Perennial NFC powers clash at the brand-new Levi's Stadium, as the San Francisco 49ers (1-2) looked to get back on the winning track against the high-powered and undefeated Philadelphia Eagles (3-0). Here's what we saw in the first half:
Special Teams Were Just That For The Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles threw the ultimate one-two punch to open the proceedings in Santa Clara. To start, Trent Cole and Connor Barwin split pickings on a sack of 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick to force S.F. to punt from their own 2 on 4th-and-forever.
Philly's punt blocking unit would follow that straight right cross with an uppeForcut. They would blow right through the middle of the 49ers line to block P Andy Lee's kick (almost sending him into the first row in the process), and the Eagles would fall on it for an early 7-0 lead.
The 49ers Respond In Turn
Despite the addition of a few penalities to their league-worst total (36 accepted through the first three weeks), the San Francisco 49ers would rope-a-dope their way back into this ballgame. First came a 14-play, 69-yard drive (slowed by those aforementioned flags) that ended in a 29-yard field goal for K Phil Dawson.
Following a quick punt by the Eagles, San Francisco's consummate veteran, Frank Gore, would break contain on a short pass to streak 55 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown. San Francisco had scored 1o unanswered to grab a 10-7 lead early in the 2nd quarter.
It's Malcolm Jenkins' World
The Philadelphia Eagles' defense has three total interceptions in 2014, and they're all courtesy of FS Malcolm Jenkins. His 2nd-quarter pick of Colin Kaepernick (10-of-18, 146 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) may be his biggest, as he ducked and weaved through a ton of traffic coming back for a 53 yard return for a TD.
The scoreline read 14-10 Eagles without a single point from Philly's vaunted offense. Also of note - Jenkins' INT extended the Eagles' NFL-best streak of games with a takeaway to 16.
Darren Sproles For MVP?
Since coming to the Eagles as a free agent this offseason, RB/everything else Darren Sproles has lit it up on the ground, as a receiver, and in special teams.
He added to his very-serious early MVP campaign with an electric 82-yard punt return for a touchdown in the middle of the 2nd quarter. The Eagles led 21-1o (in front of a shocked pro-49ers crowd) with all of their points coming from special teams and defense.
Dawson's Leg Has The Juice
49ers kicker Phil Dawson's leg is so powerful that he booted a 51-yard field goal through the uprights late in the first half even though the kick was partially deflected by a defender's forearm.
Dawson's kick reduced San Francisco's deficit to 21-13 at the half.
49ers Player of the Game: RB Frank Gore (10 rushes, 59 rushing yards, 1 catch, 55 receiving yards, 1 TD
Eagles Player of the Game: RB Darren Sproles (1 rush, 4 rushing yards, 1 catch, 6 receiving yards, 1 punt return for a TD)Back to the San Francisco 49ers Newsfeed