Eagles Drop A Winnable Game To The 49ers
Cancel the Parade. Get rid of your hotel tickets for Los Angeles in February. The Eagles lost to the San Fransisco 49ers 17-11 and fall to 1-1 on the season.
My first thought when I sat down at 6 PM to write this recap was that this was such a winnable game. The Eagles dominated for the beginning of this game, had a touchdown negated for Jalen Reagor stepping out of bounds and didn't score with 1st and Goal on the 1. If the Eagles capitalize on those two chances, they probably end up sealing this game pretty early.
This game basically played out as I expected. Before you say "Well you picked the Eagles to win this game!", yeah I did. I still expected the game to play out like it did, just with the Eagles sticking it out late. After the Eagles started off well, the smart coaching staff of the 49ers innovated and devised a game plan: run the ball. Whenever the Eagles got tired of it and focused specifically on the run, the 49ers would have a screen pass or crosser for a big gain. Simply, the 49ers are the better team and they have enough good players to win a tight one like this.
This game didn't change my outlook on the Eagles this year. People that thought this team would really end up being contenders this season after last week are just silly. They still look like a 7-9 win team to me. This year is a developmental season, and it continues to look that way.
Jalen Hurts played alright. He didn't really make any mistakes, but the offense did nothing in the second half besides from that last drive. He delivered on some deep balls, like the one to Quez Watkins, but missed on some other ones. His final line was 12/23, 190 passing yards, 82 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 0 passing touchdowns and 0 interceptions. The Eagles offense in general all followed the same trend, a good start and then nothing in the second half to 3/4ths of the game. Quez Watkins had that nice 91 yard catch and run, which clearly has been lost in translation after the Eagles did not convert the touchdown. I thought Miles Sanders had a nice game as well, 13 carries for 55 yards but got a lot of key first downs. That's pretty much it for the offense. Brandon Brooks went down with a chest injury but the severity is unknown. Landon Dickerson replaced him. The offensive line as a whole really was not on their game today, which could have been a product of Brooks exiting.
The Eagles defense was clearly fatigued towards the end of this game. The offense barely had the ball in the second half, and the defense just kept finding themselves on the field. There is not much you can do about the Garoppolo sneak, but the touchdown pass to Johnson was clearly blown coverage. I was sitting in the end zone where that occurred, and the whole secondary just seemed off during/after the play. The defensive line really struggled today, which obviously did not help the secondary. Derek Barnett especially, who had a couple brutal penalties in key moments. The extension to Josh Sweat surely didn't put a lot of confidence for Barnett's future here, so there is a slight chance that played a part in it. K'Von Wallace, who was filling in for Rodney McLeod, also really struggled today. He ended up getting a penalty that negated a Darius Slay fumble recovery in a key spot.
But the biggest takeaway from this game was not a certain play. It was the injury to Brandon Graham, which never looked good from the start. And now according to Derrick Gunn, Graham will be out for the remainder of the season due to a torn Achilles. For a guy that has only missed one game in his entire career, you just hate to see it for him and the Eagles. Graham was already having a solid season, and now it is over so early. BG made a tweet today basically confirming Gunn's story, saying "We still about to shock the world!"
The Eagles scored a touchdown late in this game, but could not hold San Fransisco on the next drive and that led to the 6 point loss. Oh, and I almost forgot that in that 1 yard line fail, the Eagles ran the Philly Special. Greg Ward tried to throw to Jalen Hurts, but Kyle Shanahan is way to good to fall for that, and it failed horribly.
The Eagles will try to bounce back next week when the travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys at 8:15 PM on Monday Night Football(ugh). I like primetime games, but just not football games that are broadcasted on ESPN. This will be a tough test for the Eagles, with a big early game against a decent team. The Cowboys are going toe to toe with the Chargers as I type this, so we cannot take them lightly.
Player of The Game: Quez Watkins
2 catches, 117 yards
The only players that were really up for this were Jalen Hurts, Quez and Arryn Siposs. I gave it to Watkins because he put them in position to score with that big catch. It really wasn't his fault for that poor play calling on the 1.