The San Francisco 49ers held on 26-21 for their first win in Levi’s Stadium against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon. San Francisco is now 2-2 and in third place in the NFC West division.
It took a late defensive stand to beat the Philadelphia Eagles. After not allowing any points on defense throughout the entire game, the Eagles were able to drive it to the two yard line with two chances to get into the end zone. Nick Foles threw two incompletions with perfect coverage and the 49ers were able to stand strong to win. Aaron Lynch proved to be a key factor in pass rushing on the final drive, forcing Foles to throw it away.
San Francisco scored their first touchdown in the second half after a huge turnover forced fumble by Antoine Bethea which Perrish Cox recovered. The offense would score with a touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson on third down to bring the 49ers within one point at 21-20.
Phil Dawson added two field goals after the 49ers were able to force a third turnover on defense in the game to go up 26-21. They failed to get a touchdown when they had a chance inside the red zone, but Dawson was automatic.
“We made mistakes in other phases of the game and the defensive hung in there, sucked it up and kept us in the game.” Head coach Jim Harbaugh said.
It took an odd turn of events for Philadelphia to put points on the board. After the 49ers went three and out on their opening drive, the Eagles blocked the punt and scored in the end zone for the first touchdown of the game.
Trey Burton bull-rushed Dan Skuta which meant Andy Lee had no chance to get off the kick. Brad Smith fell on the loose ball in the end zone for the score.
San Francisco answered back with a Phil Dawson field goal and Colin Kaepernick later threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Frank Gore in an improbable fashion. Kaepernick was scrambling to his left as the Eagles defense thought he was running, but he threw it across his body the other way to Gore, where there was nothing but green grass for the score.
“I had no idea, he stopped and pulled it up,” Harbaugh said about the play. “I didn’t know where he was going with the ball.”
This was Gore’s longest reception in his 10-year NFL career as he was mostly not utilized last week. He passed his 10 rushing yards total against Arizona with his first carry of the game which went for 15 yards.
Things became worse for the 49ers, as Kaepernick threw an interception to Malcolm Jenkins which was returned for touchdown. He thought he had Brandon Lloyd on a slant, but the Eagles safety saw this in zone coverage and returned it for 53 yards the other way.
Special teams contributed again for the Eagles as Darren Sproles returned a punt 82-yards for their third touchdown. Kassim Osgood was flagged for a face mask, but he sprinted down the sideline into the end zone.
The 49ers will host the Kansas City Chiefs next week. It will be the first time the 49ers see Alex Smith in a regular season game.
–Jim Harbaugh is now 5-2 against the NFC East, 2-0 against the Philadelphia Eagles for his NFL career.
-Vernon Davis (back) and Anthony Davis (knee) both left the game early with injuries. It was the first game of the season for Anthony Davis as he recovered from a hamstring injury.