Kyle Shanahan loves to 'lap' opponents, 49ers do it to Eagles in Week 13

If the Niners could pick one game to lap an opponent before and after halftime, doing so in Week 13 against the Eagles would be a good idea.

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23)
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

After some early offensive struggles, the 49ers found the end zone on both sides of the half against the Eagles in Week 13.

The San Francisco 49ers had almost nothing to show for their first two possessions in a crucial Week 13 road showdown against the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles, netting a total of minus-6 yards on back-to-back 3-and-out drives.

Maybe head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense merely needed to wake up, which it did in the wake of two touchdowns to close out the half.

Quarterback Brock Purdy managed to hit wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk for a touchdown that gave the Niners a 7-6 lead in the second quarter. But, knowing the stakes of the game and the talent of both teams, Shanahan and Co. needed to do more to put themselves in a significantly better position to come away with a victory at Philly.

And lapping an opponent is one particular strategy Shanahan loves.

49ers 'lap' Eagles by scoring TDs on either side of halftime

Teams that win an opening coin toss frequently defer to receiving the second-half kickoff and letting the opponent start on offense to open up a game.

One of the added bonuses of that approach, and Shanahan is not alone in attempting it, is to run down the clock as much as possible before halftime and ending it with a touchdown, which is what San Francisco did on a 2-yard score by running back Christian McCaffrey:

Philadelphia had a few modest seconds before halftime but elected to run the clock out with the 49ers leading 14-6.

Then, after receiving the second-half kick, Shanahan called for a seven-play, 75-yard drive that ended with wide receiver Deebo Samuel finding the end zone on a 12-yard end-around score:

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Just like that, 21-6 in favor of the 49ers. Lap mode achieved.

The Niners still need to hold onto their lead, though, as the Eagles have shown an uncanny ability to come back from deficits this season en route to victories.

If San Francisco can continue playing at its more recent level, however, the chances of handing Philly its second defeat of the season are excellent.

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