The Eagles (1-0) host the 49ers (1-0) at the Linc on Sunday in the 2021 home opener.
To the predictions:
Reuben Frank (1-0)
It’s hard to imagine the Eagles playing that well again against a 49ers team that has more weapons than the Falcons, is much tougher defensively, is better coached and has two dangerous quarterbacks. The challenge will be much greater in Week 2. But you know what? There was so much to like about the way the Eagles played I’m not picking against them. We’ll learn a lot more about where the Eagles are this Sunday than last Sunday. But the game’s at the Linc, the Eagles are healthy, they’re a pretty confident bunch right now and I think they’ll find a way to get to 2-0.
Eagles 31, 49ers 28
Dave Zangaro (1-0)
All week, I was prepared to pick the 49ers but at the last minute, I’m flipping my pick. I just can’t go against my gut and my gut tells me there’s no way the Eagles lose their home opener in front of a packed house for the first time in over a year.
Yes, the 49ers are going to be a much tougher test than the Falcons. But if the Eagles’ lines and Jalen Hurts play as well as they did in Atlanta, there’s no reason why the Eagles shouldn’t win this game. Plus, the Eagles are for once the healthier team going into a game. It’s a hunch, but I refuse to go against my gut here.
Eagles 33, 49ers 27
Ray Didinger (1-0)
The Eagles mopped the floor with the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday and did it as a three and a half point road dog. This week they are a three point dog at home but they are playing a much better opponent in the 49ers. If they win this game, the experts may have to rethink their predictions for the NFC East.
The Eagles were dominant in all three phases against Atlanta. They were better on offense, better on defense (the Falcons managed just two field goals) and better on special teams. The Eagles committed 14 penalties but they managed to stay out of long-yardage situations. Nine of their 13 third downs were five yards or less so they kept the chains moving.
The 49ers survived a late rally to win in Detroit, but they lost their top running back (Raheem Mostert) and their top cornerback (Jason Verrett) with season-ending injuries. The secondary was already thin and now it is thinner. If Jalen Hurts can avoid the rush and get out of the pocket, it will put a lot of pressure on a 49ers defense that allowed 338 passing yards to Jared Goff.
Call it a hunch but ...
Eagles 24, 49ers 21
Barrett Brooks (1-0)
Week 2 for the Birds is all about physicality! The 49ers are a physical team on defense and smoke and mirrors on offense.
The defensive line for the Niners is very talented. Key matchups will be showcased on the edges. Both offensive tackles will be challenged, especially on third down. LT Jordan Mailata will match up with the explosive DE Nick Bosa and RT Lane Johnson vs. DE Dee Ford. The 49ers also have a very athletic linebacker in Pro Bowler Fred Warner. The Eagles must take advantage of a weak secondary. San Francisco's best cover CB, Jason Verrett, was placed on IR.
The Eagles’ defense must have great eye discipline on Sunday. The 49ers’ offense uses a lot of motions and formations to run the same plays. One run play may have three different personnel packages and formations. This is done to keep the Birds' defense from keying on plays the 49ers like to run over and over again. Linebackers Eric Wilson and Alex Singleton must read their keys and not get fooled by the various movements in the 49er offense.
So, after all the film study I watched on both teams, the 49ers look more comfortable to challenge in the NFC. Even looking at how comfortable QB Jalen Hurts looked against the Falcons … ultimately, it was the Falcons.
49ers 24, Eagles 20
Mike Mulhern (1-0)
The vibes around this Eagles team are immaculate heading into Week 2. The ever-reserved DeVonta Smith is dancing like nobody’s watching. Zach Ertz is having more fun than he can remember (that’s what blondes do, right?). And the head coach and quarterback unleashed their secret handshake for all to see. We’re probably only a couple wins away from the Nick Sirianni-Jalen Hurts histrionics accompanying the standard “Go Birds” greeting as strangers pass one another in the street.
Good feelings always follow a win, but it seems like the Eagles are just getting started. The coaching staff delivered on their blueprint on both sides of the ball in the opener. Sirianni preached getting the ball into the hands of his playmakers as quickly as possible and did just that. Jonathan Gannon made major in-game adjustments and watched his defense dominate afterward. Meanwhile, the injury report is almost barren and the Linc is going to be packed for the first time in over 20 months.
It’ll be a major step up in class on Sunday against the 49ers, but the same can be said for San Francisco, who nearly blew a 24-point lead to the Lions. The Niners will be down at least a few major pieces as Dre Greenlaw, Raheem Mostert and Jason Verrett were all placed on injured reserve. Plus, Kyle Shanahan’s club opted to spend the week practicing in West Virginia rather than traveling across the country multiple times. And they’re planning to continue the dual quarterback tap dance, which as we saw firsthand last year, can be a recipe for disaster. Sure, they’re also 1-0. But their vibes? Not on the same level.
Eagles 31, 49ers 24
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