• July 1, 2022

Eagles Defense Crumbles: First Niners Drive Of The Second Half

The 49ers didn’t score on the first possession of the second half, but the fact that they were able to easily move the football down the field against the Eagles defense was an indication that they were going to be able to be successful in the second half against the Birds.

The first series of the second half began on the Niners 26-yard line to begin the second half. 49ers Head coach and offensive coordinator Jim Harbaugh showed his hand immediately on the first play of the second half.

He got in a one-back formation with two-tight ends to the right side and two-wide receivers to the left side in a stacked lineup. Here you had Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel and Pro Bowl cornerback Nmandi Asomugha matched up against Joshua Morgan and Michael Crabtree.

Instead of having these guys locked up in a man-to-man on these mediocre receivers, Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo had them playing a zone and the Niners mediocre quarterback Alex Smith was able to hit a wide open Morgan on a corner route for 26 yards. Both Samuel and Asomugha dropped off of the receivers in the zone.

Jason Babin was called for roughing the passer, so the Niners were put into field goal range on one play with what turned out to be a 41-yard gain.

This was clearly a case of the Eagles having the better players but not putting them into position to make the play.

The other successful strategy the Niners showed on that first series, which ended with David Akers having his field goal try blocked by King Dunlap, was getting backup tight end Delanie Walker matched up against slow Eagles safety Jarrad Page.

The put Walker on right side and threw a quick screen to him to get him matched against the poor tackling Asante Samuel. Samuel cut Walker’s feet out from under him and the refs blew the whistle. I’m not sure that Walker’s knee his touched the ground, but a ref blew the whistle. There was also a tripping penalty called on Anthony Davis, who was having a rough time with Jason Babin.

On the next play, which was a second and 17, the Niners simply moved Walker to other side of the formation and had him run a comeback route against the Eagles slow-footed safety Jarrad Page and he caught an 11-yard pass from Smith. You could see that a big part of the 49ers attack was to get the ball in Walker’s hands as the Birds concentrated on stopping Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis.

On third down and six, the Eagles made a good play on a short throw to Michael Crabtree with Nate Allen and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie making the tackle.

Dunlap blocked Akers field goal attempt and the Eagles recovered the football.


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  • G:
    No, if the WR’s are stacked or in a tight bunch (even with another receiver,) you have to do zone because of the cross routes. If they cross from inside to out and outside to in, only a zone would work, if they cover an inside to out zone. To me it only works when they’re tight; but when they cross, it allows the receivers to pick (without too much punishment from the NFL refs,) the defender for the other receiver when the defenders are in man.
    The other comment is redundant. The Eagles can’t stop any TE’s in this league. (And by the way, Stewart Bradley still can’t defend the pass in AZ either.) Pathetic!

  • i been seeing the same issues with defense for 3 weeks now… when they let Nnamdi man up and press cover, he does just fine, takes whoever he is covering out of the play.. When they decide to put him in zone and have him play off coverage, he gets beat and looks lost…

    why wont Castillo stick to what works?

    49ers cant hurt you if you let your corners do what they do and use your other players to stop the run…

    we have the corners to put Nnamdi on a TE and still not have a drop off covering the Wrs..

    Juan is out of his league…. this is a serious problem that could ruin everything..

    I dont trust this guy at all…

    But the Eagles are as hard headed as any team in modern history

  • Nsid – that is actually a real football comment – wow – I am impressed Kudos to you – wow – how an offense game plans to reduce the strengths of our defense….

    Rash – Teams are bunching/grouping rcvrs to take the Eagles out of man, and if the eagles go to man – they are finding the RB/TE that has the person furthest from his man coverage to get the ball out quick –

    You also have the problem that teams will just run if you have 24 cover the TE full time (ie. you are in a nickel) this is not new – The patroits did this in the 2004 SB) – they sent in a pass package to get trotter off the field and ran, and then a run package to get trotter on the field to pass..

  • Gotta say guys it was the worst game I’ve ever been to. Regretfully, everything we knew was wrong with this team has come to fruition in the last 3 weeks:

    Bad LBs
    Bad Safeties
    Bad Defensive coordinator
    Terrible play calling (82% pass while up by 17, really?).

    Sat out there in the cold and rain for that crap. It was embarrassing yesterday. Of all the game I’ve been to when we lost this was one of the quietest exits the fans made from the building. It’s like you just watched Andy crumble right in front of our eyes. It’s to the point where you want Andy to win the whole thing on fail miserably so he can get fired. Don’t really have too much to say about the game, we all saw it and it was disgusting to watch.

  • I’ll go ya one better scorp – worst feakin sports weekend in the last decade – can anyone hold a lead, anyone? Football, pro and NCAA, baseball – you are correct – it was disgusting to watch.

    but I gotta disagree it wasn’t Ried that crumbled – – it was the Eagles – Ried had planty of help – he didn’t drop the opening bomb, he didn’t fumble, he didn’t miss two FGs, he didn’t give up stupid penalties – he didn’t give the WR the inside (Asante) to catch and walk into the EZ, he didn’t bite on the short fake (24 did) – there is enough blame to go around for this one – – –

    I am sure there are those that are gloating that the Eagles are struggling (sucking is probably the better word), fans in Dallas, Washington, New York and here on GCOBB – hoping and praying that things do get worse – the team has to figure this thing out – WRs have to catch and hold the Ball, RBs need to run hard – O Line needs to block – D needs to show up and play an entire game……………..

  • Yeah but navy, there are other coaches who would be winning with this team. Period!!! They would not have picked a O-line Coach for D coord. They would have a balance attack.Would not do a hb option with a need have inches…lol if someone does not think philosophy like this does not change outcomes is stupid. in baseball it is batter against pitcher. Football there so many options if u are weak in areas that good coaches will “put players in right position”, i give up

  • navy, Reid didn’t crumble on the field but he did nothing coaching wise either to stop the fall. Passing as much as he did with a lead is a big one. But when I say Reid crumbled, that also includes his decision to put Castillo in his position, not take LB seriously and can’t draft safeties. That is Andy and his decisions. I agree that the players deserve more blame but Reid doesn’t get out the games without criticism. He has his hands in the losses at well.

  • It’s not just players, it’s philosophy, coaching, player selection, and scheme. From the offense to the defense there are big problems in all these areas. Some are mostly the players fault for not executing and others a coaching decisions that impact what the players do on the field.

    If the coaches say “it’s my responsibility to put the players in the best position” and they clearly aren’t and the players say “it’s us, the players not executing” then who’s fault is it? Is it the players fault for not executing or is it the coaches fault for not putting them in the best position? It’s easy to see when a player isn’t executing but how do you really know if a player is being put in the best position? You don’t. You just think they are. Doesn’t mean they are.

  • What does everyone think of the Eagles 4-7 Record at home since the start of the 2010 Season… This Sucks and this Team is simply just not ready to play in front of their home crowd any longer…
    also this is the 5th Loss in a Row at home which is in excusable if anyone is counting,, ..

  • Navy, I can’t believe you still find a way to let Reid off the hook!! He’s the one that put this coaching staff & roster of stiffs together! Who is making the stupid challenge calls, with no chance of winning! Go ahead & break out your BS, bogus stats, on that again! Give me a f^#@ing break! I guess we are all still non-fans & pessimistic haters!?!? Do you honestly think i’m gloating & happy about this!? This is killing me, that the season is over after 4 games! If anyone, in their right mind, thinks they are still making the playoffs & Reid deserves to keep his job, are f^#@ing delusional, clueless, nutbags!! 4 weeks & i’ve still not been proven wrong, about my assessments! I want an apology, for all the bashing i’ve received on here! If not, all of your mancards are revoked! šŸ˜‰ All kidding aside, this team is bad! Now Cole, Peters are out multiple weeks, Dixon out for year, Tapp & JP are still week to week!!! They might not win 7 games at this rate!

  • Tonto – you don’t know that – you can think it, ponder it, reflect on it – but you do not know if we had the grand wizard of defense (look at what has happened to the mighty Jets D and the Ryan brother in Dallas D against Detroit – and he is/was a full time D Coordinator) – and notice I said he had plenty of help –

    scorp – agree on som eof the coaching decisisons – again – plenty of help – but the players need to play and the coaches need to coach – its a team game –

    I think the team is embarrassed – they better be – the coaches, the players – everyone – and I agree with your entire last paragraph – did you cut and paste from one of my prior posts —- or are we just having a day we agree –

    bottom lin e- team sucked on Sunday – way too many mistakes – dropped balls, INTs, fumbles, special teams…….. SUCKED. Need to get off this everyone needs to be fired/if only they had hired this guy and that guy and done this and the draft had been better, and if last years draft had been better and if we hired an experienced D Corodinator –

    the team needs to get its shit all in one sack and quickly

  • D – if what world do you live – what color is the sky in your world, how many moons do you see it night – here is a dollar – go by a freakin clue –

    I just had the WORST weekend of sports in a decade and you want to come on here and be an ass –

    The TEAM sucked – you want to go sitcking fingers in peoples eyes – go for it man – live the dream – you want to run around blaming people – be my guest – you want to say it was Banner or Lurie or the freakin head cheerleader – rock on – it was a disguting game and a pathetic lose – and the team looks like shit – feel free to blame however you want – I happen to think every player, coach and FO member need to take a loing hard look in the mirror –
    really – let him off the hook?

  • Who is making the player evaluationd on defense? I’m not talking in the draft (that is another problem). Is it Castillo that wanted Matthews at Mike?, then Will? Chaney at Sam, then Mike? The juggling of positions are things AR has done in the past, it’s Castillo’s defense. I’m thinking Castillo doesn’t even have an understanding of the baseline skill set of an NFL linebacker. There a difference between average, below average and completely over matched. These linebackers and safeties are getting overmatched physically and mentally. That’s why there is minimal hope for improvement.

  • Navy – actually one bright spot – special teams. Yeah, Henery missed the two field goals, but kickoff/punt coverage was much improved – steadily in fact for a while now. Ginn was coming in pretty ‘hot’ (ha) this year and had been tearing it up on returns. We pretty much dominated in that area yesterday.

  • as a matter of fact D car – about all I can really think to say is go f*** your self a***** –

    you really want to argue with another eagle fan after a game like that – I am in mourning and you want to play lets see who we can blame –

  • Schill -……………………………………….. ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGG

    there is no joy in Mudville

  • navy, I hear you. I’m pretty pretty gloomy myself today, but my true personality does sneek out never the less.

    Harbor is starting to show his worth. (sorry, couldn’t help myself).

    Play action was working early in the game even before any successful running plays – a product of McCoy’s success (oops I did it again)

  • Can most of us admit that this 2011 Eagle Team is just not that good…
    It’s snowballed and now the injuries start to mount and it becomes panic time, train wreck, time to head to the hills, type of mentaility and it starts at the top..
    A season of such promise leads to another disappointing result.. I much prefer when the Eagles are under the radar and not expected to do much and just come together and work hard and end making a strong run of it.. Coach AR is running out of excuses and I think the longer he Coaches, the more evident it becomes that his flawed, pass-happy Offensive system does not win games and that this smallish but faster thype of Defense also does not win Football games.. This Franchise needs a new set of eyes, a new vision and a new philosophy with a new leader at th Top.. I am no longer going to follow this team (My all-time favortite team and home town team as a kid) until there are serious changes made (which I know won’t occur) but I am done beating my head against the wall watching these pathetic performances and hearing the same old sorry excuses followed by another off-season Draft Class debacle that can’t even be dressed and contribute to a 1-3 almost basement team…

  • The Bills game now became a MUST WIN for our beloved Iggles. We can’t go down 1-4. If we win this week and next week against the Skins, we will head into the bye week with a 3-3 record. I can live with that.

  • exactly my sentiments paulman

  • Navy, watch your language, mister. That’s my job to curse. BTW, I feel your pain! But if anyone allows a sports team to affect their personal life, needs to take a look in the mirror, my brother! It’s good to vent on here, but life’s too short. I have more important things to worry about, like finances, my 2 jobs, putting my 2 kids through college & Catholic school, & my lovely wife! How am I being an @$$!? I’ve gotten bashed, ceremoniously, for weeks by you Schiller & @$$clown Wmonell(Awolwest). It was obvious that this team was doomed. I know the truth hurts! But everyone has seen the light now, hopefully!

  • To say that this Eagles team is “not good” is just moronic. They are good. They showed they are good. Their only problem is that they need to continue to show that they are good the ENTIRE game and not take anything for granted like they did in the last three games.

    We led EVERY game this year going into the 4th quarter. When you lead going into the 4th qtr, you should come out with a victory. Plain and simple.

    I don’t have any answers. This is the most night and day team I have ever seen in my life. We look dominant at times and then completely get dominated at others. I’m left shaking my head trying to figure it out. Its like our defense goes into cruise control in the 4th.

    NOTHING has gone right for us in the 4th qtr of any game this year btw. NOTHING. Luckily we had such a substantial lead in the St. Louis game that it didn’t matter. Maclin dropping fourth down passes in Atlanta. Vick getting hurt and taken out of games. Desean dissappearing. Asante getting carried into the endzone like a baby. Victor no name Cruz straight “randy mossing” Nnamdi f’n Asomugha.

    We can’t buy a fukin break and I’m tired of it.

  • No D I am being a douche today – I am miserable – bad enough the Eagles and phillies lost – but my pain started on Saturday…………………….. Navy Air Force – Air Force basically kicks the crap out of Navy for 3+ qtrs, Navy rallied from 18 down in the last 9 minutes including an onside kick recovery and a two point conversion with 17 secs left in game and gets the game to OT – scores on first possession – the Qb that scores pops off at the mouth and gets a 15 yard Unsportsman like – AF blocks the PAT and then AF drives right down, scores, kick the PAT and wins it – miserable –

    I hid it from the family until after the phillies pissed it away – ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGG

  • Navy, I hear you, me too! Now hopefully you guys will understand where I was coming from! I wasn’t negative, I was being honest, with the assessment of this team & staff! I love the Birds, not this FO! They are hindering the progression of this team, thus preventing any chance of a SB!

  • Quite possibly the first case of going to a prevent defense to start the second half. Terrible.

  • Birdo I feel you but if you’re not good for 4 quarters and you’re 1-3, then you’re not good right now. Doesn’t mean they can’t get better but right now, this isn’t a good team. They have some good players but they aren’t a good team. Have to finish and play well the whole game. A bad team isn’t just one that doesn’t play well 1 quarter of the game. We can’t score in the red zone, we can’t stop anyone in the redzone. Freakin Alex Smith looked like Aaron Rodgers in the 2nd half and Frank Gore average was near the total number of carries for our running back. Just sad. Maybe we can become a good team, but right now, this is not a good team.

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