Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Rapid Reaction to the 49ers’ 25-20 loss to the Eagles

Matt Andruscavage
Oct 4, 2020 at 9:28 PM


1) The offensive line was just plain offensive


Nick Mullens and the injuries will get most of the blame, but it was the offensive line that probably deserves the most blame for this stinker of a loss.
Mike McGlinchey, Daniel Brunskill, and even Trent Williams were beaten repeatedly by a very good Eagles defensive line. The offensive line simply cannot get manhandled like that going forward. They're performances like these that cause Shanahan to use George Kittle as a blocker. It must not happen again.

2) Nick Mullens had a bad day, to put it mildly


Mullens finished the day 18-26 for 200 yards and a score. While that's all fine and good, the numbers that really stick out are: 1 fumble and 2 interceptions which include an awful pick-six, which basically broke the backs of the 49ers. He was largely off-target, jittery, and it did not help that he was under pressure much more tonight than he was against the Giants.

There were occasional misses, like a pass late in the game over the head of an open Kendrick Bourne, but the one play that stands out was on the first series when Mullens missed a wide open Kyle Juszczyk on a play that would have gone at least 50 yards. The tone was set. It was going to be a long, frustrating day, and it sure was.

Mullens did make a few nice throws, which show that he is capable of getting the ball out and finding the right man. But overall, he did not play particularly well.

I'm just going to quote one of my favorite writers, David Lombardi:


Jimmy Garoppolo is much better than he gets credit for and the offense will be better when he returns. I like Mullens, but there is no quarterback controversy.

3) The injuries on defense have really caught up


The areas where the injuries have impacted the most have been on the defensive line and at cornerback. The pressure we all enjoyed is simply not the same, despite some good outings tonight by Arik Armstead, D.J. Jones, and Kerry Hyder. If healthy, the line would have taken over, but it has been increasingly difficult to replace the pressure that Dee Ford and Nick Bosa create. And it got a little worse.


At corner, the losses of Richard Sherman and Emmanuel Moseley have been difficult to overcome. Ahkello Witherspoon has not regained his pre-injury 2019 form, but it would have been better to have him out there than Dontae Johnson. This isn't personal at Johnson since he is fifth on the 49ers' depth chart, but he simply hasn't been good enough. He gets beat regularly and is a liability. Most fifth stringers are, but all that can be said is the 49ers' defensive backs must get healthy.

Things should get better, health-wise, on defense, but this loss definitely stings.

4) We're all hoping the defense figures out the zone-read


It's been over a year and it's the same story. San Francisco continues to get burned by the zone-read. Mobile quarterbacks have gashed the 49ers' defense and it isn't getting better. Carson Wentz was able to make a number of plays on the ground, much like Daniel Jones did last week. Something has to improve.

5) The Rest


- There just weren't enough end-arounds to Aiyuk or Samuel. They shouldn't get too cute too often, but it seemed like there were a couple of opportunities in the second half for a reverse to give the ground game a boost and to knock the defense off-balance.

- Doug Pederson really coached a great game. The Eagles hung around, milked the clock and found ways to exploit the 49ers' defense.

- C.J. Beathard played well, despite the poor blocking by the offensive line. Amazingly, San Francisco had a chance to win.

- George Kittle was a beast tonight, catches 15 passes on 15 targets for 183 yards and a score. It was great to have him back.

- K'Waun Williams has a knee issue. Besides him and Ansah, there were no other injuries to report.

- Next up, Miami. Time to make things right and get a win against the Dolphins. Hopefully, we will see the returns of Jimmy Garoppolo, Richard Sherman, Raheem Mostert, Dre Greenlaw, and a couple of the corners.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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