Eagles ground game never really got going. Plus, Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz split time. | Early Birds
The Eagles rushed for 151 yards, but a lot of it came from Jalen Hurts scrambles.
Hello, Eagles fans! After experiencing jubilation from the team’s first victory last week at Atlanta, first-year coach Nick Sirianni is now dealing with the pain of his first NFL loss. The Eagles dropped their home opener against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in a 17-11 defeat at Lincoln Financial Field. It was certainly a winnable game and several points were left on the field. Sirianni took responsibility for his questionable play calling in key situations, especially in the red zone.
“I didn’t call good plays in that area,” Sirianni said.
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Running back rotation
Quarterback Jalen Hurts and running backs Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell combined for 151 rushing yards, but it never felt like the Eagles established a potent running attack since 82 of those yards occurred on scrambles from Hurts. Sanders played 39 snaps (67% of total offensive plays), while Gainwell had 19 snaps. Gainwell had six carries for 14 yards, while Sanders managed 55 rushing yards on 13 carries. Gainwell added two catches for 18 yards; Sanders had one catch for four yards.
Lack of tight end involvement
The tight ends were essentially non-existent in the passing game with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert being targeted just four times. Goedert had two catches for 24 yards, while Ertz had one reception for six yards. Snaps were distributed pretty evenly with Goedert earning 38 snaps and Ertz playing 37. Backup tight end Jack Stoll played in six snaps.
Filling in for Graham
The Eagles will certainly miss 12-year veteran and team captain Brandon Graham, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the first half. Graham played just 15 snaps. He was replaced by Ryan Kerrigan, who had 32 defensive snaps. Elsewhere on the edges, Derek Barnett played 45 snaps; Josh Sweat, 28; Tarron Jackson, 11.
What you need to know about the Eagles
Mike Sielski: Eagles coach Nick Sirianni tried to show us how smart he is. His arrogance cost his team a victory.
Jeff McLane: Jalen Hurts-Nick Sirianni marriage off to an uneven start.
EJ Smith: Eagles defense held up against 49ers, but a few costly penalties ‘sucked the air out of’ them.
Josh Tolentino: Eagles’ Brandon Graham (Achilles) says he will miss rest of season; Brandon Brooks (chest) also injured.
EJ Smith: Eagles-49ers analysis: Birds’ stalled drives in first half prove costly .