This game--besides the possible push for the playoffs--is a great opportunity for the 49ers to prove to the league and, most importantly, to themselves that they are team destined for success. Above all, the 49ers have to prove that they can win a game on the road against a very talented, young team like the Eagles. They only have one road win this season which came in week one versus the Cardinals. Ever since then, the 49ers have played well on the road but have not learned how to finish the game to come down with victories. Moreover, it's time for Alex Smith to take one big step forward.
Here's what Mike Sando, ESPN NFC West reporter, said about the upcoming game:
"This is such a great opportunity for the 49ers. They really have nothing to lose. Everyone, including me, has pretty much written them off as a playoff team. They are playing with house money a little bit right now, simply because they were so down after that loss to Seattle. It is a really tough test for them, though. They travel cross country on a short week to play an early game against a playoff-caliber team in tough conditions. Mike Singletary has to secretly love it. In the end, though, it just seems unlikely that Alex Smith will stare down that Philly defense and do enough to win the game. If he does, wow, what a great moment for him and for the 49ers."
If the 49ers were to defeat the Eagles, it would be a huge step towards their continuous growth in maturity. Especially for Alex Smith.
So what do the 49ers need to do to defeat the flying Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field?
The Key: putting pressure on Mcnabb
When I took a look at some of the Eagles loses this year--Raiders, Dallas, San Diego--I noticed one obvious thing: there was not one single down that Mcnabb was relaxed and free in the pocket to throw the ball to his receivers. For example, the Raiders recorded six total sacks, while Dallas had a couple of sacks and they also forced Mcnabb to throw an interception.
Here's reality, stop Mcnabb, the 49ers win. I'm tired of hearing about D. Jackson and how he is going to destroy the 49ers D. Backs'. Guess what, what can Jackson do if Mcnabb doesn't have time to throw the ball?