That didn’t go well.
The Eagles got demolished by the 49ers by a final score of 42-19 at the Linc on Sunday afternoon. Despite a solid start in the first quarter, things really spiraled.
After the Eagles’ offense failed to build an early lead, the Eagles’ defense was absolutely shredded by the 49ers, who scored touchdowns on six straight drives, five of which went 75+ yards.
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The Eagles still have the best record in the NFL and are still the top seed in the NFC but things got a whole lot closer on Sunday.
Let’s get to the report card:
Jalen Hurts: 26/45, 298 yards, 1 TD; 7 rushing attempts, 20 yards, 1 TD
It wasn’t like Hurts was awful in this game but he wasn’t very good either. He took a couple of rough sacks early in the game (he slipped on one) that prevented the Eagles from building a bigger lead. There were a few moments where it looked like Hurts felt some pressure that wasn’t there too. But he was able to get the ball to his two primary targets, A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, who had big days. Hurts also left briefly to get checked for a concussion but was cleared to return. Overall, the offense managed to score just 19 points and they could have used a better day from their MVP candidate.
D’Andre Swift: 6 carries, 13 yards; 2 catches, 7 yards
This wasn’t all on the running backs but the Eagles definitely failed to get their run game going. Swift averaged just 2.2 yards per carry, while Kenny Gainwell averaged 2.5 and Boston Scott got just 2 yards on his one carry. The struggles in the run game also had plenty to do with the offensive line and the way the game played out. But it wasn’t a banner day for the backs either.
A.J. Brown: 8 catches, 114 yards
The Eagles two top receivers — Brown and Smith — both put up big numbers. Brown caught 8 of 11 targets for 114 yards and Smith had 9 catches on 11 targets for 96 yards and a touchdown. But the Eagles still aren’t getting much out of their other receivers. Quez Watkins ended up with 3 for 28 and was unable to draw a DPI on a deep ball. No targets for Olamide Zaccheaus or Julio Jones. Perhaps Watkins is going to work his way back to being the clear-cut No. 3 wideout.
Albert Okwuegbunam: 1 target
Dallas Goedert came into this game listed as doubtful and was inactive. While it seems pretty clear Goedert will be back for the Cowboys game next week, the Eagles really could have used him in this one. Without one of their top three options in the passing game, the Eagles’ offense just wasn’t the same in this one. Okwuegbunam was the only tight end to get a target, which means Jack Stoll and Grant Calcaterra didn’t see the ball go their way. The Eagles just don’t have a lot of talent at tight end behind Goedert, which makes Zach Ertz a somewhat intriguing option now that he’s a free agent.
The Eagles failed to get their running game going early when it still made sense to run the football. That was definitely a problem. The good news, though, was even though Hurts took a few sacks, the offensive line looked pretty good in pass protection. Lane Johnson returned after missing last week’s game with a groin injury and did a really good job on reigning Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa.
Haason Reddick: 1 sack, 3 tackles, 1 QB hit, 1 TFL
The Eagles got some great pressure early but then it seemed to dry up a bit. They sacked Brock Purdy just twice. One came from Haason Reddick in the first quarter and another from Fletcher Cox in the third. It’s probably fair to wonder how all the snaps against the Bills last week affected some of the defensive linemen in this game. The 49ers were able to run the ball effectively against the Eagles and that started up front.
Nicholas Morrow: 8 tackles
The Eagles were without Zach Cunningham (hamstring) in this game and it showed. Remember, Nakobe Dean is out for the rest of the season after having foot surgery. So that left the Eagles with Nicholas Morrow and Christian Elliss as their starting linebackers. It was a glaring mismatch. While Morrow has played above expectation for most of the season, he really struggled in this game, missing tackles and getting lost in coverage. And it was pretty clear that 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan began to target Elliss and Morrow. The 49ers have the tools, with Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle, to stress the middle of the field and that’s exactly what happened in this one. Maybe the Eagles are able to sign veteran Shaquille Leonard, which would help. But even if Leonard does sign and you get a starting duo of Leonard and Cunningham, even that isn’t going to be the strength of the defense.
Reed Blankenship: 7 tackles
This wasn’t a game where you watched the 49ers and thought, “Wow, that Brock Purdy is an MVP candidate.” But by the end of the game, he had completed 70% of his passes for 314 yards and 4 touchdowns. He was efficient and carved up the Eagles, who continued to play off coverage and help the 49ers march down the field on long drives over and over again. The Eagles also struggled to tackle on the back end and the one chance they had to get a takeaway was wasted when Blankenship couldn’t haul in an interception. Deebo Samuel backed up his trash talk with a three-touchdown performance and Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings moved the sticks too.
Braden Mann: 3 punts, 152 yards (50.7), 3 inside 20
Mann was really good in this game, actually out-performing Mitch Wishnowsky, who is considered by many to be the best punter in the NFL. On top of that, Jake Elliott made both of his field goals. The Eagles didn’t get much going in their return game, though. But at least the 49ers didn’t do anything on punt return either.
I’d probably pin this loss more on the players but coaching wasn’t good either. The Eagles came out on defense and were able to get off the field twice but then Shanahan out-coached Sean Desai after that. Brian Johnson is going to continue to get heat. While there are calls to question, this game wasn’t on him. Nick Sirianni’s decision to punt on 4th-and-3 down 28-13 with 2:32 left in the third quarter was baffling. But it wasn’t as baffling as leaving Hurts and the starters in the game down three scores in garbage time. The Eagles are lucky they escaped without injury because it’s crazy to leave the starters, especially Hurts, in there. Remember, Hurts already had to check out briefly to get checked for a concussion and then he’s back in there in garbage time?!