Check here throughout the day for all the latest happenings from the 49ers-Eagles game at Candlestick Park.
This will be my first time blogging with this new setup. Not quite sure how it’s going to work, but I’ll give it my best shot. I think the updates will be instantaneous, as opposed to the old system in which there was about a 10-minute lag between the time I posted to when it actually showed up.
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Kickoff is several hours away, so please click here for an article in today’s PD on 49ers safety Michael Lewis to help you occupy some time.
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49ers inactives: QB Jamie Martin (third QB), CB Reggie Smith, CB Shawntae Spencer, LB Roderick Green, LB Ahmad Brooks, C Cody Wallace, T Jonas Jennings and LB Manny Lawson.
Eagles inactives: QB A.J. Feeley (third QB), S J.R. Reed, RB Brian Westbrook, DE Bryan Smith, G Shawn Andrews, G Mike McGlynn, WR Kevin Curtis and WR Reggie Brown.
Hank Baskett and DeSean Jackson start at WR for Curtis and Brown; Max Jean-Gilles starts at RG for Andrews; Dan Klecko starts at FB for Tony Hunt,and Correll Buckhalter starts at RB for Westbook.
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Just ran into Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, a San Jose native who was part of Steve Mariucci’s staff as O.C. I asked him what to expect from his offense today. His answer: “Hey, we’re just trying to score a point.”
Defensively, I’d expect the 49ers to get back to basics and not try to match personnel as much as they have in the past. The 49ers need to scrap their passive approach and play an attacking style today — the kind of football we haven’t seen since they went after Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers in the exhibition season.
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Patrick Willis will indeed be wearing the green dot in today’s game. It’ll be his first game wearing the radio device in his helmet for direct communications from the sideline. Mark Roman, who held the responsibility the first five games, is the backup green-dotter.
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Hey, how ’bout those Rams? They won their first game under Jim Haslett, a 19-17 victory over the Redskins. It was the Rams’ first win of the season.
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Eric Heitmann, Patrick Willis, Michael Robinson and Walt Harris are the 49ers’ captains. John Taylor is the 49ers’ honorary captain. Referee Ron Winter with the coin toss.
Eagles call tails. It’s tails. They will receive.
–Niners kick coverage is Strickland, Hill, Walker, K.Lewis, Robinson, Keasey, Goldson , Ulbrich, Hudson and Brown. Nedney with his third touchback of the season. Eagles take over at the 20.
–Niners open in 3-4, with J.Smith at LOLB. DeSean Jackson drops pass with Clements in coverage.
–Third and 8. Niners come with blitz and Brown nearly gets a pick. The blitz was Willis up the middle.
–Rossum with great punt return of 45 yards to the Philly 18. Then, he starts game on offense as a receiver. That’s believed to be the first offensive start of his NFL career. He has started nine games on defense in his career.
–On third down, Morgan is in, and Bryant Johnson is not. Morgan fails to make the catch on a slant. Johnson did not play at all on that drive.
–Nedney makes a 32-yard field goal. That hurts that they weren’t able to punch it into the end zone. It’s 49ERS 3, EAGLES 0 with 12:34 remaining in the quarter.
–Quintin Demps with a long return. Looks like Nedney got hurt while trying to make the back. His left arm looks injured. Eagles take over at the 49ers’ 37.
–Niners now in a 4-3 defense. It’ll be third-and-2 at the 29. Goldson, Banta-Cain and Brown are on, Sopoaga, Franklin and Spikes are out. Baskett with the catch vs. Roman. The ball came loose, but the 49ers didn’t see it in time to challnege the call.
–On third-and-1, Buckhalter pounds it inside for a first down. Eagles have a first and goal at the 1. Don’t think the 49ers have much of a chance to keep them out of the end zone.
–Buckhalter over the top for a TD. It’s EAGLES 7, 49ERS 3 with 9:08 remaining in the quarter.
–The big play on that drive was the 49ers’ inability to get the challenge on the third-down pass to Baskett. Director of football operations Paraag Marathe is up in the booth to advise Nolan on such calls.
–Morgan is in again in place of Bryant Johnson. Gore gains 6 on first down.
–Gore with 17 yards on second down to midfield. Delanie Walker is on the field, along with Davis.
–Throwback screen to Vernon Davis. The Eagles had it sniffed out. Three defenders were right there. A loss of 1 yard. It’s third and 12.
–On third down, the Eagles jump offside.
–The Niners have Gore, Davis, Morgan, Bruce and Battle on the field. JTO gets the ball out to Davis just in time. He takes it 24 yards for a first down.
–Second and 1. Robinson is in backfield to take direct snap with JTO split out wide left. But it’s a false start on Heitmann for an illegal snap.
–Second and 6. Eagles come with blitz (surprise!) and JTO throws it to Walker. He’s not looking. Now it’s third down.
–JTO tries to get pass to Gore before the blitz gets there. It’s off Gore’s hands.
–Nedney is on to attempt a 37-yard field goal. He had a shoulder sprain on that kickoff a while back. He makes the kick. It’s EAGLES 7, 49ERS 6 with 4:25 remaining in the quarter. The 49ers’ drive was 9 plays, 54 yards in 4:43.
–Coverage was finally good on the kickoff. Jason Hill and Keith Lewis with the tackle of Demps. It was a 17-yard return. Eagles take over at the 22.
–Eagles have three WRs on field, and the 49ers stick with their base personnel. Jackson with 1 yard on an end-around. So long, Big Sub.
—Baskett with a 10-yard catch. Eagles are at their own 46.
–Third and 7. Big play for 49ers’ defense. Their dime package (Sub) is on the field. . . Jason Avant beats Harris in man coverage for a 17-yard gain.
–The Eagles set up the screen nicely to Buckhalter for a 25-yard gain. They’re knocking on the door again with a first-and-goal at the 9 when the second quarter begins.
–McNabb to Jackson for 7 yards to the 2.
–Incomplete on second down to McNabb.
–Big third and goal from the 2 . . . Baskett with the TD catch over Harris. (Not a good beginning of this game for Harris.) Nolan is not happy on the sideline. Let’s see the replay to see if Baskett did, indeed, get both feet inbounds. Yep, looked good. Now it’s EAGLES 14, 49ERS 6 with 14:06 remaining. That was another long scoring drive for the 49ers’ opposition, a 10-play march.
–Robinson with holding penalty on kickoff return. Niners begin at the 11-yard line. Robinson is now on the field with the offense.
–Gore with the carry, but there’s another flag. Holding on Vernon Davis. That’ll back it up to the 6. First and 15.
–Pass to Robinson for a first down. That was Robinson’s first touch of the season. He comes out, Battle comes in.
–Gore picks up a first down after a couple runs.
–On second down, Morgan and Robinson . . . and Bryant Johnson makes his debut. The Niners run the option with Robinson taking the handoff from JTO and then pitching to Gore. It’s a 5-yard gain.
–On third down, DeShaun Foster was stopped short on third down. The Niners will call out the punting team after no gain.
–INJURY UPDATE: FB Zak Keasey has been taken to the locker room for X-rays on his right arm. His return is questionable. (Moran Norris, who was among the 49ers’ final cuts, signed with the Lions last week.)
–DeSean Jackson back deep to receive Lee’s punt. He takes Lee’s 47-yard punt right up the field for 19 yards. Eagles take over at their own 36.
–Jackson with 26-yard pass from McNabb. He was wide open against the 49ers’ zone. The Eagles are on the march again.
–Third and 5. Can the 49ers stop somebody? The answer is no. Banta-Cain jumps offside and the Jackson catches a 26-yard pass down the field against Tarell Brown. The Eagles have the ball at the 7. The 49ers are challenging the call. Man, Nolan is really angry on the sideline, yelling at Banta-Cain.
–I didn’t see anything on the intial replay that made me think this play will get overturned. Maybe Nolan is just trying to “slow down” the game again.
–Ron Winter said the ruling on the field stands.
–This is a huge sequence for the 49ers.
–It’s third and goal from the 3. . . shovel pass? No, it’s a quick strike to Jackson, who is stopped at the 1. The Eagles are sending out their FG unit. Akers with the 19-yard FG. That’s a big stop for the 49ers’ defense. Now it’s EAGLES 17, 49ERS 6 with 4:30 remaining in the half.
–Keasey is back on the sideline with his right arm in a pretty substantial wrap.
–Niners begin this drive at the 28 after Rossum’s 24-yard return. The 49ers have Walker, Davis, Bruce, Morgan and Gore on the field. Morgan is seeing a lot of playing time in this game.
–Niners will get the ball to open the second half. They need some points to close the first half.
–JTO incomplete on first down. The protection is holding up pretty well.
–Third and 4 after 6-yard hot route pass to Davis.
–JTO scrambles for the first down at the 49ers’ 43.
–O’Sullivan scrambles again for another first down, as he dives ahead for 11 yards. The 49ers will have the ball at the Philly 46 after the two-minute warning.
–Battle for 13 yards on quick slant.
–False start on Barry Sims. That moves it back to the 38. First and 15.
–On second down, another false start. This one’s on Vernon Davis. And now Davis comes off the field, replaced by Bryant Johnson. It’s second and 19.
–Niners call a timeout to avoid the 10-second runoff after the penalty. They have one timeout remaining in the half.
–Completion to Isaac Bruce for 7 yards. The 49ers have it at the 35. They need some yards to at least give Nedney a better chance for points.
–JTO throws it away. I think he missed an opportunity early to get it to Gore. Nedney on for a 53-yard attempt. He made it. Barely — by a foot. Wow. That was a big kick. It’s EAGLES 17, 49ERS 9 with :29 left in the half.
–Nedney’s kickoff is a touchback. The Eagles have :29 to work. Handoff to Buckhalter for 9 yards. The Eagles take a timeout.
–Eagles gain 5 on pass to Buckhalter. The Eagles call their second timeout with :16 remaining. They have the ball on their own 34.
–They complete a pass at midfield with :09 remaining.
–McNabb with a remarkable play to shove a pass to Buckhalter, who takes it to the 36 for 14 yards. Akers will come on to try a long field goal.with :01 remaining Akers will try from 54 yards out.
–Are you kidding me? The Niners block the kick. Strickland picks it up and returns it for a TD. That’s incredible. The Niners are going to kick the PAT. Very smart to not go for two points at this point. McDonald blocked the kick. Strickland returns it 41 yards for a TD. Wow. No, double-wow.
It’s EAGLES 17, 49ERS 16 at the half. That’s the kind of play that goes against the 49ers.
–The Niners get the ball to open the second half. O’Sullivan is 9 of 14 for 71 yards (76.8 rating) at the half. Gore has carried 10 times for 49 yards, and Davis has three catches for 29 yards.
For the Eagles, McNabb has completed 15 of 22 for 191 yards and a TD (110.2 rating). Buckhalter has eight carries for 32 yards, and Jackson has four catches for 62 yards.
Eagles are 5 of 7 (71 percent) on third downs, while 49ers are 2 of 6 (33 percent on third downs.
–Pass to Bruce for 21 yards on first play of the second half. Niners ball at their own 43.
–Hot throw to Battle for big yards against the Eagles’ blitz. It’s a 26-yard gain to the Eagles 35.
–Rossum in at wideout. Catches a 4-yard pass.
–Gore busts one up the middle for 25 yards, making Brian Dawkins miss. Morgan and Bruce blocking well down the field. Morgan was blocking Lito Sheppard, who thinks he was being held.
–Gore takes it in from 6 yards out. That’s a 49ers touchdown. It’s 49ERS 23, EAGLES 17 with 11:14 remaining in the third quarter. Game on!
–INJURY UPDATE: Eagles LT Tra Thomas has a foot sprain. His return is questionable.
–Buckhalter with an 11-yard gain to the Philly 44.
–On third-and-1, McDonald stops Buckhalter for a 1-yard LOSS. He got past Thomas, who is back in the game. Eagles punt for the first time.
–Niners take over at their own 12 after Rossum’s fair catch.
–Robinson with a big gain, but Sims is called for holding. He didn’t need to hold on that play with Robinson already past him.
–Gore with nice 7-yard gain. It probably would’ve been no gain.
–Vernon Davis is alive! He puts together a 57-yard catch and run to the Eagles’ 27. That’s his fifth catch of the game. He came into this game with five catches for the season.
–The 49ers have to burn a timeout with the play clock winding down.
–After Wragge false start and a couple Gore runs, it’s third and 7.
–Pass to Gore. Close to the first down. They’re calling it fourth down. It’s fourth and 1. The 49ers are going for it.
–Robinson and Gore in the backfield. Gore gets it over the right side. He is one determined guy. Niners with first down on the 15.
–Foster is in for Gore. He runs for 1 yards and 3 yards on back-to-back plays. It’s third and 6 from the 11.
–JTO tries a throw-back screen. Davis was open, but the ball is overthrown. That probably would’ve been a TD.
–Nedney on the field to try a 29-yard FG. It’s good. Now it’s 49ERS 26, EAGLES 17 with 3:01 remaining in the quarter.
–Around the NFC West: The Cowboys lead the Cardinals 14-13, and the Packers lead the Seahawks 17-10. Both games are late in the third.
–Eagles take over at the 23 after the kickoff. Let’s see what the 49ers’ defense is made of.
–McNabb goes deep. It’s incomplete, off Roman’s hands. But they call illegal contact on Walt Harris (vs. Greg Lewis). It’s a 5-yard penalty and a first down.
–Buckhalter gets to the sideline, avoids a tackle attempt by Michael Lewis, and gains 28 yards to the 49ers’ 39.
–Takeo Spikes with his third INTERCEPTION in three games. He cut in front of TE L.J. Smith to make the pick. The 49ers take over at their own 12. That was a huge, huge play at the end of the third quarter.
–As we start the fourth quarter, one thing should be noted: The 49ers have yet to surrender a sack.
–Third and 10 for the 49ers . . . Yikes. And that’s a sack. Sorry about that. Vernon Davis surrendered the sack. Hey, what do you expect from the team’s No. 1 receiving option?
–Eagles take over at the 38 after a not-so-impressive Andy Lee punt.
–Niners come with blitz, but it doesn’t get close. Jackson makes a 17-yard catch. He has six catches for 98 yards.
–Buckhalter for 15 yards to the 11.
–Spikes and Justin Smith stop Buckhalter for 1-yard loss.
–Completion to Baskett in front of Brown. It’ll be third and 1 from the 2.
–McNabb with a 2-yard TD pass to Smith vs. Clements, who appeared to be in position to make the interception. It’s 49ERS 26, EAGLES 24 with 11:38 remaining. Now, the offense has to see if it can get the job done.
–Rossum’s return gives the 49ers the ball at the 27. Right now, the 49ers have Bajema and Davis in the huddle — an indication they’d like to run the ball.
–Deep for Davis. Underthrown. Incomplete. Bajema stayed into block on the play.
–On second down, Morgan might have run the wrong route. Another incomplete pass.
–It’s third and 10. Why didn’t they run on first or second down?
–Davis thrown for a big loss back to the 20 on a screen. That was a horrendous series. Now, Lee will have to punt. A three-and-out with virtually no time running off the clock.
–Jackson with a nice return, and Delanie Walker with an incredible, decleating hit to upend end near midfield. Eagles’ ball, down by two points.
–Eagles are already in field-goal range — at the 24 after two plays to Buckhalter.
–Patrick Willis got his hands on the ball and should’ve had an interception. Instead, it’s now third and 10 from the 24.
–McNabb gains 4 yards on a scramble to the 20.
–Akers to attempt a 38-yarder. That was close. And Clements ran down the field to argue. It barely got inside the right upright. That makes it EAGLES 27, 49ERS 26 with 7:46 remaining in the game.
–Just before the kickoff. Nolan challenged the field goal. He just threw the red flag. I’m not sure this can be challenged. Just listening to Rod Brooks on the sideline. He said it looked good to Brooks. This might be a useless challenge. This sure looks like a play that has no chance of being overturned. This could really backfire on the 49ers . . . and Nolan.
–No surprise. The call stands. Niners have only one timeout and no challenges remaining.
–Walker on an end-around. Bruce misses a block. That goes for a 10-yard loss back to the 30. That makes it third-and-18. Walker is shaken up and leaves the game.
–O’Sullivan picked off by Quintin Mikell, who returns it to the 49ers’ 7. Now, the defense needs to hold the Eagles to a FG.
–It’s third and goal from the 7 . . . three-man rush and Haralson bats it down at the goal line. The 49ers will hold them to a FG attempt.
–Akers makes a 25-yard FG. It’s EAGLES 30, 49ERS 26 with 5:14 remaining.
–Gore gains 1 yards on first down from their own 19.
–With the play clock running down and guys shifting around and around, JTO calls the 49ers’ final timeout with 4:20 remaining.
–Illegal formation. It’s second and 14. JTO gains 11 yards on a scramble. Not quite sure how he got away.
–It’s third-and-3 . . . JTO stripped as he was throwing. Looks as if the Eagles recovered with 3:11 remaining at the 49ers’ 20.
–That might do it, folks. The 49ers have ZERO timeouts remaining.
–Eagles tack on a field goal, and then Juqua Parker returns an interception 55 yards in the closing seconds. It’s a final EAGLES 40, 49ERS 26.