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Cowboys vs. Eagles: Philadelphia gets embarrassed at home against the 49ers

Philly failed to compete with the NFC’s elite, what’s next?

San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

How Philadelphia Eagles Handle Blowout Loss to San Francisco 49ers to Define Season - John McMullen, Sports Illustrated

The Eagles’ response to a humbling loss will reveal a lot about the team.

“We didn’t coach good enough, didn’t play good enough,” Sirianni understated. “Simple as that.”

It might be even simpler.

The Niners were just better than the Eagles, leaning on their vast array of playmakers and a quarterback who dished the football off like a brilliant old-school NBA point guard.

The Eagles have been living on the edge for weeks, basking in a Marquez Valdes-Scantling drop in Kansas City or a Jake Elliott 59-yard field goal through a monsoon at the end of regulation vs. Buffalo as the difference between “always finding a way” and “what’s wrong here?”

No matter what button was pushed, Shanahan and QB Brock Purdy were one step ahead. The outside cornerbacks played too soft and the middle of the field continued to be an issue against the offense most equipped to exploit it.

“It’s really tough to play this team across the board. They (create) mismatches.” Eagles cornerback James Bradberry said. “It’s just a tough team to play. I hope to see them again.”

How the Eagles handle this defeat will likely determine whether they get that opportunity.

Did 49ers expose Jalen Hurts, Eagles? San Francisco flipped script with defensive game plan and here’s what it revealed about Philly - Jori Epstein, Yahoo! Sports

Containing Hurts instead of sacking him was integral to San Francisco’s success.

PHILADELPHIA — The San Francisco 49ers’ pass rush had been on a roll.

Since Chase Young joined an already-deep group at the trade deadline, they’d sacked Trevor Lawrence five times, then Baker Mayfield four and finally Geno Smith six times in a span of three weeks.

So Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, it seemed, would need to worry about their takedowns this week. That’s exactly what the 49ers wanted Hurts to think.

Instead, San Francisco marched into Philadelphia with a game plan that intentionally did not promote sacks and pass rushing. It was a game plan that sought to contain Hurts in the pocket, to especially limit his ability to escape up the B-gap, and ultimately — by neutralizing Hurts’ run threat — to make the entire Eagles offense one-dimensional if properly executed.

“Our whole mentality was, we’re not trying to set the record on sacks, we’re trying to close the pocket, we’re trying to get his eyes on us,” 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa said. “It was definitely an assignment-focused game. We had to make Jalen focus on the rush more than looking downfield and we knew that was the key to the game.”

It might also be the Eagles’ coming opponents’ key to thwarting the franchise with the league’s best record if Philadelphia doesn’t regroup quickly. Because in a 42-19 dismantling, San Francisco exposed an offensive Achilles heel that few had grasped.

“That was as grimy as it gets,” 49ers linebacker Fred Warner said. “I know it’s like we won 42-19, but in the beginning of the game, those crucial moments when we had to stand tall in the red zone … the game plan that we had, especially down there in the red zone, was on point.

“It was just about executing, making sure Jalen doesn’t beat us with his legs down there because they love to run him in those crucial moments.”

6 lies and 6 truths we’ll tell ourselves after the Eagles’ blowout loss to the 49ers - John Stolnis, BleedingGreenNation.com

Preventing an outcome like this game from happening again starts at the top for Philly.

Lie: Brian Johnson and Sean Deseai are to blame for this loss

Truth: Nick Sirianni has to be better as the executive head coach

If you’re not going to call the plays so that you can oversee everything happening on the sidelines, then you need to have more of a feel for the situation than Sirianni showed in the second half.

Down 28-13 and facing a long 4th-and-1 inside his own 35, there was absolutely no reason for the Eagles not to go for it.

Sure, had they not converted, the Niners would have already been in field goal position and the game would have been over, but one of the defining characteristics of Sirianni’s Eagles is their aggressiveness. They are the bullies. Not only that, the likelihood of the defense getting a stop after the punt in that spot was not great, as nearly everyone online vocalized in real time.

But perhaps even worse was Sirianni’s decision to put Jalen Hurts back into the game trailing by three scores after he had just gone into the locker room under the concussion protocol. Even if they weren’t concerned about a concussion, the last half of the 4th quarter should have been Marcus Mariota time. There’s no way D’Andre Swift should have been on the field late in the game to absorb that soul-crunching hit that would have rattled the bones of even the toughest player in the game, especially when he was grossly under-utilized when it actually mattered.

And for everyone concerned about the lack of a consistent Eagles’ running game this season, that falls as much on Sirianni as Johnson. Sirianni, as the head of the coaches, is in charge of the gameplan. He’s in charge of the personnel usage. If there’s something happening he doesn’t like, he has the ability, as the sideline CEO, to step in and change something.

Morning Roundup: Dallas provides perfect chance for Eagles to bounce back - Owen Boyle, PhiladelphiaEagles.com

Philadelphia has bounced back from a loss before, and hope to do it again.

At his locker, wide receiver A.J. Brown was asked how long it takes for him and the team to get over a loss of this magnitude.

“You have no choice,” Brown said. “We have a big opponent coming up next week on the road against Dallas. You have to put your big boy pants on, not everything is going to go your way every single time. We have to focus on Dallas, clean up the mistakes, and continue to grow.”

This is not the first time the Eagles have suffered a tough loss this season.

In Week 6, they turned the ball over four times in a 20-14 loss to the New York Jets.

There was no moping around. Once that clock hit zero, the focus shifted to the following week, where the Eagles beat a high-powered Miami Dolphins offense.

The scene was almost identical on Sunday. As soon as the game ended, it was about looking ahead to next week and how they will respond against the highest-scoring team in the NFL.

“The thing I do know about this team, that makes us so special, is the way that we respond,” [Fletcher] Cox said. “We will take a break, come in and fix things, and get ready for the next game.”

After the only other loss this season, the Eagles won five straight games, including wins over the Dolphins, Cowboys, Chiefs, and Bills, all top teams in the league.

The Eagles will once again look to string consecutive wins together coming off a loss, and it all starts in Dallas on Sunday Night Football.

“Nothing is changing in that process,” Jalen Hurts said. “Keep the main thing the main thing. Staying true to who we are and learning from it. Win, lose, or draw, it’s always a deep, deep, dive into what we can be better at. Looking ourselves in the mirror and responding to the mistakes that we made and also to the successes that we had.”

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