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6:57 PM / Thursday April 18, 2024

5 Dec 2023

Snake Eyes

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December 5, 2023 Category: Sports Posted by:

On Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles found out that you have to be lucky AND good to stay on top.

By Chris Murray

For the Philadelphia Sunday SUN

At some point, you had to know that all the Philadelphia Eagles’ shortcomings that put them behind in the last four games were going to put them at a point of no return.

On Sunday, the Birds got down to a San Francisco 49ers team that came into Lincoln Financial Field with the memory of getting smacked around in last year’s NFC Championship and never got up.

The 49ers started slowly in the first quarter and then stomped all over the Eagles for the next three quarters in a methodical 42-19 romp in front of 69,879 disappointed Birds fans.

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts makes a touchdown. Photo by Webster Riddick

The Eagles got off to a good start on both sides of the ball. On the Birds’ first two possessions, a pair of long drives resulted in two field goals by Jake Elliott giving them an early 6-0 lead. Not punching it in for touchdowns on those first two drives proved to be costly for the Eagles, who saw their record fall to 10-2.

“I felt like we started with good rhythm, good tempo, good execution for the most part, but we weren’t able to connect and execute like we wanted to in the red zone,” Jalen Hurts said after the game. “When you’re playing a good team like that, that gets you. Every little thing matters, so much credit to (the 49ers) played today and how they executed.”

On the 49ers’ first two possessions, the Birds’ defense held them to three and out. The Eagles’ defense held San Francisco to just minus 6 yards of offense and zero first downs.

But after that first quarter, Brock Purdy and the 49ers methodically dominated the Eagles’ defense, scored on their next six possessions, and never looked back.

49ers’ Christian McCaffrey scores a touchdown. Photo by Webster Riddick

TD“We didn’t coach good enough, we didn’t play good enough,” said head coach Nick Sirianni.  “It’s as simple as that. That’s a really good football team. If you don’t play your best game against the players that they have and the coaches that they have, it’s going to look [like] that.”

Niners wide receiver Deebo Samuels, who came in talking the most smack, backed up his words with a huge performance. He caught four passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a rushing touchdown as well. The Eagles defense had no answers for him and the Niners offense.

Eagles cornerback James Bradberry said the 49ers ran a lot of jet sweeps with their receivers and had players going in motion pre-snap to keep the Birds defense off balance.

“At the end of the day, you gotta chalk it up to a lack of execution on our part,” Bradbury said.  “They do a good of doing a lot of jets and motions. That got us in a bind. We messed some of our reads and let some things go (in the secondary) and they did a good job of breaking tackles. That one (Samuels) got. He did a good job of breaking tackles once he got in the open field.”

The commiseration of Eagles’ fans next to a 49ers victory. Photo by Webster Riddick

After their slow start, the 49ers (9-3) outgained the Eagles 161-21 in the second and scored two touchdowns on their first two drives in the quarter with a pair of 80-yard plus scoring drives. The first was an 11-play, 85-yard that culminated in a two-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brock Purdy to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

That drive should have ended in a field goal, but on the previous play, Josh Sweat was called for a neutral-zone infraction to give San Francisco another shot. 

The Niners’ next possession was even longer than the first. They drove 90 yards in 10 plays to Christian McCaffery’s two-yard touchdown run to give San Francisco a 14-6 lead at halftime.

On their first drive of the third quarter, the 49ers moved through the Eagles’ defense with ease again. Deebo Samuels finished off a seven-play 85-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown run through the right side of the Eagles’ defense to increase the lead to 21-6.

The Eagles cut the lead to 21-13 on a one-yard run by Jalen Hurts, but the momentum from that score was short-lived because the Eagles defense couldn’t stop Samuels and the 49ers’ offense. Purdy hit Samuel with a short pass near midfield and the 6-0 215-pound wideout broke one Eagles tackle and streaked into the end zone with a 48-yard touchdown to up the margin 28-13.

The Birds would come no closer.

After the Niners’ defense forced the Eagles offense, they increased their lead to 35-13 on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Purdy to Jauan Jennings to effectively end the competitive portion of this game.

With a trip to Dallas on the horizon next week, the Eagles have to figure out a way to shore up a defense that has given up 961 yards in the last two weeks.

“We got to coach better and play better,” Sirianni said. “We have a lot to clean up.”

Despite the loss, the Eagles remain the Number One seed in the NFC and have the best record in the NFL. They’ll take both into Dallas next Sunday night for a rematch with the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. You can catch that game on NBC-10 at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

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