Different week, same result. The 49ers, now 0-8, lost again, this time against the NFL’s team with the best record, the Philadelphia Eagles (7-1).
- QB CJ Beathard: 17/36, 167 yards, TD, 2 INT
- Matt Breida: 5 rush, 4 receptions, 56 yards from scrimmage, TD
- Trent Taylor: 3 receptions, 33 yards
- DL Leger Douzable: 5 tackles, 2.0 sacks
- LB Brock Coyle: 4 tackles, 3 assists
- CB Ahkello Witherspoon: 3 tackles, INT
The 49ers came into week 8 banged up. Both LB Reuben Foster (ribs) and RT Trent Brown (concussion) were ruled out before the game. Despite that the 49ers wanted to prove that they can be the team that fights hard and can hang in games. And it looked like they could do just that.
Compared to last week against the Dallas Cowboys, the 49ers defense and special teams actually came to play, holding the Philadelphia Eagles to just 3 points 28 minutes into the game. The offense, however, couldn’t take advantage of the gift from the defense. The 49ers first five possessions all ended in a punt, crossing midfield only twice along the way. The Eagles scored a field goal on their second possession, but were held in check pretty well for most of the first half. The sixth possession then started off better for San Francisco. The 49ers started at the 48 yard-line and gained a quick 16 yards in 2 plays; one rare Kyle Juszczyk run for 12 yards and a short pass to Garçon for 4 yards. However, on 2nd & 6 Beathard attempted a quick pass to Aldrick Robinson — which was a bit inaccurate and behind the receiver. It bounced off of Robinson’s hands into the air and was snatched for an interception by Eagles CB Rodney McLeod. The defense responded well, though, forcing a three-and-out on the ensuing Eagles drive.
The punt fest continued until the 2-minute-warning of the first half — that’s when things started to turn ugly. The 49ers defense had forced another 3rd and long before the warning, but on the first play after the warning, Dontae Johnson was flagged for defensive pass interference in the end zone while breaking up the pass. This penalty set the Eagles up at the 1-yard-line and they had no problem converting it for an easy touchdown to Zach Ertz.
In an attempt to lead a 2-minute-drill, CJ Beathard threw an interception on their first 3rd down of the drive, which was returned for a touchdown. And just like that the Eagles scored 14 points in 30 seconds.
Even after the halftime break the 49ers offense could not get anything going. This was also due to the team losing both starting tackles, Joe Staley (eye) and Garry Gilliam (knee). The defense also lost two key players; DB Jimmie Ward (forearm) and D.J. Jones (knee). Conversely, the Eagles got more and more a grip of this game, scoring on three of their six possessions in the second half (FG, 2 TD). The 49ers lone touchdown of the game came on a short 2-play-drive that was set up nicely by CB Ahkello Witherspoon’s first career INT. Kyle Shanahan got a bit creative and called a shovel pass to RB Matt Breida who subsequently took it 21 yards to the house.
The offense had a couple of drives that went for 10+ plays late in the 4th quarter, but both ended in field goal attempts, one of which was blocked. This was somewhat emblematic of today. Nothing really clicked on offense, even if it did. Every yard was hard fought for and it was obvious that this team has ways to go before it can compete again (11 of 14 drives went for 5 plays or less). There were some positive individual efforts, but this is probably going to be a very long second half of the season.
- Jimmie Ward (forearm)
- Garry Gilliam (knee)
- Joe Staley (eye)
- D.J. Jones (knee)
- Solomon Thomas (sprained MCL)