For most of the first half on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles(1-1), in their home-opener, were outplaying the San Francisco 49ers(2-0), and after a 91-yard reception by Quez Watkins gave the team first and goal from the six-yard line and Philly leading 3-0, it appeared that the Eagles were about to take complete control of the game.
However, after a pass interference penalty gave the Eagles the ball at the one, Philadelphia was not able to score and was stopped on 4th and goal from the three after trying to pull off the “Philly Special,” but Greg Ward’s pass sailed through the end zone and the 49ers would hold. Ultimately, San Francisco would drive the ball 97 yards, which would end with a Jimmy Garoppolo 11-yard touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings to give the 49ers a 7-3 lead at halftime. In the end, San Francisco would defeat the Eagles 17=11 at Lincoln Financial Field.
That 14-point swing before the half turned the game around, and the 49ers goal-line stand was the key. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, who calls the plays for Philadelphia, felt he let the team down with his play-calling during that red zone sequence.
“I don’t think I called good plays in that area,” Sirianni said. “There are going to be times where you’re going to look at it and be like, ‘I want those calls back.’ When they work, it was a good play. They didn’t.
“So, it was my fault. I didn’t call good enough plays right there. I didn’t put the players in good enough positions, but we’re all in this together, coaches and players.”
Philadelphia had several missed opportunities on Sunday, including a blocked field goal. In addition, they out-gained San Francisco(328-306). Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who was 12/23 for 190 yards with 82 yards rushing, touchdown, felt the team had too many self-inflicted wounds against the 49ers.
“We had a lot of opportunities out there that we didn’t capitalize on,” Hurts said. “I think that’s plain and simple right there. We have to be consistent in our execution. I have to be consistent in my execution and operation as a field general. It’s something to learn from today – a lot to learn from. They were things we could control, so that’s what hurts the most. We give credit to a good team and a good defense out there. Those wounds out there were self-inflicted.”
The Eagles may have also lost one of its leaders on Sunday. Pro Bowl DE Brandon Graham limped off the field in the second quarter, and according to reports, he may have a ruptured Achilles tendon. Eagles DT Fletcher Cox discussed Graham’s injury after the game.
“I mean, it’s always tough, and it was a pretty emotional moment for me to see BG limp off the field because I think me and BG – I know me and Brandon have played so much ball together and to see him walk off the field was pretty rough for me,” Cox said. “But we know Brandon, he’s in a good spot right now, and we’ll talk once he figures out what’s going on. At the same time, we got his back, and we’ll go from there and get ready for the next game.”
Philadelphia got another solid performance from their defense, and without a first down in the first quarter, but a lot of credit goes to the 49ers’ defense, who did a good job of limiting Hurts and the Eagles.
This is a game the Eagles should have gotten, and they will be kicking themselves after this one.