Week Five presents the 49ers with yet another tough, but interesting matchup. The Philadelphia Eagles visit Candlestick park Sunday Night for what's sure to be a hard-fought battle between the ailing 49ers and the resurgent Eagles.
The rebuilding Eagles have been struck by lightning with Michael Vick's 2010 renaissance. The left-handed quarterback phenomena with blinding speed had returned, and he's posted numbers and wins that are hard to argue with.
Philadelphia is back in the hunt for the NFC East crown this year, and they likely view San Francisco as a minor speed bump. The 49ers need to show them this road is closed.
Coming off yet another heart breaker, Mike Singletary's brute squad has not put together a winning effort. The only victories for the 49ers have been moral victories, and those don't show up in the standings.
The big man sees big picture. He's always been a devoted coach in during his time in Philly and has seen plenty success in the NFC East.
Now, he's rebuilding the Eagles while staying competitive, and it's working pretty well. Standing at 2-2 (like most of the league, apparently) Reid's team seems likely to continue the whooping the 49ers have been subjected too.
Reid always has a game plan for San Francisco, his team always seems to execute it, and the 49ers typically lose to the Eagles.
Even now, Eagles fans are judging Reid with a tough eye. See this article by Adam Lazarus for an example of the scrutiny NFL coaches face every season.
Many circled this game two weeks ago as a matchup against the utimate run/pass threat. The 49ers speed (or lack there of) hasn't looked capable of defending Vick, and his receivers, simultaneously.
Vick is injured, however. Cracked cartalege in his ribs is the report, and he's not likely to play.
So now Kevin Kolb is the man again. The Eagles flavor-of-the-week quarterbacks are enough to make one's head spin sometimes.
The south-paw scrambler and the orthodox gun slinger remind me of a lesser version of the Montana-Young combination Walsh used to throw in the late 80's.
Kolb is entirely capable of putting up 300 yards against San Francisco's secondary.
The 49ers wish they had drafted him, or at least the Faithful knows they should have drafted him. Although Kentwan Balmer did turn out to be quite a star.
They're serving fresh sarcasm in the cafeteria today, in case you haven't heard.
Really though, many Bay Area sports fans saw this guy's talent a mile away. Jackson was making awesome catches with two feet in when he was at Cal.
Look at him now. Perfect NFL attitude, and from a receiver. He used to be one of McNabb's favorite targets; now he'll catch passes from Vick, Kolb, or the Easter Bunny—whoever throws him the damn ball.
Better than decent, Celek is a fine pass catcher. When there's so many other weapons to worry about, tight ends often fall through the cracks. Not too many burn a defense for a huge gain, but they do slip behind enemy lines and come up with clutch catches.
The 49ers must remember this guy, and they must do everything they can to contain him as well.
Where there's one, there's usually more. Such is the case with good receivers. They make each other better by attracting extra attention. A distracted defense is rarely functional.
Overrated. Andy Reid doesn't know how to use him. I'm calling bullshit. McCoy averaged 5.5 yards per carry last year; he's at 4.1 so far this year.
McCoy himself has almost as many touchdowns as the 49ers entire offense at four; San Francisco has had five.
Jason Peters is big, and so is the rest of their line. They give their quarterbacks time and the running backs room. The49ers front-seven on defense will again be tested by some powerful trucks.
The average weight of the Philly starting line is just under 331 pounds. Their reserve linemen are not small either. This will be the biggest offensive line the 49ers have seen this year. If it's all beef, they have us beat. Better hope the coaching staff has something to feed San Francisco. These guys will eat your hand if you simply "go out and hit them in the mouth."
I've seen too many goal line stands by this group, and even more drives that never made it to field goal range.
They swarm, they hit, and they make big plays. They are listed as another 4-3 defense. So far San Francisco is 0-3 against 4-3 defenses, although two of those losses were by a combined five points on two last-second field goals.
The biggest question here is what Alex Smith will bring. Will he win the game, lose it, or just float with it? Smith knows he needs to win this for San Francisco, and the Eagles defense surly wants to rattle him while they focus on stopping Frank Gore.
The Philly's D may get an assist from a booing San Francisco crowd, should Smith clam up again. If he starts in on killing drives with picks, don't expect the fans to be quiet about it. The Faithful needs to be mindful, however, not to jump the gun here. Booing Smith as he comes out of the tunnel would be bad form, and bad for the whole team's morale.
That morale is Philadelphia's real primary target.
After three annoying road games and a MNF matchup against the reigning Super Bowl Champions, the 49ers back into spotlight for Sunday Night Football against the Eagles.
The 49ers have still not played a day game at home this season. Of their eight home games, only five will fall on a Sunday Afternoon at the Stick.
The moral here: they need to win big at home ASAP.
What's a victory? Oh yeah, I remember those from when I was a teenager. The 0-2 49ers were a three-point favorite against the 2-0 Chiefs heading into Arrowhead. They are again three-point favorites against Philadelphia.
This makes no sense. The odds of a 49er victory should be about 30%. If you're a betting man, take the Eagles with the money line. If you're a 49er fan, this will give you a win-win situation.
The 49ers are a cornered raccoon right now though, so don't bet the house.