Week 4 game preview: Eagles vs 49ers
4 October 2020 Eagles News
It’s been a bit of a rough start to the season so far. The Birds are winless, half the roster is injured again, including the first-round pick in Jalen Reagor, and we have games against the 49ers, the Steelers, and the Ravens in 3 of the next 4 weeks. Pretty unideal scenario right now in an unideal world to live in, what with the pandemic and the election season coming up. But the point of football is to take away all of that, and to have 4 blissful months of football, fantasy football, and sports betting to keep us busy.
I’m currently sitting on a plane on my way to Las Vegas as of this writing and to be honest, I’m really only going because I haven’t left my home city in 7 months and I’m starting to go stir crazy. Needed to escape, flex the wings a little bit and this Vegas trip presented itself, so here I am. The kicker is that I get to sit in a beautiful sportsbook on Sunday night and watch our Philadelphia Eagles take on the injury-mangled San Francisco 49ers, who currently present the best chance that we’re going to have to right the ship before it gets out of control with the Ravens and Steelers coming up, so let’s get into it.
Eagles vs 49ers Game Analysis
The Eagles come into this week off a tie vs. the Bengals and two losses, so they really need a win here to get potentially first place in the division at 1-2-1(????????????). Versus the Bengals last week, the Eagles looked nothing like themselves and made a extreme number of questionable coaching and playcalling decisions that were topped by them electing to punt the ball instead of attempting a game-winning 64-yard field goal after a false start set them back.
The line is currently at +7, with an over/under of 45.5. The Eagles are set to play a 49ers team that really has been decimated by injury as much as the Eagles have, so it will be interesting to see how each team strategizes. For the Niners, George Kittle returns after 2 weeks out and Deebo Samuel will make his season debut, so the Eagles have to figure out a way to stop one of the best tight ends in football and one of last year’s breakout players.
The Eagles have too many injuries to count, but losing Jason Peters to IR has to hurt one of the most. He leaves behind two unproven LT options in Jack Driscoll and Jordan Mailata, the latter being the starter tomorrow. Carson Wentz has been way off his game and it’s partially due to Peters’ sluggish play, but throwing Mailata against a fearsome defense like San Fran is going to be a big challenge for the young Aussie. They are also down to Greg Ward and John Hightower at WR, so the team is once again relying on practice squadders to contribute.
Keys to the Game:
~Stop George Kittle: This has the be the most important thing for the Eagles, but it will be extremely tough to do it. The linebacking corps has been atrocious to this point, and you simply cannot put Nate Gerry on Kittle, because Kittle will make his day very very long. You have to bracket Kittle effectively enough that he cannot get free because once he does he’s gone.
~Force Turnovers: Again, huge issue and the Eagles have simply not done it at all. They have 1 fumble recovery on the season, good for 31st in the league ahead of the Texans, which is unideal. But they’re playing Nick Mullens, who is playing in one of his first ever primetime games. They need to attack him like they did Joe Burrow last week.
~Accuracy: Wentz has to be more accurate. 48% accuracy is absolutely unacceptable for a QB who is making $32 million a year and is the franchise quarterback. He looks uncomfortable at times and is forcing some throws that he normally wouldn’t. I hope this have been an adjustment to Rich Scangarello’s new passing game concepts.
3 Key players for Philly:
Darius Slay: Slay has only allowed 87 yards this year, which is great considering he’s been up against Terry Mclaurin, Robert Woods, and A.J. Green so far. He has been one of the few bright spots for this team and has been worth every dollar that he was paid in his new contract. He will most likely handle Deebo Samuel this week, though it isn’t known if he would travel with him.
Deontay Burnett: I picked one at random, but all of the practice squad wide receivers need to step up their games this weekend. This is a must win game if the team wants to be competitive at all this year, and Wentz will need any healthy receivers to play up a notch since most defenses have been keying in on the tight ends. Burnett has not looked bad at all so far and has a good potential.
Jordan Mailata: A surprise, Mailata is slated to start at left tackle now that Jason Peters is on the short-term IR list with a toe injury. Mailata has 0 starts at the position but showed promise at RT when forced to step in this year and will get a good look here. It’s time to find out what we have in the Aussie, who for 2 years has been touted as a possible future star.
0-3 ATS so far, which is abysmal. Gotta right the ship here. There are ways for the Eagles to win this game, but when it comes down to it, the Niners have the strongest linebacking corps in the league, and I don’t know if the Eagles can overcome their best receiver in Zach Ertz being taken away by Fred Warner. The Birds need to strike fast against a vulnerable defense, and lean on Miles Sanders to pound the ball. Eagles lose a field goal game but play a competitive enough game that people aren’t calling for jobs like last week.
As always, feel free to drop a Twitter follow to the handles @swagman95 and @4thandjawn
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