The 49ers defensive line hasn’t gotten enough credit for their performance against the Philadelphia Eagles. In Nick Bosa’s mind, the Niners gave out the blueprint on how to defend a potent Eagles offense led by Jalen Hurts.
Hurts had an average time to throw of 3.85 seconds. Your first instinct might be to force Hurts to get rid of the ball quickly, but when he’s forced to hold the ball and stay in the pocket, the results have favored the defense.
Here’s Bosa’s quotes about the 49ers successful game-plan defending Hurts:
“So you just have to be disciplined and not give him that quick escape route. When you play on a good team like this, a really good team, you have to sometimes give up some of the selfish-type statistics, rushing out of your gap, stuff like that, for the bigger picture, and I think we did that great. We made Jalen stay in the pocket and escape outside instead of those B gaps [between the tackle and guard], and it paid off. We put the blueprint out there. Hopefully, the Cowboys watch the tape.”
Bosa and the 49ers are hoping the Cowboys and the Seahawks, the Eagles’ next two opponents, not only watch the tape but score a touchdown on six consecutive possessions.
The focus will be on Bosa’s bluntness, but the takeaway should be the selfless approach by the defensive line.
They finished with only three sacks, but PFF credited the pass rush for 46 total pressures. That’s right, 46. Bosa, Chase Young, Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw, and Randy Gregory each had at least five total pressures. Clelin Ferrell and Javon Hargrave had four each.
Kyle Shanahan, appearing on KNBR on Thursday, believes it was the defensive line’s best game of the season, which is saying something:
“I thought it was their best game, and they’ve had so many good games. But this one was different because it just completely goes against their DNA. That’s not the way we like to play. We want to attack that quarterback every play. I know pass rushers do. I know our D-line coach does. That’s the style, and that’s how we do it.”
We’ve seen this 49ers defense gashed by mobile quarterbacks in years past and even occasionally this season. If anything, the defense gave themselves the blueprint for how to defend Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson in two of the next three games.
The secondary deserves a piece of the credit pie, as outside of a couple of missed tackles, the Eagles passing game couldn’t muster much of anything. And the same goes for the previous opponents during the winning streak.
But they’re seeing an opponent in Seattle for the second time in three weeks. And you’d assume that both of the Cardinals and Ravens offense’s will have a counter for the 49ers “mush rush.” The defense will have their hands full during these next three games.