Credit: Chris Martin; used via CC BY 2.0
Fresh off a tie that somehow was an improvement over previous results, the Eagles are headed to the Bay Area for a prime time matchup with the defending NFC champions, the 2-1 San Francisco 49ers.
Last week was declared a draw, so as is customary in golf, the holder retains the honor.
Joe (2-0-1): This game starts a pretty rough stretch for the Eagles: at San Francisco, at a COVID-rested Pittsburgh, and then home for Baltimore. Hoo boy.
As of press time, the 49ers seem likely to be without Jimmy Garoppolo, and will roll out Nick Mullens as their starting quarterback. He’s been competent over the course of his career, but 1) there’s presumably a reason he’s still just a backup instead of starting somewhere, and 2) last week he played against the New York Giants, which is like a light practice for a high school team. The Eagles, on the other hand, could be using a practice squad cornerback, and yesterday had literally one single healthy receiver. Oof.
You could argue that this is a must-win for the Birds, but it’s not. The Giants and the WFT are going to lose to the Rams and Ravens, respectively, by a combined 112-16, so even if the Cowboys beat the Browns, the Eagles will just be a game and a half out of first with 12 weeks still to play.
I think the Eagles hang tough and play their best game of the season to date – this is admittedly a low bar – but ultimately come up short. 49ers 23, Eagles 20.
Offensive Standout: Zach Ertz
Defensive Standout: Kwon Alexander
John (0-2-1): Prediction? Pain. The Eagles have to haul a struggling offense across the country and face San Francisco on Sunday Night Football. If Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson right the ship, they will have to overcome a defense ranked third in points and yards allowed. The 49ers have also yielded the fewest passing touchdowns in the NFL, meaning the Eagles will have to ride running back Miles Sanders if they want to survive.
The one advantage Philadelphia has in the matchup is defense. The D Line showed up in force against Cincinnati on Sunday. Jim Schwartz’s unit notched eight sacks against rookie QB Joe Burrow. The team, however, has been inept when it comes to takeaways.
Through three games the defense has one takeaway (a recovered fumble from rookie K’Von Wallace). Only the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans have also failed to intercept a pass through Week 3. If the Eagles win, it will be because they reversed this pitiful trend. 49ers 28, Eagles 13.
Offensive Standout: George Kittle
Defensive Standout: Kerry Hyder