49ers offense pulls disappearing act in first half vs. Eagles
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers offense wasn’t able to much of anything over the first half against the Eagles, but at least the Niners defense shouldered the load.
The San Francisco 49ers are finding out the Philadelphia Eagles‘ 2021 defense is nowhere as easy to beat as the Detroit Lions, against whom the Niners were able to put up 41 points in Week 1.
Against Philly over the first two quarters of Week 2? Precisely seven points. And those came on a two-minute drill just before halftime.
San Francisco struggled to get the ball moving over the first two frames, suffering three consecutive 3-and-outs, which hadn’t happened in a game under head coach Kyle Shanahan. And while there’s certainly credit due to the Eagles defense, which regularly stuffed the 49ers ground game to the tune of 24 yards with running back Elijah Mitchell not getting much between the tackles at all.
Yet the bigger question mark was quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo regularly missing receivers again, overthrowing wideouts Mohamed Sanu and Brandon Aiyuk before he was able to connect on back-to-back plays late in the second quarter with pass-catchers Deebo Samuel and Jauan Jennings for the score that gave the Niners a 7-3 lead.
Over the course of the first half, San Francisco mustered just 161, and 97 of those came on that final drive before halftime. A 2-of-9 mark on third-down tries won’t look good either.
49ers defense, special teams showed up to play at least
For most of the first half, it sure felt like Philadelphia was dictating the entire game, particularly against the 49ers defense.
Yet the Niners defense, bending at times but not breaking, managed to hold firm despite surrendering a field goal and 203 yards.
Perhaps the Eagles helped, though, not being able to score on a 1st-and-goal situation from within the 5-yard line, particularly with a trick play flushed out by San Francisco’s defense on fourth down.
On top of that, defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw blocked a field-goal try to limit Philly’s scoring efforts.
Now, hopefully the Niners offense will get some rhythm in the second half despite the Eagles set to receive the third-quarter kickoff.