Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports


49ers-Eagles: Goal line stand turns the tide after shaky 49ers start

Sep 19, 2021 at 4:11 PM--


If there was one significant turning point in the San Francisco 49ers' 17-11 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, it was most likely the unexpected goal line stand members of the defense produced after a 91-yard pass put their backs against the wall in the second quarter.

Down 3-0 to the Eagles with just over seven minutes remaining in the half, the 49ers had a long field behind them after a punt from Mitch Wishnowsky pinned the Eagles at their own three-yard line. But on the first play after the punt, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts went deep for wide receiver Quez Watkins, who went for 91 yards before being brought down by safety Jaquiski Tartt and cornerback Deommodore Lenoir at the 49ers' six-yard line. A pass interference call on cornerback Josh Norman two plays later gave the Eagles a 1st-and-Goal at the one-yard line.


What happened next couldn't have been more clutch as the 49ers held firm on defense, forcing the Eagles to turn the ball over on downs. Then their offense, which had struggled throughout much of the first half, marched downfield on a 97-yard drive of its own that ended with a touchdown pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to wide receiver Jauan Jennings right before halftime.

The goal line stand marked the second consecutive defensive series where the 49ers took potential Eagles points off the board. The series before the goal line stand ended in a blocked field goal, but it was the defense keeping the Eagles from taking a 10-0 lead when it seemed like all but a sure thing that wound up being the point in the game where the momentum shifted for good.

"I'm sure there were a lot of moments that mattered, but that one was really big," linebacker Fred Warner said after the game. "We all had the right mindset down there. It doesn't matter if we gave up a big play or not -- we can't let them in the paint. They took their chance and tried to go for it on fourth down and we held up strong."

The first play of the goal line stand went for an incomplete pass, then the second play saw Warner tackle running back Miles Sanders for a three-yard loss. Hurts then ran out of bounds for a one-yard gain on third down, then the Eagles reached into their bag of trick plays on fourth down and sent Hurts into the end zone as a target of a pass from wide receiver Greg Ward. The pass was incomplete, and the 49ers took possession after a pivotal sequence.

"Everybody has a job," defensive end Nick Bosa said Sunday. "When you do your job, everything should be covered up. We did an amazing job just sticking with it and not giving up easy points there. In a game like that it's huge and it was the difference."

Bosa even assumed that Watkins was going to score on his catch, but after Tartt and Lenoir caught him from behind (which they did despite the fact Watkins' run was clocked as being the fastest by an NFL player to that point in the season), the defense got to work.

"When I saw that bomb I was ready to run off the field," Bosa said. "I thought he was gone, and I think Quiski (safety Jaquiski Tartt) ran him down or somebody got him down. We jogged our way down there and hung tough. Biggest sequence of the game for sure."

The trick play the Eagles ran was the latest version of their famous Philly Special play that they successfully executed for a touchdown in Super Bowl LII. But the Eagles haven't been the only team to run that play since then, so it didn't fool the 49ers too much.


"I think that was the Philly Special Super Bowl play, and since people have done that, you've got to be ready for it every week," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Sunday.

The goal line stand was the biggest moment in what was by and large a solid performance by the 49ers defense one week after it had to hold off a furious rally in a 41-33 win over the Lions in Detroit. The 49ers held the Eagles to three points on Sunday before giving up a fourth quarter touchdown and were able to make enough big plays throughout the day to be a decisive factor in the win.

"They were huge," Shanahan said. "I thought they did a good job not giving them too many freebies. It's always a challenge when you've got a running quarterback and you've got their receivers who are threats always on screens and bubbles and stuff... But the resilience of the D was great."





More San Francisco 49ers News



Kyle Shanahan breaks down the 49ers' play that saw Trey Lance stopped at the goal line vs. Cardinals

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Oct 12

Rookie quarterback Trey Lance made his NFL debut Sunday and the day came with its ups-and-downs, as the 49ers failed to execute on offense, leading to a 17-10 loss against the Arizona Cardinals. Lance was featured heavily, as he threw 29 passes and ran the ball 16 times for 89 yards, which was questionable, given the amount of contact he faced in the game. One of those controversial plays came on 4th & Goal at the ARI 1 in the second quarter, with the 49ers looking to score a touchdown down 7-0. Running play-action, Lance faked the handoff to Elijah Mitchell and rolled to his right, electing to try and run for the score rather than passing the ball once his first read, the halfback, wasn't available. He was met by two Arizona linebackers, Isaiah



49ers-Cardinals: Players, coaches praise Trey Lance after first NFL start

By Kirk Larrabee
Oct 10

Trey Lance's first NFL start was far from perfect, but it was good enough to leave a positive impression on those who were playing with and against him on the field. Lance finished with 192 yards on 15-of-29 passing with zero touchdowns and one interception in Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, while also leading both teams in rushing with 16 carries for 89 yards. Following the game, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters he felt Lance played well overall despite the first quarter interception that the Cardinals turned into their first touchdown. "I thought he did some really good things," Shanahan said. "Definitely wasn't perfect, which no one ever has been. That first pick I thought just sailed on him. He was going to the right spot but it



49ers rookie Trey Lance to make first NFL start, says Kyle Shanahan

By David Bonilla
Oct 8

The San Francisco 49ers hoped quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would be able to take part in today's practice and test whether his right leg was strong enough to play on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Garoppolo didn't, and he has now missed an entire week's worth of practice. After practice, head coach Kyle Shanahan said the 49ers are ruling Garoppolo "out" for the Week 5 matchup and that rookie Trey Lance would start in the veteran's place. With Garoppolo sidelined, Lance has received the majority of the practice reps this week. "The more reps you get, the better you're going to get," general manager John Lynch said this morning on KNBR. "He does things exceptionally well. I think he's taken to our offense well. With every rep, he's going to get



Kyle Shanahan, Trey Lance 'excited' about 49ers rookie's first start

By David Bonilla
Oct 8

The San Francisco 49ers have ruled out quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals. That means head coach Kyle Shanahan will rely on rookie Trey Lance to knock off the division leaders in his first NFL start. It isn't easy to know what to expect from the rookie. Last weekend was his first extended playing time. While things started somewhat shaky for the 21-year-old quarterback, he did appear to get more comfortable as the game progressed. Lance finished the game 9-of-18 passing for 157 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 41 rushing yards on seven carries. What does Shanahan expect from his rookie on Sunday? "Even quarterbacks who have played a thousand games before, you have quarterbacks who are great


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone