The 49ers survived and stayed on top with a 2-0 record. Here are the top 5 takeaways from the game.
The Eagles lost the game.
It does not matter what the margin was. A win is always a win. But this was an ugly win that could have gone wrong in multiple ways. The eagles had a messed up field goal attempt, plus a goal-line stop that left points on the field. Jalen Hurts did not try his legs much in this game until the latter stages when they were desperate for points. The 49ers struggled early in the game and in patches all day. It was a tough battle for the visiting team, which was saved by the gritty defense. It is a strange season so far, with teams like Colts starting 0-2. The 49ers offense must shift gears in Week 3.
The cornerbacks will lose games this season.
Josh Norman had two pass interference calls against him, and Deommodore Lenoir was targeted on a 91-yard bomb where a two-person effort saved a certain touchdown. The stats for this game do not look bad for the cornerback room missing Jason Verret, but it will haunt the 49ers in future games. You can change the schemes and try to adjust the best way possible. Still, the players on the field have to go against the best receivers eventually. Cornerbacks were the weakest link on the team heading into the season, knowing that Verret is injury-prone. The 49ers front office refused to address the concern as they should have. Do not get misled by this game thinking 49ers are doing fine. Wait until Week 6 to bring out the judgment.
Where is Jimmy Garoppolo heading?
He did not turn over the ball, which was a primary reason for backup quarterbacks losing close games last season. During the first quarter, the 49ers did not have a first down. Then in the second series, Garoppolo missed Mohamed Sanu for an easy first down. In the third series, he threw the ball high, which almost got intercepted. Later he missed Trent Sherfield, who was wide open. Last year against the same opponent, Nick Mullens struggled the entire game. To Garoppolo's credit, strong drives after initial struggles kept the 49ers in the game. Garoppolo is not supposed to miss short and mid-range throws with no deep targets in his arsenal. Shanahan made the right call by not going to Trey Lance when it seemed Garoppolo was struggling early on. Unless Garoppolo sharpens up his game, the 49ers will not win games when they are trailing.
Is Elijah Mitchell the No. 1 running back?
Mitchell left the game due to injury and came back again. We are yet to know the seriousness of the damage, but it seems like Mitchell is the No. 1 running back. Hasty came in later in the game and had fumble issues. He dropped a shovel pass from Garoppolo and fumbled another ball that went out of bounds. Before the game, I thought that Hasty deserved the chance to prove his worth. Hasty was the most successful in terms of the stats in the game. But if he keeps fumbling the ball, Mitchell will remain as the first choice. Anyway, with the injury, Hasty will miss some time.
Is Deebo Samuel overworked?
Right now, the 49ers offense is a one-man show with Deebo Samuel. Brandon Aiyuk is still back on the sidelines while other wide receivers do not get too many targets, so Shanahan uses Samuel in hybrid mode, meaning he was used for receiving and running in jet sweeps. Samuel is an extremely physical football player who is not afraid of contact. I wonder whether there should be a measured workload for him.