The 49ers defense allowed the Eagles to march into their territory on the first two drives of the game, resulting in 120 yards. A.J. Brown spearheaded the first score with a 38-yard catch and run.
Mooney Ward shadowed Brown during the first two drives. He had a pass break up in the end zone which resulted in the Eagles’ first field goal. A Javon Kinlaw sack led to Philadelphia’s second kick. That made it 6-0.
The Eagles did a fantastic job of playing keep away during the first quarter. They possessed the ball for 11 minutes and 57 seconds of the first quarter after three drives. A second three-and-out by the Niners offense was a bit of a surprise.
Deebo Samuel lost four yards on first down, and, for the second drive in a row, by the time the offense made it to third down they were behind the chains.
The Niners defense did their job on the third possession by forcing a three-and-out. They had zero rest but still found a way to get off the field. But could the 49ers offense respond?
Brandon Aiyuk caught a pass for 12 yards. Deebo Samuel, on 3rd & 1, caught a pass for 13 yards. Then, George Kittle rook a clever design for 32 yards. After an offside penalty on third down, Shanahan called a play-action pass that required Aiyuk to make a diving catch in the end zone, and he did.
The defense had an opportunity to get off the field on 3rd & 19, but Ji’Ayir Brown missed his second critical tackle of the day.
It was evident that the 49ers were going to rush Jalen Hurts under control, a mush rush, if you will. If the Eagles were going to march down the field, it would take missed tackling. Ambry Thomas broke up a pass deep, and the coverage held up on third down to force another punt.
The 49ers offense would keep it rolling on their ensuing drive. Kittle caught a 25-yarder, then Aiyuk for 13. Sandwich a McCaffrey run of nine and seven in between and that’s how you have a 1st & goal from the four-yard line. McCaffrey ended up scoring with 38 seconds to play, giving the Niners a 14-6 halftime lead.
It appeared as if the Niners would be forced to punt after a near interception from Purdy to begin the third quarter. But Jauan Jennings reception over the middle for 18 yards kept the drive alive.
On 3rd & 3, Christian McCaffrey found himself in a 1-on-1 matchup against a player wearing No. 41. The result was as expected. An end around to Deebo Samuel led to a 12-yard touchdown run to give the 49ers a commanding 21-6 lead.
All hell broke loose on the ensuing drive. The Niners allowed a pair of third and long conversions, which ultimately did them in. If you want to beat a team the caliber of the Eagles, you have to get off the field when their offense needs seven and 12 yards on third down.
The big loss came when Dre Greenlaw body slammed DeVonta Smith, which led to an altercation between Dre and the Eagles security guard. Both parties were tossed.
Two Tush Push’s, and the Eagles came within eight points to make it 21-13.
A good team would answer a score by flipping the field and punting it back to the Eagles. Great teams answer a score with one of their own.
Purdy found Aiyuk open on 3rd & 8. McCaffrey gained 16 yards. Then, Deebo caught a short pass and turned it into a 48-yard touchdown in a way that only he’s capable of. The Eagles stadium went from screaming to deafening silence.
Steve Wilks’ defense didn’t let up, forcing a three-and-out. Then, it was McCaffrey time. He ran for seven, five, three, and then 15 yards. Jennings caught a pass on third down a few lengths short of the chains.
McCaffrey picked up the first down. Elijah Mitchell gained 11 on the next down. Then Jennings caught a pass at the first down marker, evaded a defender, then raced for a touchdown to make it 35-13. That was the fifth consecutive scoring drive for the 49ers offense that looked unstoppable.
Jennings, Aiyuk, McCaffrey, and a pair of touchdowns by Deebo shows how versatile this offense can be.
Jalen Hurts, who cleared the concussion protocol, re-entered the game late in the fourth quarter. On 3rd & goal, Hurts bought time, threw a floater to DeVonta Smith, and scored a touchdown to make it 35-19. The Eagles went for two, but Fred Warner nearly intercepted the pass, so the score remained the same.
McCaffrey recovered the Eagles’ onside attempt.
Two plays later, Deebo took a screen for 46 yards untouched to the house to make it 42-19. Brock Purdy went 19-for-27 for 314 yards and four touchdowns. It was the emphatic performance the Niners needed, and a statement win to prove that this si the team to beat in the NFL, not just the NFC.