In fairness to San Francisco, they were relying on their own “B” team as well… of course, they had George Kittle at his most “dominant tight end” best, which darn near tipped the balance. But guess what?— the Eagles no-names came up with the deciding Big Plays.
For example, Philadelphia Eagles receiver Travis Fulgham was signed off the practice squad Saturday. A day later, he elevated to the role of hero on Sunday Night Football. Carson Wentz found Fulgham down the left side for a 42-yard touchdown with 4:08 remaining to lift the Eagles (1-2-1) over the San Francisco 49ers 25-20 and into sole possession of first place in the downtrodden NFC East.
Fulgham, a 2019 sixth-round pick by the Detroit Lions out of Old Dominion, was claimed off waivers from the Green Bay Packers in August before being cut by the Eagles and then placed on their practice squad. He was brought up this week out of sheer necessity, as injuries have ripped through the offense.
It was tough sledding for Wentz, who finished 18-of-28 for 193 yards with two touchdowns (one rushing) and an interception, but he took advantage of the opportunity his defense presented him when Cre’Von Le’Blanc stripped Niners quarterback Nick Mullens, setting up the Eagles in San Francisco territory. Seven plays later, Wentz and Fulgham connected, giving Philadelphia its first fourth-quarter lead of the season.
An Alex Singleton pick-six on the subsequent possession helped ice it for the Eagles, who had to fend off a late Niners surge.
“It’s a huge relief. Big team win,” Wentz said. “It’s fun to see these young guys step up and make plays in big moments like this.”
The little-known Fulgham, who came into the game with no career catches, delivered the play of the game for Philadelphia. The Eagles were backed up with a second-and-18 from the 42 after Jalen Hurts botched a shotgun snap. But Fulgham got past backup cornerback Dontae Johnson and Wentz delivered a perfectly placed pass for the score that gave Philadelphia an 18-14 lead.
Nick Mullens then threw the interception that Singleton returned for a TD on the next drive for the 49ers (2-2), who were sent to their second loss in as many home games. Singleton had played only 11 defensive snaps coming into the game.
Other backups like Jordan Malaita (making his first start at LT ever) helped the Eagles survive the game by contributing solid if not spectacular efforts.
Mullens went 18 for 26 for 200 yards and one touchdown before being replaced by C.J. Beathard following his third giveaway.
“We had plenty of opportunities. I really just didn’t execute,” Mullens said. “The way I’m feeling is pretty black and white right now. I just didn’t execute. That’s what it comes down to. Three turnovers, 14 points off turnovers. That’s really about it.”
Beathard led a late TD drive and got the Niners to the Eagles 33 before his desperation heave fell incomplete in the end zone on the final play.
“After this game, we wanted to be dog tired,” defensive back Jalen Mills said. “We had to give everything we had to get this win.”
The Eagles got their first defensive takeaway of the season thanks to a poor decision by Mullens. With the Niners in the red zone, Mullens threw a ball up for grabs while under pressure and Rodney McLeod came up with it. They added two more in the fourth quarter. Philadelphia’s only takeaway coming into the game came on special teams.
INJURIES—Eagles: RT Lane Johnson left the game in the first half with an ankle injury but later returned. … LB T.J. Edwards and S Ruby Ford both left the game in the first half with hamstring injuries and didn’t return. Fletcher Cox fought leg muscle spasms due to dehydration and was in and out of the game after receiving electrolyte therapy.
49ers: DL Ezekiel Ansah left the game in the first half with a biceps injury that coach Kyle Shanahan fears could be season-ending. … CB K’Waun Williams left with a knee injury in the fourth quarter.
|Passing 1st downs||9||20|
|Rushing 1st downs||6||4|
|1st downs from penalties||3||1|
|3rd down efficiency||4-13||5-11|
|4th down efficiency||2-2||0-1|
|Yards per Play||4.5||6.0|
|Yards per pass||5.6||6.0|
|Yards per rush||3.3||5.8|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-2||2-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||1||0|