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San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles: A Primer

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49ers_logo_medium  vs.  Th_eagles_icon_medium

One of the new perks I've come to enjoy is getting the media release for the upcoming game each week.  It includes a wild assortment of information and is basically acts as a weekly update to the annual media guide.  Accordingly, I'll post some of the information from that to help people prep for the upcoming matchup.  For those who check out Mile High Report, the title is a complete rip-off from a similar feature they run.  If you have any suggestions for an alternative name I'm all ears.  I'd like to use something different but haven't come up with a better idea yet.  On to the facts:

The 49ers host the Philadelphia Eagles in what will be the 28th contest between the two teams, dating back to 1951. San Francisco holds a 17-9-1 advantage over Philadelphia, including the postseason. The last time the two teams met was in 2006, when the Eagles traveled to San Francisco and defeated the 49ers 38-24.

The 49ers are looking to snap a two-game losing streak after falling to the New England Patriots 30-21 last week. In that game, QB J.T. O’Sullivan posted a career-high three touchdown passes, but also threw three interceptions on the day. WR Isaac Bruce was on the end of two of the touchdown throws, marking his 13th career multi-touchdown game and the third consecutive game that he has scored a receiving score. He now has four touchdowns in the past three contests. LB Takeo Spikes recorded his second interception in as many games as he picked off a QB Matt Cassel pass in the first quarter. RB Frank Gore totaled 78 yards and enters this week’s game ranked first in the NFL with 603 total yards from scrimmage.

Philadelphia also enters this week’s game on a two-game losing streak, having fallen to the Washington Redskins 23-17 last week after dropping a close 24-20 contest to the Chicago Bears a week prior.

After the jump, we've got a recap of the 2006 matchup, as well as some other facts and stats about the teams.

Eagles 38 - 49ers 24
QB Alex Smith threw for a career-high 293 yards, and rookie RB Michael Robinson scored two touchdowns, but it was not enough to help the 49ers in a 38-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Monster Park. The Eagles had big plays on offense and defense that helped lead to 28 points. Eagles QB Donovan McNabb completed 50 and 60-yard passes to set up touchdowns.  RB Brian Westbrook broke free for a 71-yard touchdown run and then in the third quarter DT Mike Patterson returned a fumble 98 yards in the third quarter.

McNabb opened the game with a 50-yard pass on the game’s first play to set up a four-yard touchdown run by Westbrook. Philadelphia chalked up 337 yards in total offense in the first half in building a 24-3 halftime lead. The 49ers fought back in the second half behind a strong performance by Smith, who completed 27-of-46 pass attempts for 293 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to TE Eric Johnson.

Robinson filled in for RB Frank Gore, who left in the second half with an injury, and scored on a pair of one-yard touchdown runs. The 49ers defense rebounded in the second half, limiting the high powered Eagles to just 79 yards in total offense in the second half. After falling behind 24-3 at halftime, the 49ers marched to the Philadelphia one-yard line in the beginning of the third quarter during an attempt to come back from the deficit. Gore was stopped on three attempts from the one-yard line.  On his third attempt, Eagles S Brian Dawkins forced a fumble that Patterson picked up and ran 98 yards for a touchdown to extend the Philadelphia lead to 31-3.

The 49ers fought back with touchdown drives on their next two possessions to bring the score to 31-17. A 60-yard pass from McNabb to TE Matt Schobel helped position the Eagles for another touchdown to extend their lead to 38-17. With 5:14 left to play, the 49ers got the ball back and drove down to the Philadelphia 15-yard line with 10 seconds to Johnson on a 15-yard touchdown for a 38-24 final.

2008 Statistics

49ers (rank) Eagles (rank)
23.0 (t-13th) Points Per Game 25.4 (10th)
307.4 (21st) Total Offense Per Game 342.6 (9th)
110.2 (18th) Rushing Yards Per Game 82.4 (29th)
197.2 (18th) Net Passing Yards Per Game 260.2 (5th)
27:40 (27th) Possession Average 31:05 (11th
25.4 (23rd) Opp. Points Per Game 19.4 (9th)
344.0 (t-21st) Opp. Total Offense Per Game 274.0 (6th)
128.4 (23rd) Opp. Rushing YPG 83.6 (8th)
215.6 (20th) Opp. Net Passing YPG 190.4 (11th)
-3 (t-24th) Turnover Differential +3 (t-4th)