By “thin” I mean they are running out of original depth chart players!
Meanwhile, San Francisco has had injury problems too— but so far Kyle Shanahan’s offensive scheming and Robert Saleh’s aggressive defensive plan have provided the foundation for the next man up to be plugged and played without missing a beat. Last Sunday the 49ers gave a 36-9 curb-stomping to the lowly New York Giants.
Nick Mullens (filling in for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo) stirred a quarterback controversy with his 343 yard, 1 touchdown and 0 interception performance, Brandon Aiyuk broke out for more than 100 total yards and a touchdown, Jerick McKinnon looked great before exiting with injury, Jeff Wilson Jr. scored two touchdowns, Dion Jordan and Kerry Hyder Jr. disrupted the line of scrimmage and each got a sack, Jason Verrett and K’waun Williams stepped up to help shut down the passing game, proving once again that the Niners are a well-coached team with outstanding depth whose players display high levels of professionalism.
After three weeks, the Niners offense is 14th in yards per game, 15th in passing yards per game, 12th in rushing yards per game and 12th in points per game. San Francisco’s defense is 3rd in yard conceded per game, 2nd in passing yards given up per game, 16th in rushing yards surrendered per game and 2nd in points allowed per game.
Between both teams, 24 players have landed on the week’s injury reports.
The Eagles are already without top pass catchers Jalen Reagor (thumb) and Dallas Goedert (foot). Receivers J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (calf), John Hightower (illness), DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Alshon Jeffery (foot) all missed multiple practices this week.
Defensively, starting right corner Avonte Maddox is working through an ankle injury.
The 49ers have been without their star tight end for the last two weeks as George Kittle has been working his way back from a knee injury suffered in the season opener. The tight end returned to practice in a limited capacity last week, as the team spent time in between their East Coast matchups in West Virginia. The team opted to hold Kittle out another week, before returning to Santa Clara as a full participant at practice.
Kittle’s return comes as the 49ers are down a tight end with Jordan Reed likely to miss 6-8 weeks with an MCL sprain. The team announced on Wednesday they brought back Daniel Helm from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad to a one-year deal.
One goal of the Eagles defense will be to get pressure on Nick Mullens. Despite resulting in a tie, Philadelphia’s defense is coming off of an impressive performance against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3. Last Sunday, the Eagles defensive line sacked Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow eight times and notched 18 quarterback hits on the day. With an offense that’s decimated with injuries, the pressure is on Philadelphia’s defensive line to limit San Francisco with an encore performance in Week 4.
Through the first three weeks of the season, the 49ers offensive line has allowed 26 quarterback pressures, good for 13th in the league. They’ll face off against a pass rush who ranks fifth in the league in win rate according to ESPN (51 percent), headlined by Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson and Brandon Graham, who have already accounted for double-digit pressures through three weeks.
Last week, San Francisco pulled off a decisive victory over the New York Giants without their starting quarterback, running back, tight end, center, wide receiver, linebacker, defensive tackle, both cornerbacks and both defensive ends. The Eagles’ best chance to prove they are at least deeper in backup talent than the Giants is to do it on defense with an EYE for disruption.
49ers are favored by 7, the over/under is 45… see you for Sunday Night Football.