By Connor Donald, Sports Talk Philly Contributing Writer
The 49ers and Eagles have met 34 times. The 49ers lead the series 19-14-1.
What to know about the 49ers?
The 49ers are coming off a heart pounding victory over the Detroit Lions. They pulled out a 41-33 victory, but nearly blew the lead with many of their backup options playing the latter part of the game. A win is a win.
Last season perhaps no team was hit worse by the injury bug then the San Francisco 49ers. This season hasn't gone anymore in their favour. They were already entering the game without their starting CB Jason Verrett and starting RB Raheem Mostert. Add starting LB Dre Greenlaw and other starting cornerback Emmanuel Mosley to that list.
The 49ers aren't at a complete loss though as their offense could still give the Eagles defense a tough time. Brandon Aiyuk should slot back into a more prominent wide receiver role. Deebo Samuel is coming off a 180 yard effort against the Lions. Elijah Mitchell stepped into Mosterts role wonderfully with a 100 yard performance. Plus Trey Sermon will be back with some sort of role in Shanahans backfield. This is all before talking about the mixing and matching of Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance at quarterback and how unexpected that could make the game plan.
49ers Player to Watch?
The player to watch this week will be Nick Bosa. He will be tangling with Eagles LT Jordan Mailata. Mailata got a big money deal and solidified himself as the Eagles starting LT. Time to challenge the big dogs. We have seen him face some, but Nick Bosa is a whole other breed. Mailata will continue to improve and Bosa should continue getting stronger returning from his Torn ACL. This should be a fun battle on the left side of the line!
What to know about the Eagles?
The Nick Sirianni era has begun in Philadelphia and what better way to start then with a dominant win. The Eagles are 1-0 and in sole possession of first place in the NFC East after a 32-6 victory over the Falcons. Time to build on that momentum.
Jalen Hurts looked comfortable and the part of a franchise quarterback. Devonta Smith looked every bit the first round stud wide receiver we have been waiting for. Smith had 71 yards and a touchdown in his debut. The tandem of Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell in the backfield is looking like a nice piece of weaponry for Sirianni and his offense. Oh yeah. We also got out of the first game of the season with our offensive line healthy, in-tact and looking hard to beat.
Defensively, the Hargrave express has arrived. He wreaked havoc on the Falcons offensive line and was in Matt Ryan's face all night. Ridgeway had a nice night swapping in and out beside Hargrave and Cox. The secondary also looked really good, not giving up any major chunk plays and keeping the game in front of them. The 49ers bring a much different offense to town and will require pressure upfront and a continued focus on keeping those big play players in front of them. Aiyuk, Samuel and Kittle are naturals after the catch and Nelson, Slay, Maddox and anyone else in coverage will have their work cut out for them.
Eagles Player to Watch?
Josh Sweat was kind of quiet in the first game of the season finishing with six tackles. He did play 54% of snaps, which led all defensive ends. Something he rarely did in the last couple seasons. So, opportunity is there. And he now has a brand new fresh three year, $40 million contract as of today. The Eagles defensive line will have to apply pressure and make Jimmy G uncomfortable to slow the offense. We know what we got in Hargrave, Cox and Graham. Now it's time for Sweat to focus and turn opportunity into pressures and sacks! He was being hyped up as a potential ten sack end, a sack or two would be big against this 49ers offense.
Favorite Positional Matchup
There are so many matchups to choose from in this one. I'm going with the Eagles wide receivers versus the 49ers secondary. The Eagles wide receivers face a banged up secondary and they were quite formidable last week against the Falcons. Smith and Reagor need to continue to support Hurts and help him to push the ball downfield. This matchup falls in the Eagles court for once. The secondary can be exploited with the tandems at running back and tight end, the 49ers will have their work cut out for them all over the field.
Just as the Eagles are everybody's favorite underdogs this week, I can't help but follow the trend. I have the Eagles winning this one 27-21. It feels weird to say, but I trust the Eagles defense to make stops and create pressure more than the 49ers defense. I think Sirianni and Hurts will control the flow of the game against the 49ers defense similar to the Falcons. I see at least one Eagles wide receiver having a big night. Also, although they were quiet last week Ertz and Goedert could see expanding roles against a team missing two starting corners and a starting linebacker