3 reasons Eagles present tough matchup for 49ers

·2 min read

The Philadelphia Eagles weren’t supposed to be a difficult game for the 49ers when the schedule first came up. They were a team in transition with a question mark at quarterback and a new head coach. That changed in Week 1 when they went to Atlanta and thumped the Falcons 32-6.

In that game the Eagles had their way on both sides of the ball and their big win may just be a result of facing a bad Atlanta team. However, three things in a particular stood out as potentially significant problems for the 49ers.

San Francisco can definitely go in and win against Philadelphia, but it’s not going to be easy because of these three areas:

Offensive line play

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Eagles have a very good offensive line across the board that can mitigate some of the pass rush the 49ers rely on to spearhead their defense. San Francisco's secondary is banged up and can be taken advantage of if the defensive front is held in check by a Philadelphia offensive line that allowed only six pressures and no sacks vs. Atlanta in Week 1.

Defensive line play

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The Eagles' defensive line is a relentless group that's especially tough on the interior. Interior defensive linemen Jason Hargrave, Hassan Ridgeway and Fletcher Cox combined for 14 of the Eagles' 23 Week 1 pressures. It'll be a much tougher day for Jimmy Garoppolo if the Eagles are going to get pressure up the middle, and the run game could have some difficulties as well if plays are getting disrupted early on. We saw Philadelphia's defensive line wreck shop against the 49ers last year, and while San Francisco's offensive line has improved, the Eagles are still an excellent group that will pose a lot of problems.

Jalen Hurts' evolution

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Hurts last week presented a dual-threat problem that has flummoxed the 49ers' defense over the last few years. He was good as a scrambler keeping his eyes up and looking for receivers, but he's effective on designed runs as well. Hurts also completed 77 percent of his throws and while most of them were short, high-percentage tosses, he did enough pushing the ball down the field to make the 49ers at least have to think about defending in the second and third levels.

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