Eagles-49ers Post Game Thoughts

29 October 2017 Eagles News

It wasn’t always pretty on a rainy and ugly day in South Philadelphia, but the Eagles got it done and are now 7-1. After a slow start, the birds got hot toward the end of the first half with back to back touchdowns 27 seconds apart from each other. The Eagles took a 17-0 lead into halftime and they were pretty much in cruise control from there. Here are some immediate post-game thoughts.

This defense continues to soar. The birds came into today ranked as one of the best rush defenses in the league giving up 67 yards per game to opponents on the ground. Today they gave up 94, but 40 of those yards were from 49ers quarterback C.J Beathard on broken down plays where he escaped pressure,tucked the ball down and ran for his life. The 49ers runningbacks combined for 18 carries for just 54 yards (3 yards per carry). This run defense is scary good and it seems like everyone is contributing to it. The birds were still without Ronald Darby and the secondary continued to do their job and do it well. It is time to start recognizing Jalen Mills as a number 1 cornerback. Mills secured his third interception of the season today and took it to the crib for his first pick-6 of his career. The jump on the ball combined with the shifty return that Mills was determined to score on was special, and so is he. That play opened the game up making it 17-0 after the successful two point conversion from Wentz to Agholor. Rasul Douglas made a great pass breakup on a deep ball, Malcom Jenkins and Rodney McLeod were their usual selves inducing a pick from McLeod, and San Fran was just 17 of 36 through the air for 167 yards and 2 interceptions. Another eye-opener today was the play of Mychal Kendricks. When the “angry bird” is healthy and playing he just flat out makes plays. His speed and athleticism as a linebacker are rare and the team will need him on the field making as many plays as he can with the absence of Jordan Hicks. With Darby expected to get back on the field within a week or two plus possibly having Sidney Jones at some point, there is a legit reason to be very excited with this defense as a whole.

Carson Wentz picked an awesome day to have his worst game of the season. Was the weather with rain and a wet ball probably a big cause? I’m sure playing in those uncomfortable conditions were a factor but Wentz didn’t look like his normal self for most of the game. He didn’t seem to get into a rhythm and had some bad over-thrown balls and even a head-scratching pick thrown right into the arms of 49ers Ahkello Witherspoon on a play that looked like there may have been some miscommunication between Wentz and Mack Hollins. It was also pretty noticeable that the offensive line struggled throughout the day letting the 9ers pass rushers get pressure on Carson to force him into some bad spots. After losing Jason Peters for the year this offensive line will have to do their best to come together and play as a unit and protect the franchise qb as best they can. On his “worst” day of the season, Carson still had some big-time throws and finished the day with over 200 yards and two touchdowns including a 53-yarder to Alshon Jeffery letting his big wideout make a play on the ball and score late in the 3rd quarter. I mentioned the interception on the pass to Hollins, speaking of Mack, it seems like it is definitely time to get him more snaps. Wentz has now targeted the rookie speedster from UNC 9 times on the season, resulting in 8 catches for 164 yards. Torrey Smith is a veteran receiver and is a threat on the outside, but with the speed of Hollins plus the production he’s had in such a limited role, you have to expect his play to increase going forward.

Jake Elliot is a weapon. The kid was 2-2 on field goals today including a 51-yarder in the third quarter that was his 5th make of over 50 yards on the season! Elliot is now 16 of 19 on the season and when he is brought out for a field goal you can feel pretty confident he’s going to knock it through. Obviously he missed 2 extra points today, but the first ball was bobbled by holder Donnie Jones and again just like throwing in the rainy conditions is harder so is snapping, holding and kicking the ball. Another piece of Elliot’s weaponry is how he sets up the defense to be in good position after kickoffs. Elliot has hit the majority of his kicks either out of the endzone or deep enough into the endzone that returners have no choice but to down it for touchbacks. The opposing offense starting at their own 25 yard line every time out is something we are used to seeing now and is a nice advantage for the birds and their field position.

Overall, a nice 33-10 victory with only one injury to report of which was Patrick Robinson who is now in the concussion protocol. In a sloppy game both literally and figuratively against a winless San Francisco team, coming out with a big W and a healthy team is exactly what the team needs heading into their last game before the bye week vs the Broncos.

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