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This loss was a tough one for the 49ers. Consider the team in full panic mode as they gave up a whopping 23 points in the final quarter against the Eagles.
Nolan's mea culpa is the defense. For a defensive strategist, his defenses seem to be unable to hold opponents to manageable point totals. The only team the 49ers were able to hold under 21 points was the Detroit Lions, who are currently 0-5. In 4 of their last 5 games the 49ers have allowed 30 or more points.
It seems though the problem with the 49ers is on the defensive line. Issac Sopoaga was consistently pushed around against the Eagles. The only person who seems to make plays is Justin Smith, and he cannot do it alone.
When the 49ers went to a zone coverage scheme they were torched. The eagles receivers seemed to find the soft spot consistently.
Offensively, though the 49ers fared better there were some questionable calls late in the game. Mike Martz is a double edged sword. On one hand his offense will get you points, but early in the fourth quarter with the Eagles pulled to within two points, the 49ers needed a heavy dose of Frank Gore. Instead the 49ers ran three pass plays and barely ran time off the clock.
Oh, and remember those hot reads? The Eagles figured out them out pretty quickly. When the blitz comes from the outside the slot receiver is to run a quick seam route. It was as if Jim Johnson called the specific blitz to bait O'Sullivan into throwing to the hot read. And when he did, Juqua Parker was waiting for it.
The 49ers could have won this game. They had the talent to win a game against a wounded opponent. Questionable calls on offense and a porous defense sealed the 49ers fate.