The Philadelphia Eagles did not necessarily have a good night in San Francisco to close the week 4 action on Sunday, but they did get the job done. Despite a difficult start, in which Carson Wentz threw his seventh stoppage in just four games, as well as a delayed push from CJ Beathard, who took over Nick Mullens who played at the helm of Kyle Shanahan’s attack, Philadelphia rose when it mattered. Working with a makeshift cast, Wentz threw a perfect fourth-quarter touchdown to put the Eagles ahead, while the Birds defense broke a series of zero-turnover games with a trio of them against the Mullens, sealing a 25-20 upset.
With the victory, the Eagles’ first season for the 2020 season and the turnover, Philly reached an incredible first place in the miserable NFC East. The Niners, meanwhile, are down 0.55 in a rival NFC West that also saw the Arizona Cardinals lose on Sunday.
Here are some immediate choices from the much-needed San Francisco Eagles upset:
Because the Eagles won
Did Carson Wentz finally play with the coaches? Number 11 was not perfect on Sunday night, with an early pass unfortunately falling into the hands of the Niners and some others straying from the mark, but as in late 2019, it also thrived when it was more important alongside a makeshift cast . With only Greg Ward, John Hightower and call-ups scout-team Travis Fulgham and Deontay Burnett active on a large receiver, Wentz did a lot with his hands and feet, especially with a perfect TD deep ball in Fulgham in the fourth quarter. (Fulgham, by the way, had probably the best game from an Eagles receiver this season.)
Jim Schwartz’s defense deserves equally, if not more, credit for the victory, however. The linebackers were largely tough on their defense of George Kittle and the Niners move game, but the four in front dominated much of the night, putting Nick Mullens under pressure (and eventually on the bench) and creating three key options that gave tons of life in Fili.
Because the 49ers lost
Nick Mullens may have admirably complemented Jimmy Garoppolo against the Giants, but against the eagles with pressure on his face, it was a whole different story. Kyle Shanahan did a good job of planning quick strikes and moves based on running early in Sunday night’s competition, but whenever Mullens fell back and did not find Kittle, things went awry. CJ Beathard looked sharp and comfortable in the final minutes after taking over at the center, but that was too little, too late. Speaking of running, Shanahan could probably turn to Jerick McKinnon a little more than tonight.
On the other side of the ball, San Francisco was not bad, especially considering their injury report. But they should probably have a little more heat on Wentz, who was playing behind an almost entirely spare O-line. In the secondary, meanwhile, they kept the Eagles’ goals for almost the whole night – except for one of the crucial points of the game, when Wentz found Fulgham for that huge fourth quarter score.
Tuesday and -10, the Niners ball at 45, with San Francisco going up three and only 10 minutes on the clock. Only a first down would allow the 49ers to continue milking the clock and break away from their lead. Instead, Mullens held the ball unopened, and Eagles Cre’Von LeBlanc’s Cornagack came warmly to a rare Jim Schwartz blitz, taking the ball right out of his hands and into the waiting hands of his teammate. This turnover created the Philly move and completely diverted the visitors’ impetus, with the Eagles also removing the Mullens from San Francisco’s next move.
Play the game
In a game that had a low score until the fourth, with some sloppy attack from both sides, the beauty of Wentz with a TD in the side touch towards Fulgham was easily the focus of the night:
The Eagles (1-2-1) will face another high task in Week 5 as they travel to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0), who also come early in the week thanks to their deferred game against the Titans. The 49ers (2-2), meanwhile, will remain at home to host the Miami Dolphins (1-3), who were short-lived against the undefeated Seahawks in Week 4.