Friday, December 26, 2014

What I saw: Eagles vs. 49ers

Here's what I saw during today's 24-23 49ers victory over the Eagles:

What I saw: Eagles vs. 49ers

Here's what I saw during today's 24-23 49ers victory over the Eagles:

DEFENSE

+ This was not just the linebackers or the safeties. Alex Smith picked the Eagles apart, completing 21 of 33 passes for 291 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. That equates to a QB rating of 112.1. Smith came into the game averaging 6.8 yards per attempt, but he averaged 8.8 yards per attempt today.

+ The Eagles allowed a whopping seven plays of 25 yards or more - five through the air and two on the ground. Frank Gore's longest run entering the game was 16 yards, but he had carries of 40 and 25 today. In two weeks, the Eagles have allowed seven plays of 25 yards or more. They have been outscored 36-0 in the past three games.

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+ Brian Rolle made some nice plays in his first start. He forced a fumble on the 49ers’ first possession, but the call was overturned because Smith's pass was ruled incomplete. He made a nice play in coverage on Michael Crabtree on a third down on the 49ers’ first possession. He stayed on the field with Jamar Chaney in nickel and also stuffed Gore for no gain in the second. But late, Rolle was called for a face-mask penalty on the 49ers' game-winning drive.

+ Speaking of that drive, San Francisco went 77 yards on eight plays before Gore's touchdown run.

+ Nate Allen got beat badly by Vernon Davis on a 26-yard completion in the first quarter.

+ Jason Babin had three sacks. He now has seven on the season. Two of the three came on four-man rushes.

+ The Eagles have 14 sacks on the season. Twelve have come without blitzing.

+ On the Josh Morgan touchdown, the Eagles sent seven defenders at Smith, including Nnamdi Asomugha, Jarrad Page and Jamar Chaney. Smith had a QB rating of 143.1 vs. the blitz coming into today. The Eagles, meanwhile, have allowed three passing touchdowns on blitzes the past two weeks.

+ Asomugha got burned for a 38-yard completion to Crabtree in the third quarter. He's now been beat for a completion of at least 25 yards in three or four games. And that's not counting his 41-yard pass interference penalty against the Rams

OFFENSE

+ The scene with 2:06 left in the game told the story. Jeremy Maclin had his hands on his hips after losing a fumble, and Jason Peters was being helped off the field after suffering an injury. A third straight loss was only minutes away.

+ Michael Vick had not attempted a pass of 25 yards or more (from the line of scrimmage) in the previous two games, but that changed today. He threw bomb after bomb to DeSean Jackson. His first two attempts were undethrown. Jackson had a shot at each, but couldn't make a play. They connected on the third try though for a 45-yard completion. Vick later hit Jackson for gains of 29 and 61.

+ Vick finished 30-for-46 for 416 yards (a career high), two touchdowns and an interception. Jackson, meanwhile, had six catches for 171 yards. Vick was the Eagles' leading rusher with eight carries for 75 yards.

+ The Eagles called 54 pass plays and 12 run plays. LeSean McCoy had nine carries for 18 yards.

+ Vick hit on some other big plays too. He found Clay Harbor for a 27-yard pickup and Maclin for a 19-yard gain. He also had a run of 24 yards.

+ Vick somehow got away from two 49ers defenders and found Harbor in the corner of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown in the first half. The 49ers only rushed four on the play, but Ahmad Brooks beat Todd Herremans with an inside move. Vick successfully ducked to escape. It reminded me of last week when he tried the same thing, and Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul nailed him in the head.

+ In the second quarter, Ronnie Brown got a goal-line carry. He was stuffed, and for some reason tried to throw the ball with his left hand. It was ruled a fumble, and the Eagles turned it over in the red zone for the third straight game.

+ The Eagles broke out the shovel pass as Vick hit McCoy for a 5-yard touchdown in the second.

+ King Dunlap may have found his calling. The Eagles' tallest player blocked a David Akers field-goal attempt in the third quarter. Colt Anderson recovered.

+ Alex Henery went 3-for-5 on field goals, missing a 39-yarder and a 33-yarder.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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