Hard to believe that after this weekend we will be a quarter of the way through the NFL season. It’s also hard to believe that the Philadelphia Eagles are sitting at 1-2 on the season. What’s not hard to believe is that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has the team playing good football and has the team believing in themselves.
Philly’s “Dream Team” will be looking to rebound from a couple a bad losses to the Falcons and the Giants. What is going to be a key factor in this game is the injury report. Will Frank Gore play? If so how much of an effect does the ankle injury have on him? Also how does Michael Vick play with the contusion to his right hand?
For the 49ers, the key in the game is running the ball effectively and containing Vick. The Eagles defense isn’t exactly stout against the run and if Frank Gore can run the ball and do it as well as he knows he can it can turn out to be a very long day for the Eagles. Alex Smith also must be smart with the football in the passing game, which isn’t exactly rocket science, but he does have a tendency to try and force the ball into tight spaces.
Vick also has be smart with the ball and himself as the 49ers do have a physical defense, and a big hitter in Patrick Willis, so with the string of injuries he’s already had thus far he needs to be smart for the Eagles to come out on top.
The 49ers must continue the defensive effort like they had last week against Cincinnati. The defense must also contain and pressure Vick to keep him honest and force him to make mistakes. If the 49ers can keep the speedy Eagle receivers in check they can frustrate the pass heavy Eagles attack.
On the other side if Alex Smith tries to force too much it’s going to be a long day for the Niners because of the star power on the Eagles defense. Smith can’t afford to try and play above his talent level because Asante Samuel and Nnamdi Asmougha will make him pay for it.
If the 49ers come out with the game plan of running the ball and playing good defense they can walk out of Philly with a huge win. Philly needs this game to keep the boo birds out of the stadium and to restore some of their confidence. The 49ers are also looking for their first win against Philly since 2003, and since 2001 the Eagles are 6-2 against
the 49ers, but I feel a change in trend coming this weekend. I believe Frank Gore will play and have a big game and the 49ers won’t make many mistakes and will leave Philadelphia in a state of shock with a 31-24 win.