Eagles vs 49ers Preview

It has been over 620 days since the Eagles last played a home game at Lincoln Financial Field with fans, but all that will change when toe meets leather in a Week 2 matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles. Philly is coming off a big Week 1 win over the Falcons at Mercedes Benz Stadium, demolishing Atlanta 32-6. For the 49ers, they will be playing their second game on the road to start the season, as they held off the Lions in Detroit 41-33. San Francisco had a 21-point lead heading into the fourth quarter against the Lions, Detroit cut that lead to 8 with a few minutes left to play, but 49ers defense made the plays it needed to make to get in the win column.


Injury Update


San Francisco 49ers:

The 49ers will be without both their lead back Raheem Mostert and their top corner Jason Verrett in Philly. Both veterans sustained likely season ending knee injuries in the win over the Lions, and they both ended up on injured reserve. Star linebacker Dre Greenlaw also came away with a groin injury and will be out for a few weeks. To make matters worse, two of San Francisco's star defensive lineman are both questionable for the Eagles game; Javon Kinlaw and Arik Armstead. Starting cornerback Emmanuel Moseley is doubtful with a knee injury and starting linebacker Marcell Harris is also questionable with an oblique injury.


Philadelphia Eagles:

The Eagles were extremely healthy heading into Week 1, and that hasn't changed this week. The Eagles are still without veteran safety Rodney McLeod, as he is coming off a season ending Achilles injury from last season. Backup safety Marcus Epps sustained a concussion early in the Falcons game, and his status is questionable, but he was a full participant in practice on Friday.


Key Matchups


Defense:

  • Deebo Samuel vs Darius Slay

  • Trent Williams vs Josh Sweat

  • George Kittle vs Eric Wilson and Alex Singleton

The 49ers have been decimated by injuries over the last two seasons, as they have already lost running back Raheem Mostert for the year. Even though losing Mostert is a big loss, the 49ers have an extremely deep backfield with the rookies Trey Sermon and Elijah Mitchell, and we can figure to see the veteran JaMycal Hasty get a sprinkle of touches. However, with Kyle Shanahan, we don't know which of these three backs will be the feature back, as he loves to feed the hot hand, and that currently is Elijah Mitchell. Mitchell carried the ball 19 times for 104 yards last week, but it will be difficult for the 49ers offensive line to create those same holes for whoever is carrying the ball against a stout Eagles front. Last week, Kyle Pitts was expected to have a big game in his rookie debut, but the Philly linebackers made the rookie tight end a non-factor. George Kittle however, is a top two tight end in the game. When the Eagles played the 49ers in San Francisco last year, Kittle caught all 15 of his targets for 183 yards and a touchdown, as he was virtually unstoppable. It is likely Gannon will double team Kittle, and he could reproduce the same production he had against the Eagles last year if he leaves Kittle one on one. On the outside, Deebo Samuel is a jack of all trades. Samuel is built like a fullback, runs like a running back, and has the ball skills of a receiver. The former first round pick Brandon Aiyuk also has a similar skillset to Deebo Samuel, as both wideouts can do a little bit of everything. If the corners Darius Slay and Steven Nelson struggle to tackle on the outside like they did on the first two drives at Mercedes Benz Stadium, Aiyuk and Samuel could run wild.


Offense:

  • Nick Bosa vs Jordan Mailata

  • Fred Warner vs Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz

  • Deommodore Lenoir and Ambry Thomas vs DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor

The 49ers defense has been plagued with injuries to start the season, as they will be without two of their defensive starters in Philadelphia and that number could grow to five depending on the game-time decisions. San Francisco has one of the best pass rushes in the NFL, but the Eagles offensive line is arguable the best in the business when healthy. On the back end, the 49ers have a great safety duo with Ward and Tart, along with the best linebacker in football, Fred Warner. With the 49ers top corner Jason Verrett on IR, and their second corner Emmanuel Moseley doubtful, that will likely force the two rookies Deommodore Lenoir and Ambry Thomas to start on the outside. With both Lenoir and Thomas only playing in their second career game, we shouldn't expect to see San Francisco blitz as they will likely be playing a lot of cover-2 and double high safety to limit the explosive downfield shots. Last week in Atlanta, Hurts was constantly blitzed and forced out of the pocket, but he did a spectacular job when pressured and was extremely calm, as he carved up the Atlanta defense when under pressure. Hurts will likely have more time in the pocket this week, and Nick Sirianni could scheme up some downfield shots. If the 49ers front cannot get to Jalen Hurts, the Eagles offense could pick up right where it left off in Atlanta.

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