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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Recap: Miscues from Nick Mullens doom 49ers in 25-20 loss to Eagles

Oct 4, 2020 at 8:32 PM--


1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
PHI 8 0 3 14 25
SF 7 0 7 6 20

The 49ers came into this week on a high note after a road trip that saw them roll to lopsided wins over the New York Jets and New York Giants. But their winning ways came to a halt Sunday night when they ran into a Philadelphia Eagles squad that rode its defense to a 25-20 primetime victory at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

It was a rough outing for 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens, who was making his second consecutive start in place of the injured Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle). Mullens went 18-of-26 for 200 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, and one fumble before being benched in favor of C.J. Beathard late in the fourth quarter.

As It Happened


The defenses controlled the game early, allowing just one total first down over the first four possessions. One highlight came courtesy of 49ers rookie defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw and second-year linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, who worked together to create a turnover on the third possession of the game when Kinlaw tipped a pass from Carson Wentz that landed in the arms of a diving Al-Shaair for his first NFL interception.


The 49ers were held to a three-and-out after the interception, and from there the Eagles were able to get on the scoreboard first when Wentz ran for an 11-yard touchdown at the end of an eight-play, 78-yard drive. The Eagles chose to attempt a two-point conversion after the touchdown and were successful, with Wentz connecting with tight end Zach Ertz for an 8-0 lead.


Things got going offensively on the following possession for the 49ers, who moved 75 yards on six plays to cut the lead to 8-7 on a 38-yard run by wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk took the ball on a lateral from Mullens and turned it into a highlight-reel play when he made a dazzling leap over safety Marcus Epps at the seven-yard line.


The teams exchanged punts after Aiyuk's touchdown, then the Eagles were forced to punt again after moving into 49ers territory on a seven-play drive. The 49ers responded on the following possession by moving the ball inside the Eagles' 20-yard line on a 38-yard pass from Mullens to tight end George Kittle, but Mullens was picked off two plays later when he sailed a second-down pass into the arms of safety Rodney McLeod after being pressured by defensive end Genard Avery.


The Eagles advanced the ball into 49ers territory following the interception but were forced to punt after moving backward due to a botched snap and a sack by 49ers defensive tackle D.J. Jones. The 49ers took over at their own five-yard line following the punt and ran four plays before the game reached halftime. The teams finished the half in a similar place statistically, with the 49ers outgaining the Eagles 191-169 and the Eagles holding an advantage in first downs (11 to 8) and time of possession (15:18 to 14:42). Mullens was 9 of 14 with 119 yards and an interception in the first half, while Wentz went 10 for 15 for 102 yards and one interception.

The 49ers opened the second half in style, scoring on a five-yard touchdown pass from Mullens to Kittle to cap a 12-play, 75-yard drive that took six minutes and 34 seconds off the clock. The catch was the ninth of the evening for Kittle, who also went over 100 yards receiving on the night earlier in the drive. Kicker Robbie Gould connected on the point after attempt to give the 49ers a 14-8 lead.


The Eagles responded with a time-consuming possession of their own, taking 7:31 off the clock with a 16-play, 62-yard drive that ended with a 35-yard field goal from kicker Jake Elliott. The kick cut the 49ers' lead to 14-11 with 55 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

The 49ers were held to a punt after five plays on the next possession, but their defense responded with a three-and-out to quickly get the Eagles offense off the field. A key play on the possession came on third down when cornerback Jamar Taylor entered the game for the injured K'Waun Williams (knee) and came in on a blitz to sack Wentz at the six-yard line.


Momentum quickly switched back to the Eagles, who came up with a turnover on the third play of the ensuing possession when Mullens fumbled on a sack by cornerback Cre'Von LeBlanc. The Eagles capitalized on the turnover seven plays later when Wentz connected on a touchdown pass with wide receiver Travis Fulgham from 42 yards out for an 18-14 lead with 5:50 remaining. It was just the second career catch for Fulgham, who was in his first game with the Eagles after being added to the roster from the practice squad the day before the game.


The Eagles put some distance between themselves and the 49ers on the next play from scrimmage, which also turned out to be the final play of the game for Mullens. Mullens made his worst decision of the night on the play, throwing the ball into the hands of linebacker Alex Singleton for a pick-six and a 25-14 Eagles lead.


Beathard entered the game in place of Mullens on the following possession and led the offense on a 12-play, 75-yard drive that finished with a one-yard touchdown run by Jerick McKinnon. The 49ers went for a two-point conversion after the touchdown but fell short, leaving the score at 25-20 with 2:02 remaining.


The 49ers attempted an onsides kick after the touchdown but failed to recover, giving the Eagles possession at the 49ers' 49-yard line. The defense forced an Eagles punt after three plays, giving the 49ers possession at their own 12-yard line with 1:40 left to play. Beathard moved the offense to the Eagles' 33-yard line but couldn't convert from there, as three straight incompletions with time winding down sealed the win for the Eagles.

Wentz finished the game 18 for 28 with 193 yards, one touchdown, and one interception while also rushing for 37 yards and one touchdown for the Eagles, while Beathard went 14 for 19 with 138 yards in his two late drives. Kittle led all pass catchers in the game with 15 catches for 183 yards and one touchdown, while McKinnon chipped in 14 carries for 54 yards and one touchdown and seven catches for 43 yards. Fulgham led the Eagles with 57 yards and a touchdown on two catches, while the Eagles were led on the ground by Miles Sanders, who rushed for 46 yards on 13 carries. The 49ers outgained the Eagles 417 to 267 on the evening but lost the turnover battle three to one and were sacked five times.

The 49ers fell to 2-2 on the season with the loss, while the Eagles (1-2-1) notched their first win of the season and now hold sole possession of first place in the lowly NFC East. The 49ers are back at home next week for a 1:05 p.m. PT kickoff against the Miami Dolphins (1-3), while the Eagles head to Pittsburgh for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff against the Steelers (3-0).


PHI Team Stats SF
267 Total Yards 417
174 Passing Yards 301
93 Rushing Yards 116
6.9 Avg Yards per Pass 7.5
3.3 Avg Yards per Run 5.8
0 Fumbles Lost 1
1 Int Thrown 2
3 Sacks Allowed 5
29:29 Time of Pos 30:31
3 Penalties 6

Eagles Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Carson Wentz 18/28 193 1 1
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Miles Sanders 13 46 3.5 0
Carson Wentz 7 37 5.3 1
Jalen Hurts 3 18 6 0
Corey Clement 2 3 1.5 0
Boston Scott 2 1 0.5 0
Adrian Killins Jr. 1 -12 -12 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Travis Fulgham 2 3 57 1
Greg Ward 4 7 38 0
Richard Rodgers 3 4 35 0
Miles Sanders 2 4 30 0
John Hightower 2 2 22 0
Zach Ertz 4 5 9 0
Adrian Killins Jr. 1 1 2 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Carson Wentz 1 0
Jalen Hurts 1 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Jake Elliott 1 1 35 2
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Cameron Johnston 6 51.2 3 61
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Boston Scott 15 15 0 15
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Greg Ward 1 8 0 8
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Rodney McLeod 7-1 0 1 0
Nate Gerry 5-3 0 0 0
Darius Slay 5-0 0 0 0
Marcus Epps 4-4 0 0 0
Cre'von LeBlanc 4-2 1 0 1
Jalen Mills 3-0 0 0 0
T.J. Edwards 3-0 0 0 0
Duke Riley 2-3 0 0 0
Derek Barnett 2-2 0.5 0 0
Nickell Robey-Coleman 2-0 0 0 0
K'Von Wallace 2-0 0 0 0
Alex Singleton 2-0 0 1 0
Josh Sweat 2-0 1 0 0
Malik Jackson 1-0 0 0 0
Rudy Ford 1-0 0 0 0
Jack Driscoll 1-0 0 0 0
Hassan Ridgeway 1-0 1 0 0
Genard Avery 1-0 1 0 0

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Nick Mullens 18/26 200 1 2
C.J. Beathard 14/19 138 0 0
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Jerick McKinnon 14 54 3.9 1
Brandon Aiyuk 1 38 38 1
Deebo Samuel 1 10 10 0
George Kittle 1 8 8 0
Jeff Wilson 3 6 2 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
George Kittle 15 15 183 1
Jerick McKinnon 7 8 43 0
Deebo Samuel 3 3 35 0
Kendrick Bourne 3 6 33 0
Brandon Aiyuk 2 5 18 0
Jeff Wilson 1 1 13 0
Kyle Juszczyk 1 2 13 0
Trent Taylor 0 1 0 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Nick Mullens 1 1
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 4 44.3 2 51
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Dante Pettis 1 6 0 6
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Kwon Alexander 6-3 0 0 0
Arik Armstead 4-1 0.5 0 0
Fred Warner 3-2 0 0 0
Jimmie Ward 3-1 0 0 0
Jason Verrett 3-1 0 0 0
Jaquiski Tartt 3-1 0 0 0
Kerry Hyder 3-1 0.5 0 0
Javon Kinlaw 2-2 0 0 0
K'Waun Williams 2-1 0 0 0
Dontae Johnson 2-1 0 0 0
Azeez Al-Shaair 2-1 0 1 0
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles 1-1 0 0 0
Kentavius Street 1-0 0 0 0
Dion Jordan 1-0 0 0 0
Kevin Givens 1-0 0 0 0
Kendrick Bourne 1-0 0 0 0
Brandon Aiyuk 1-0 0 0 0
Jamar Taylor 1-0 1 0 0
D.J. Jones 1-0 1 0 0


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