Eagles

Eagles 33, 49ers 10: Studs, duds, turning point and more

Eagles 33, 49ers 10: Studs, duds, turning point and more

BOX SCORE

The Eagles didn't play necessarily great for a lot of Sunday's game against the 49ers.

They didn't need to either.

Through the on-and-off rain, things eventually made sense. The Eagles eventually looked like the Super Bowl contender and the 49ers looked like one of the worst teams in the league.

The Birds rolled to a 33-10 win (see Roob's observations).

With the win, the Eagles improved to 7-1 at the halfway point and remain well in control of the NFC East and still have the best record in the NFL.

Meanwhile, the 49ers dropped to 0-8 for the first time in franchise history and are playing for the top overall pick for the second half of the season.

Say what you will about beating a winless team and one with a quarterback named C.J. Beathard, but sometimes those games can be hard to get pumped up for. The Eagles were able to take care of business Sunday afternoon.

The other side of that is the 49ers' offense absolutely stinks. They couldn't get anything going Sunday against the Eagles.

Carson Wentz and the Eagles' offense was far from dynamic, but they did enough to pull out a W (see report card). And the Eagles were up so much, Nick Foles got to finish the game.

This is the seventh time in franchise history the Eagles have seven wins in their first eight games and the first time since 2004.

The Eagles have scored 232 points this season. That's the fifth most in team history after eight games.

Turning point
The 49ers kept it close for a while, but when the Eagles scored two touchdowns late in the second quarter in a 17-second span, it put the game away.

Key stat
Wentz threw three 50-yard passes last season. He has six already this season. Five have gone for touchdowns.

Offensive stud
Zach Ertz caught a first-half touchdown pass and now has six on the season. His previous high for a season coming into this year was four. He's become a real threat in the red zone.

Offensive dud
Wendell Smallwood didn't get a whole lot of snaps Sunday. And the Eagles' offensive line had trouble protecting Wentz at times. Wentz, for his part, didn't have a very good game. He missed a few plays he should have had.

Defensive stud
The whole defense was pretty darn good, but Jalen Mills had the first pick-6 of his career. He pulled off a nifty 37-yard return to get into the end zone. The defensive line also punished Beathard all afternoon.

Defensive dud
Um.

Key plays
• LeGarrette Blount found some room and sprinted into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown to put the Eagles up 33-7.

• Derek Barnett blocked a field goal in the fourth quarter and recovered it himself (see rookie report).

• Alshon Jeffery made a nice grab over a defender and barreled through defenders on his way to a 53-yard touchdown to put the Eagles up 27-7.

• Wentz threw a terrible interception in the third quarter, and on the 49ers' second play Beathard threw a quick shovel pass to Matt Breida inside and Breida took it to the house for a 21-yard touchdown.

• Jake Elliott drilled a 51-yarder in the third quarter to put the Eagles up 20-0.

• Mills picked off a Beathard pass and returned it 37 yards, weaving in and out of players on his way to the end zone. It was the first touchdown of his career. The Eagles added a two-point conversion to make the score 17-0 at halftime.

• In the second quarter, on 3rd-and-15, Torrey Smith drew a defensive pass interference call to put the ball on the 1-yard line. Wentz hit Zach Ertz for a 1-yard touchdown but a missed extra point made the score 9-0.

• Rodney McLeod got his first interception of the season after Patrick Robinson hit Aldrick Robinson to pop the ball into the air.

• On the Eagles' first scoring drive, the big play came on a 15-yard pass from Wentz to Trey Burton. Elliott hit a 40-yarder to put them on the board first. 

Special teams watch
Elliott hit his fifth 50-plus-yard field goal, setting the Eagles' single-season record. He's done it in seven games. He did miss two extra points though.

Injuries
Ronald Darby (ankle) was inactive again. He has practiced in a limited fashion for the last two weeks but isn't ready to go.

Patrick Robinson left the game in the first half with a concussion. Linebackers coach Ken Flajole was injured on the sideline in the second quarter but was able to return.

Up next
The Eagles host the Broncos at the Linc next Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. That's the last game before their bye week.

Pederson interviewing 2 for Eagles' OC job

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Pederson interviewing 2 for Eagles' OC job

While many folks are off for Presidents Day, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is hard at work trying to figure out how to replace Frank Reich. 

Pederson is spending his Monday interviewing running backs coach Duce Staley and wide receivers coach Mike Groh for the Eagles' vacant offensive coordinator position, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN's Tim McManus first reported the news Monday. 

It's possible one or both coaches could take over in some sort of offensive coordinator role. 

Reich left his post as offensive coordinator earlier this month when he accepted the head coaching job in Indianapolis. While it might not seem like an OC who doesn't call the plays has a big role, Reich was a good sounding board for Pederson and seemed to be very-well trusted by the head coach. He also helped put the weekly gameplan together. 

It makes sense that the Eagles don't want to go outside the organization to hire an offensive coordinator. Pederson trusts Staley and Groh and the chemistry inside the NovaCare Complex was tremendous during the Eagles' run to Super Bowl LII. 

Either way, Pederson is going to oversee the offense and call plays. Staley or Groh, if one or both are promoted, will handle some extra responsibility, but it'll still all be on Pederson. 

While Staley has been with the Eagles as a coach since 2011, working his way up from a quality control coach to running backs coach in 2013, Groh is a newcomer. He was added to the staff before the 2017 season to take over for Greg Lewis after the Eagles fired him. Groh did an impressive job last season, particularly with helping transform Nelson Agholor from a bust to one of the team's more explosive weapons. 

LeGarrette Blount makes his desire to stay in Philly clear

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LeGarrette Blount makes his desire to stay in Philly clear

LeGarrette Blount is fresh off of his third Super Bowl title and second in two years with two different teams. 

It sounds like he doesn't really want to go to a third team in three years. 

Blount, 31, played on a one-year deal worth around $1.25 million with the Eagles in 2017, but is set to become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year starts on March 14. He made it pretty clear on Sunday that he wouldn't mind coming back to Philly for another run. 

"It's early so we'll see," Blount said on NFL Network. 

"Obviously I like it a lot there. They like me a lot there. It's a mutual respect and a mutual agreement thing about how we feel about each other. Obviously, you guys know how I feel about the team, the guys; I love those guys. 

"I can't say enough about Duce (Staley), just for the simple fact for how well I was coached there and how good he helped me understand things. I feel like Duce is one of the best running back coaches, one of the best coaches I've ever had in my entire life. I obviously want to be a part of that for a while, so we'll see how it goes."

Blount began the year as the Eagles' top running back, but lost some of his role once the team traded for former Pro Bowler Jay Ajayi. But Blount still played a significant role in the Eagles' run to winning Super Bowl LII. 

During the season, he was the team's top rusher with 173 carries for 766 yards and two touchdowns. But then in Super Bowl LII, he had 14 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown, helping the Eagles to a 41-33 win over his former team, the Patriots. 

The Eagles are going to bring back Ajayi and second-year player Corey Clement. After that, things get murky. Blount and Darren Sproles (coming off injury) are both set to become free agents. 

Blount wasn't shy about his love for the Eagles during his interview on Sunday. He cited trust and how they handled the Ajayi trade with him as big reasons why. 

"They talked to me throughout the process of it happening," Blount said. "They were like, 'we're trading for Jay Ajayi, we just want to let you know.' Like I said, that's obviously another big thing for me, the honesty in that building and how open they are and how they don't keep any kind of secrets for you. They just tell you how it is. It's a big respect thing. Duce was the first person to reach out the me and be like, 'hey, we traded for Jay Ajayi. I just want to let you know.' Again, man, that's why it's a place that I love and I hope to stay there." 

Late in the six-and-a-half minute video, the crew brought out Clement while Blount was answering a question about the rookie. Blount laughed during the middle of his answer, but then got back on track and praised Clement. The two became very close during the 2017 season. 

After Blount's answer, Clement got to chat with his teammate and said getting to work with Blount was a "tremendous opportunity" and would clearly like to keep the core group together in the running back room next season. 

Obviously, it's not up to Clement, but Blount will play a big role and we already know what he thinks of the Eagles.