Five takeaways from the Eagles' 25-20 win over the 49ers Sunday night that moved them into first place in the NFC East with a 1-2-1 record:
Who are these guys?
The Eagles got some major contributions from some players you don’t hear much about. Wide receiver Travis Fulgham, who was claimed off waivers in August and was on the practice squad for the first three games of the season, caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from Carson Wentz with less than six minutes left in the game that gave the Eagles an 18-14 lead. Then linebacker Alex Singleton, a special-teamer who had played just one defensive snap in the first three games, stepped in front of a Nick Mullens pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown to make it a two-score game. Defensive end Genard Avery also had his best game as an Eagle, recording one of the Eagles' five sacks and getting a key pressure on the Niners' final possession.
The Eagles' injury problems on the offensive line continued. Already missing three starters, right tackle Lane Johnson aggravated his surgically repaired ankle early in the first quarter and missed most of the first half. He was replaced by rookie Jack Driscoll. Johnson returned in the third quarter, but clearly wasn’t anywhere close to 100%. Jordan Mailata made his first career start at left tackle for Jason Peters. With the exception of a drive-killing false start in the second quarter, he did a decent job.
Wentz’s improved play
He certainly wasn’t perfect, but the Eagles quarterback played what clearly was his best game of the season. He threw a perfect strike to Fulgham for the go-ahead score. Under pressure much of the night, he did a good job of escaping the rush and buying time to throw. He also rushed for 37 yards and had an 11-yard touchdown run.
The Kittle problem
The Niners' All-Pro tight end, George Kittle, missed the last two games with a knee injury. But he returned Sunday night and gave the Eagles fits. He had 15 catches on 15 targets for 183 yards, including an easy 5-yard touchdown catch against Eagles linebacker Duke Riley in the third quarter.
Ertz’s quiet night
With all of the injuries to the Eagles' receiving corps, the Niners focused on shutting down Wentz’s favorite weapon, Zach Ertz. They did a good job of it. Ertz had just four catches for 9 yards. But the Eagles got enough key plays from other people to record their first win.