ReFo: Eagles @ 49ers, Week 4
In what seemed like a lopsided game, the Philadelphia Eagles hung around long enough to have a couple chances to win, but the San Francisco 49ers thwarted their attempts, including two passes from the 1-yard line that fell incomplete.
With the 49ers’ defense kept the Eagles’ offense at bay, they stayed close by making big plays on defense and special teams, scoring touchdowns on a blocked punt, an interception return, and a punt return. Despite San Francisco’s offense being on the field for more than two-thirds of the game, Philadelphia’s defense kept the game close and it came down to a handful of big plays for the 49ers. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was erratic throughout the game, but in his typical fashion, he mixed in a few pinpoint throws and well-timed runs to lead the 49ers to the 26-21 victory.
The Eagles head into Week 5 at 3-1 while the 49ers move back to .500 at 2-2 as the competitive NFC appears poised for an exciting season.
Here’s a look at the key performances for both teams.
Philadelphia – Performances of Note
Malcolm Jenkins, FS: +3.3
Breakdown: Continuing a nice start to his Eagles career, Jenkins made plays all of the field, including one of the game’s biggest in his pick-6 in the second quarter. He added some fine work in the running game, +1.5, and even when he was beaten in coverage, it took extremely accurate throws to move the chains.
Signature Plays: Whether the play call was asking him to play man or zone, the pick-6 was an outstanding play by Jenkins as he read Kaepernick’s eyes, cut off the slant route, and weaved through the San Francisco offense to put six points on the board for the Eagles. In the running game, Jenkins made a huge play on 3rd-and-2 with 1:16 to go in the second quarter as he knifed inside OT Joe Looney’s lead block to help the Eagles’ defense hold running back Frank Gore to a loss.
Nick Foles, QB: -1.8
Breakdown: Yet another week of inconsistency from Foles whose accuracy was all over the place in the throughout the game. He was fidgety in the pocket, often allowing pressure to get to him, just as he did on his under-thrown interception late in the third quarter. He did put together an impressive drive in the middle of the fourth quarter that salvaged his grade a bit, but overall, it was a difficult day for the Eagles offense, and it started with the quarterback.
Signature Stat: Foles finished with a passer rating of 9.1 and a -2.0 grade when pressured.
Riley Cooper, WR: -4.2
Breakdown: Cooper caught 6-of-8 passes for 54 yards with his only first down catch negated by penalty, Throw in his fumble, a penalty for blocking early on a screen, and his inability to bring in a well-placed Foles pass in the end zone, it was a long afternoon for Cooper.
Signature Stat: Cooper has been unable to make the same impact he did a year ago as he’s averaged only 8.3 yards/reception on his 15 catches after averaging 17.0 yards/reception last season.
San Francisco – Performances of Note
Antoine Bethea, FS: +4.8
Breakdown: Bethea had a sound overall game, filling nicely in the running game and closing quickly while in coverage, but it was his third quarter big plays that stood out. He stripped tight end Zach Ertz of the ball to force the turnover early in the quarter and he did a nice job of tracking Foles’ interception. Bethea even added a crucial hurry late in the fourth quarter to force an errant throw on 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
Signature Stat: In addition to the big plays, Bethea led the 49ers with four stop and he didn’t miss any of his eight tackle attempts.
Daniel Kilgore, C: -4.1
Breakdown: After three solid outings filling in as the 49ers’ pivot man, Kilgore had a rough outing as he was consistently moved in the running game and he allowed his first three hurries of the season while two others were negated by penalty.
Signature Play: Summing up Kilgore’s struggles in the running game, at the 5:37 mark of the first quarter, Eagles nose tackle Beau Allen stands him up, pushes him into the point of attack and sheds him to make the tackle for a short gain.
Aaron Lynch, OLB: +3.1
Breakdown: The rookie fifth-round pick made the most of his 25 snaps, picking up two hits and two hurries on 24 pass rushes. He was in Foles’ face almost immediately off the snap at the 13:23 mark of the third quarter and he tracked Foles down on 4th-and-1 on the goal line to help thwart the Eagles’ comeback attempt. Even when he didn’t get pressure, Lynch was still extremely difficult to block
Signature Stat: After not rushing the passer at all in Week 1, Lynch has rushed 46 times while dropping into coverage only twice in his last three games.
PFF Game Ball
Antoine Bethea was a game changer with his interception, forced fumble, and strong effort from start to finish.
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