49ers defense is a major concern for Jalen Hurts
By: Jacob Keppen
Once again, the Eagles are the underdogs heading into Week 2. Despite cleaning the floor with Atlanta the week prior, which was a game they were near-universally projected to lose, the Eagles once again enter Sunday’s home contest against the 1-0 San Francisco 49ers as overwhelming underdogs. While facing a better team, Philadelphia should not be counted out. Here’s why Philly has the arsenal to upset the 49ers.
- The Eagles are the healthy team (for once)
The San Francisco roster is truly limping into their contest with the Eagles on Sunday. The injury bug has quickly found a home in San Francisco, taking out multiple key 49ers players. San Fran will most likely be down both starting corners, with Emmanuel Moseley currently doubtful for the contest and Jason Verrett out for the season with another unfortunate lower-body injury.
Starting in the place of the injured CBs will most likely be fifth-round rookie Deommodore Lenoir and either third-round rookie Ambry Thomas, Dontae Johnson, Josh Norman (in 2021?!), or newly signed Dre Kirkpatrick. The 49ers also will be without star linebacker Dre Greenlaw who will be out for 6-8 weeks.
The speedy running back Raheem Mostert will also be out eight weeks, though rookie Elijah Mitchell did look good in relief last week. Defensive tackles Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw are both questionable for the game, being held to limited practice on Friday. Yes, the 49ers really carry a nightmare injury scenario.
The Eagles on the other hand are the healthiest they’ve been in years, with all but one starter available against the Niners. Safety Rodney McLeod will miss the matchup, but he was already out last week against the Falcons. The Eagles are the much healthier team entering Sunday’s afternoon contest and that can possibly prove the difference in front of the home crowd.
- The 49ers barely escaped with a win against Detroit
San Francisco looked good for a majority of their first week battle against the Detroit Lions. Through one half of football, the visiting 49ers put 31 points on Detroit, while only giving up 10 in the process. The Niners were the better team heading in and were surely showing it through a half of football. Deebo Samuel looked revitalized and Mitchell took over the run game from Mostert without a hitch. After a Robbie Gould field goal, San Francisco led 41-17 with roughly nine minutes left on the clock. The game was for all intents and purposes over… except it wasn’t.
Those who flipped the channel after the Gould field goal would be shocked to find out a bit later that the Niners were on the verge of blowing the large lead. In quick succession, the Lions managed to score two touchdowns and make it an eight-point game. A fumble gave them the chance to win in the last minute. Yes, the 49ers managed to leave with a victory but against a team pegged to be one of the worst in the league… which leads us to the final point.
- The Eagles looked really really Good Against Atlanta
Before you say “it was just against Atlanta” consider this. Good teams are supposed to beat up on the bad teams. So, for a team that last year did not look good in really any of the 16 games on the schedule, the week one Eagles were a breath of fresh air.
The offense fired on all cylinders, looking a lot more dynamic than the one we had seen over the past year or two. Nick Sirianni really put together a game plan that catered to his players’ strengths, having a really good first game as a play-caller.
Devonta Smith looked as advertised, with 71 yards and a touchdown. Expect Smith to have a big day against a battered Niners secondary. Quez Watkins threatened with his speed, as did Jalen Reagor who scored a nice touchdown. Philly’s line looked back to form with everyone healthy and the defense looked to grow stronger as the game went along.
Most of all Jalen Hurts looked extremely good in his first start this season. He made good decisions all day and found his open receivers. He didn’t force anything really, and that includes forcing the issue with his legs. He looked totally in command of the team, and that’s what should give fans the most hope. These guys look like they really want to play for Jalen Hurts. These guys look like they really want to win for Jalen Hurts. Philadelphia has a true leader of men at quarterback, and that in itself is a danger to any team entering as the favorite.