Eagles can't mount another comeback, fall to 49ers

Eagles can't mount another comeback, fall to 49ers

Eagles can't mount another comeback, fall to 49ers

ByTIM MCMANUS

December 3, 2023, 11:29 PM

    PHILADELPHIA — After weeks of living on the edge, the Eagles' uneven play finally got the better of them in a lopsided 42-19 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

    “We're not good enough right now,” Eagles veteran center Jason Kelce said. “Obviously, disappointed in the way we performed, didn't get it done today. But we've still got some games left, a lot of football to learn from. I still have the utmost confidence in everybody in this locker room on both sides of the ball. This game doesn't do anything to sway that.”

    The Eagles had trailed at halftime in each of their previous four games but managed to rally and win all of them, tying an NFL record.

    That string came to a halt on Sunday, as San Francisco built a 14-6 halftime lead then kicked it into high gear after intermission, handing Philadelphia its second-largest loss under coach Nick Sirianni. (Its worst loss was by 25 points to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 18 of the 2021 season with the Eagles resting many of their starters for the playoffs.)

    “We didn't coach good enough, didn't play good enough. Simple as that. And why do you not do that? Well, you have to give credit to them too. That's a really good football team. If you don't come out and play your best game against the guys that they have and the coaches that they have, it's going to look like that,” Sirianni said. “So, we have to coach better. Have to play better. We have a lot to clean up.”

    Philadelphia struggled in the red zone early in the season but had turned things around of late, going 10-for-10 on scoring touchdowns in the red zone over its past three games. The issue resurfaced Sunday, however, with the Eagles failing to convert for pay dirt on their first two trips inside the 20-yard line and settling for field goals in each case.

    “I feel like we started with good rhythm, good tempo, good execution for the most part. We just kind of weren't able to connect and execute like we wanted to in the red zone,” said Jalen Hurts, who ended 26-of-45 for 298 yards with two touchdowns (one rushing). “When you're playing a good team like that, every little thing matters.”

    The defense, which was on the field for 92 plays against the Buffalo Bills last week and operating without starting linebackers Nakobe Dean and Zach Cunningham due to injury, faltered after a strong start, yielding 456 yards of offense. Receiver Deebo Samuel scored three touchdowns on the day. According to NextGen stats, 115 of his 116 receiving yards came after the catch.

    “We didn't do a lot of things right,” said defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. “We didn't tackle. We didn't cover. We missed a bunch of plays.”

    The Eagles (10-2) now turn their attention to another big matchup against the rival Cowboys (9-3). Suddenly, the race for the top seed in the NFC has gotten tighter with the 49ers (9-3) and Detroit Lions (9-3) also in the mix.

    There was some chatter among players as they exited the field about seeing this San Francisco team again. That's a very real possibility: Eagles-49ers was the most likely NFC Championship game matchup heading into the week at 38 percent, according to ESPN Analytics.

    “It's a possible rematch,” said left tackle Jordan Mailata. “But today you've got to look yourself in the mirror and say they were the better team. We didn't execute. We failed to execute and didn't capitalize on the opportunities that we had, especially in the red zone. Against a team like that who's well-coached and well-disciplined, you can't afford….those missed opportunities.”

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