Eagles Passing Attack vs. 49ers Secondary
The linebackers, secondary, offensive line and coaches have all been blamed for the Eagles 1-2 start, but it can be argued that the bread and butter of this team- the passing attack- is really the reason for the disappointing start. Despite having arguably the best combination of play makers on offense in the league, the Eagles are only 19th in the league in passing yards per game at 226 yards per contest. Part of the reason for the struggles have been the teams inability to get the ball to DeSean Jackson down the field, and the health of Michael Vick.
Both of those issues will need to be solved tomorrow if the Eagles finally want to get the offense going. The Eagles offense has only 12 passes of 20 yards or more- that’s less then some really bad teams, including the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers. Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said this week that teams are doing everything they can do take away the long ball from the Eagles offense, but Mornhinweg and head coach Andy Reid need to figure out a way to have Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson connect anyway.
This Eagles offense is not built to sustain long drives, and Vick is not going to survive a whole season if they do. Vick has come out of the game early in each of the Eagles last two losses, but will give it a go this week with a deep bruise on his non throwing hand. If Vick can stay healthy, he should be able to move the ball against the 49ers secondary. San Francisco is 16th in the league against the pass, giving up 243.7 yards per game. They have given up 3 passes of 40 yards or more, tied for 2nd in the league- which is likely music to the ears of Vick and Jackson.
One area the 49ers secondary has excelled in is turnovers- their 5 interceptions is tied for 2nd in the league. Which means that some of those dangerous throws Vick has made this season could be turned into interceptions by this San Francisco defense.
Eagles Rushing Game vs. 49ers Front Seven
The strength of this 49ers team is their linebackers and defensive line, as the statistics show it. San Francisco is 3rd in the NFL against the rush, allowing only 62 yards per game. A big part of the reason is middle linebacker Patrick Willis, who is big, fast and does a great jump reading the play and breaking it up in the backfield. Two things the 49ers rushing defense does not do? Allow big plays and touchdowns. The longest run they allowed this year went for only 13 yards, and they have allowed zero rushing touchdowns this season.
Something will have to give this weekend, as two things LeSean McCoy does better then any other back in the NFL is make big plays and score. McCoy’s 4 touchdowns are most in the league, and he has three rushes of 20 yards or more. If McCoy can get going, it will be a major problem for the 49ers. As discussed earlier, the 49ers secondary is not good enough to win the game.
The 49ers have a good rushing defense, but McCoy has played as well as any running back in the NFL this season.
Follow Buzz on Broad Eagles Beat Writer Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks