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Eagles-49ers: Five Things to Know

The competition heats up in Week 2 for the Eagles with the well-regarded San Francisco 49ers set to invade Lincoln Financial Field

PHILADELPHIA - When it came to coaching, Week 1 was about rookie vs. rookie and the Eagles' Nick Sirianni easily lapped his more hyped counterpart in Atlanta, Arthur Smith.

This time around, Philadelphia's young head coach will be matching wits with one of the more well-regarded coaches in the NFL in Kyle Shanahan, a mentor known for his ability to marry the play-action part of things with the run game, something that dates back to Shanahan's father Mike, a long-time head coach with the LA Raiders, Denver and Washington, who won two Super Bowls with the Broncos.

"Kyle has been a big influence on me," former Eagles senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello told SI.com's Eagle Maven last year. "Obviously, that's my background, that's what I believe in. I think those philosophical beliefs can be used in any style of offense and any type of run schemes."

Scangarello is back with the 49ers as the quarterback coach for Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance, and Nate Sudfeld, the former Philly backup who is on the Niners practice squad.

MORE: BEHIND ENEMY LINES: The 49ers and DeMeco Ryans

Play-action is the staple of the Shanahan offense and its many offshoots but few of the copies equate to similar success.

"I think Kyle has a great deal of respect in the league for how he's married the run system to the pass system. The details of that are very important," Scangarello said. "It goes back to his days learning from his dad when he was a teenager in Denver, then his experience with the Houston Texans with Gary Kubiak, then him shaping his vision for how all that comes together."

Like a Xerox copy, every attempt at replications seems to get a little bit from the original.

"To be part of that process, you just learn details and intricacies that very few people know, that come from him ultimately," Scangarello said of the offense. "People see it on film, and they think they know, but they really don't."

Arguably the best offensive coach in football per his peers, Shanahan and his team project to be a steep uptick in competition for the Eagles after the talent deficient Falcons.

MORE: Jalen Hurts' Completion Percentage, Overall Success, Soars Along with Jersey Sales

"I don't know him personally," Sirianni said of Shanahan. "I know him to say, ‘Hello,’ but where he has influence on me, as any good coach has influence on me, with how they coach their team, you can see he's a good coach.

"His team plays with good fundamentals and good scheme. It's, ‘Hey does your team play with good fundamentals and good scheme?’ To me, that's a big part of how you're a good coach. That's where he's had influence on me is just his scheme and the way his players play. No secret how good of a football coach he is."

MUFASA RETURNS

Former Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans is the 49ers' new defensive coordinator after Robert Saleh left to become the head coach of the New York Jets.

A natural leader, Ryans is expected to keep the Saleh-inspired looks which really translate back to the Seattle Cover-3 defense with the top playmakers being edge rusher Nick Bosa and linebacker Fred Warner.

Coined Mufasa by Chip Kelly for his natural leadership skills, Ryans has an uneven debut as the Niners DC in a 41-33 win over Detroit in Week 1 as Jared Goff got hot once San Francisco's Jason Verrett went down with a torn ACL.

"I think everybody's that's played with DeMeco has the ultimate respect for DeMeco," Eagles DT Fletcher Cox said. "... I think that his leadership was always there [through] the good and the bad and that kind of rubbed off on me that you just can't be a leader when things are good, you got to be a leader all the time.

"DeMeco is just a natural-born leader, and you gotta respect that guy for that."

NASTY NICK

It's strength vs. strength with the Niners defensive line against the Eagles' talented O-Line.

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San Francisco's Nick Bosa was one of the NFL's top game-wreckers by the end of his rookie season and en route to the Super Bowl. He misses almost all of 2020 with a torn ACL.

Bosa looked healthy in Week 1 with a sack and two TFLs and has help with the pass rush, particularly from Arik Armstead and Dee Ford.

"It was great," Bosa said of his return. "It's always good to be back on the field with the team and just back in the routine."

DUAL QBS

Trey Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in April's draft, is the future for the 49ers but Jimmy Garoppolo remains the present.

The latter will see the majority of snaps against the Eagles But Lance will continue to be eased in as many have compared the situation to Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick when Jim Harbaugh was coaching in San Francisco.

The Niners can win plenty of games with Garoppolo managing things but Shanahan would like to add explosion to the offense and that's where Lance factors in.

How quickly San Francisco gets to Lance depends on how successful it is. Wins are the only thing that will keep Garoppolo in the QB1 spot.

"They obviously have two quarterbacks that can possibly play, that have been playing," Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon said. "... I would go probably playing New Orleans a couple years ago right when they kind of started with the Hill [Saints QB Taysom Hill] kid, you had to have a different plan for that."

BANGED-UP CORNERBACKS

Jason Verrett is the 49ers' best CB and he is done for the season with a torn ACL, a development that had San Francisco shopping for upgrades during the week.

Emmanuel Moseley missed Week 1 and may or may not be ready for the Eagles and he will inherit the CB1 role if able to go. From there it's slot corner K'Wuan Williams, a couple of rookies in Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir plus pedestrian players like Dontae Johnson and Josh Norman.

Expect more air yards from Jalen Hurts and a big game from DeVonta Smith.

PREDICTIONS

John McMullen (0-1, 0-1 vs. spread) - The feel-good Eagles opening win is replaced by a significant test in Week 2. The Niners have arguably the best running scheme in the NFL, something that matches up well against the Eagles' perceived weakness on the defensive side of the ball.

This game should give us a much clearer view as to what Sirianni and the Eagles really are after the Week 1 rout of the talent-deficient Falcons. What Shanahan doesn't really have is a superstar quarterback, at least until he gets Lance up to speed. For now, Garoppolo will make sure the Eagles stay in this one into the fourth quarter where a game-shifting play should define it.

Because the 49ers have more established playmakers, let's default to them.

49ERS 26, EAGLES 21

Ed Kracz (1-0, 1-0 vs. spread) - Lane Johnson said prior to the season-opener that it takes about four games to know the identity of your team. Well, this is step two in that process. If the Eagles win, they will be 2-0 for the first time since 2016, which was Doug Pederson's first season, which ended at 7-9. So, even after the Eagles' offensive line is able to control the 49ers' defensive front and Jalen Hurts able to pick apart an undermanned San Fran secondary, don't get too high at 2-0.

EAGLES 27, 49ERS 24

-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.