati Vaitai and the new-look Eagles front with a heavy dose of blitzes and straight-up bullrushes and stunts from its front four. There were moments when the Eagles offense looked stunned and outwitted.
Wentz was 18 of 32 for 211 yards and one interception. He threw a 53-yard TD pass to Alshon Jeffery and 1-yard TD pass to Zach Ertz. Wentz leads the NFL with 19 TD passes, most by an Eagles quarterback ever through eight games, but he looked quite human and vulnerable for much of the game.
The Eagles punted on six of their first eight possessions before opening it up in the third quarter.
Wentz hit Jeffery with a perfect pass to extend the lead to 27-7. After the Eagles blocked Robbie Gould‘s field goal attempt, they drove 62 yards and LeGarrette Blount ran in from the 12 for a 33-7 lead.
Casualties played a big part in the 49ers demise. Their game injuries included LT Joe Staley (eye), DL Solomon Thomas (knee), WR Pierre Garcon(neck), DL C.J. Jones (knee), FS Jimmie Ward (forearm) and RT Garry Gilliam(knee).
The Eagles’ CB Patrick Robinson (head) left the game in the second quarter. His coverage and tackling helped keep the Birds in the game when it was still very close. We’ll get you an update on his condition as soon as details are released.
For now, stick this “W” in your back pocket and enjoy the view. But we’re going to have to play a lot more solid and consistently on offense against our next opponent, the Denver Broncos, to keep the streak alive.
Jake Elliott 40 Yd Field Goal
11 plays, 52 yards, 5:50
Zach Ertz 1 Yd pass from Carson Wentz (Jake Elliott PAT failed)
6 plays, 56 yards, 2:51
Jalen Mills 37 Yd Interception Return (Carson Wentz Pass to Alshon Jeffery for Two-Point Conversion)
3 plays, 3 yards, 0:27
Jake Elliott 51 Yd Field Goal
6 plays, 19 yards, 1:25
Matt Breida 21 Yd pass from C.J. Beathard (Robbie Gould Kick)
2 plays, 21 yards, 0:14
Alshon Jeffery 53 Yd pass from Carson Wentz (Jake Elliott Kick)
3 plays, 75 yards, 0:52
LeGarrette Blount 12 Yd Run (Jake Elliott PAT failed)
8 plays, 62 yards, 3:38
Robbie Gould 50 Yd Field Goal
11 plays, 43 yards, 5:02
|Passing 1st downs||9||9|
|Rushing 1st downs||4||7|
|1st downs from penalties||1||3|
|3rd down efficiency||3-15||4-14|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||1-1|
|Yards per Play||3.7||4.|
|Yards per pass||3.6||5.5|
|Yards per rush||3.9||3.6|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||0-1||2-2|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||1|
And the Special Teams play of the day? The award goes to Dexter McDougle, who blocked a Robbie Gould FG attempt which was then recovered by Derek Barnett. Oooops!—that’s how Merrill Reese called it, but upon further review, it was all Barnett as he leaped high to bash the kick straight down into the turf. At that point in the second half, you could say the hay was in the barn.