Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) vs. San Francisco 49ers (2-3)
Bill Walsh Field at Candlestick Park
1:15 PM (PST)
Game three of four in what I have called Schedule Hell for the 49ers (Saints, Patriots, Eagles, Giants). 0-2 so far and the task gets even harder on Sunday against the Eagles. They have lost three straight games and will be without Brian Westbrook who is out with broken ribs. Is it me or has Westbrook had every injury possible to a human in his NFL career? However even without Westbrook this Eagle team, like the Patriots, have plenty of scoring threats to make up for his absence. The Eagles will be pulling out all the stops to win in order to stay in contention in the NFC East.
We all know what the 49ers need to do on offense. To actually get onto the field, run plays and score a touchdown. Sounds simple but this has been a difficult task for the 49ers in the last two games. As much as I think Vernon Davis is hapless, Mike Martz and J.T. O’ Sullivan need to find a way to get him more receptions to become a scoring threat. Frank Gore needs more than 12 carries for 54 yards for the 49ers to even think about the possiblity of winning this week. Even if the 49ers are down by for more than one touchdown Gore and the rushing attachk need to not be forgotten. But good luck against a very tough Eagles defense.
The 49ers defense have been equally unimpressive the last two weeks giving up too many receiving yards and points to the Saints and not getting the Patriots offense off the field. The D is the backbone of the team and when it starts to break the rest of the team follows suit. The 49ers D and more importantly the secondary have a great opportunity this week to make up for the horrible pass coverage displayed this season. Not only is Westbrook out but so is receiver Reggie Brown. The Eagles still have threats in DeSean Jackson and Hank Baskett, but the task will be easier with the injuries. The 49ers D needs to step up the pressure on Donovan McNabb because he will not have his check-down receiver in Westbrook. The 49ers secondary need to make sure Jackson does not get behind them and beat them with a deep passing score. The Patriots exploited the secondary last week and look for McNabb and company to try to do the same.
The 49ers will step it up on offense and in the secondary this week, however the Eagles will win on a special teams score towards the end of the game. Martz will desperately try to involve Vernon Davis who will get his first touchdown of the season. But it won’t be enough against the Eagles as they beat the 49ers at home telling the 49er Faithful you have a better team this year, but you still cannot beat playoff teams.
Fantasy Studs of the Game:
J.T. O’ Sullivan (235 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, 1 interceptions)
I was going to pick Gore, but I think I have picked him each week. So I went out on a limb and picked O’ Sullivan. The 49ers will try to air it out against the Eagles altough I hope Martz does not forget the running.
DeSean Jackson (7 receptions, 105 receiving yards, 1 touchdown. Punt return ran back for a touchdown)
The 49ers should have drafted Jackson when he was aviable to them in the first and second rounds. I even called for the 49ers to draft Jackson because of the deep receiving threat he would be and to give the return game a boost. But that did not happen and now he is the number one receiving option with injuries to other receivers and he has been very impressive. He will be the one that beats the 49ers towards the end of the game with punt return ran back for a touchdown. Only if the 49ers had drafted him I wonder…
Out: T Jonas Jennings (shoulder) Doubtful: LB Manny Lawson (hammy) Questionable: LB Roderick Green (illness)
Out: RB Brian Westbrook (ribs) WR Reggie Brown (groin) G Shawn Andrews (back) DB J.R. Reed (hammy)