49ers rely on defense, Jimmy Garoppolo TD sneak to beat Eagles
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers had plenty of difficulty getting their offense going in Week 2 against the Eagles, but a strong defensive outing and timely touchdowns netted the win.
Perhaps the San Francisco 49ers offense woke up a little groggy in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles, starting off with three consecutive 3-and-outs while Philly got on the board first in what eventually turned into a 17-11 win for the Niners, who are now 2-0 on the season.
That was the first time under head coach Kyle Shanahan where San Francisco’s offense started off with such a stat line, taking an extensive time to get much of anything going against what turned into a stout Eagles defense.
Fortunately, the 49ers defense was able to hold the line over that first half, preventing Philadelphia from getting into the end zone despite surrendering a 91-yard catch to Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins and facing a 1st-and-goal inside the 5-yard line.
And aside from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo‘s 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jauan Jennings late in the first half, the Niners offense was almost entirely anemic before halftime.
It wasn’t much better in the second half. But a 16-play, 92-yard drive culminated in a 1-yard sneak by Garoppolo to make it 14-3 early in the fourth quarter.
49ers CB Deommodore Lenoir impresses
True, he surrendered that 91-yard pass to Watkins. But rookie cornerback Deommodore Lenoir continues to have a strong start to 2021, breaking up three passes as a greater part of what was a solid outing versus Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and Co.
It’s important, too, as San Francisco elected to inactivate its other rookie corner, Ambry Thomas, who struggled from training camp and the preseason through Week 1. And with veteran cornerback Jason Verrett out for the year with a torn ACL, Lenoir’s development and impact need to be at a high level.
Perhaps Lenoir’s biggest test to date, though, will be facing off against quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in Week 3.
Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t sharp but does enough to win
Garoppolo had his issues during the game, including more of the usual high throws, one on a would-be third-down conversion to wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and another to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who at least seems to be slowly emerging from head coach Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse, if he was ever in it.
That said, Garoppolo was still able to finish the game with a 22-of-30 mark for 189 yards, the touchdown to Jennings and a 100.6 passer rating.
Garoppolo’s 1-yard sneak for a touchdown turned into a key play, too.
Another sneak at the two-minute warning netted the 49ers a key first down to help ice the game after Philly made it a one-score game.
Interestingly enough, though, rookie quarterback Trey Lance didn’t see the field at all during the game, which will certainly prompt some questions for Shanahan after the game and later this week.
At least 2-0 sounds better than 1-1.