If you’re gonna lose to San Fran, so be it. They were playing their revenge game on the road after getting their asses handed to them in the NFC Championship Game. Everybody knew they had this one circled on the calendar, and I highly doubt there were many people out there thinking the Birds were gonna go 4-0 through this gauntlet, especially considering the way they’ve been scraping through in recent weeks.

That said, this performance was complete and utter dog shit. If you lose a close one, and you play relatively well, that’s fine. But the Birds got clowned on their home field. Just completely reamed. The defense gave up SIX touchdowns in a row, the offense blew early red zone opportunities before falling apart, and Jalen Hurts spent half the game drifting backward and looking for someone to throw to.

The famous adage is true here. It’s not that they lost the game, it’s how they lost the game. It leaves a barfy taste in your mouth. Gotta regroup now for Dallas, try to secure the #1 seed, and then hope for another shot at these jokers in the playoffs (or maybe not).

To the observations:

1) It was good to see Jalen Hurts hit A.J. Brown for a big slant on the first drive (and then again on the second drive). Brown was one of the best slant runners all season long in 2022 and it feels like they had gotten away from it a bit this year. Easy pitch and catch stuff is a way to get Hurts going early, especially considering how poor the offense has been to start the last couple of games.

2) You were probably like me on the Kenneth Gainwell 3rd and 6 perimeter screen. “No no no! …great play!

3) Good play here to hold the Eagles to three. Not DPI or holding:

4) Haason Reddick was -106 to record a sack. It cashed with nine minutes remaining in the first quarter. After that? Only some close calls.

5) Kevin Burkhardt used the word “resiliency” to describe the Eagles, which means the same exact thing as “resilience,” but has more syllables. Therefore, “resilience” is the better term.

6) Happy to get points on the second drive considering that disastrous Hurts sequence to put the Eagles in 3rd and 21. No problem extending the play, within reason, but it killed off a shot at seven points. That was an otherwise impressive drive brought down by the slip, Hurts dropping the first snap, and then the Birds having to burn a timeout to prevent a delay of game. 12 plays, 53 yards, 6:48 off the clock.

7) Gotta say, it was immensely satisfying to see Deebo Samuel dragged down for a loss on his first touch. Unfortunately that was the highlight, because he proceeded to murder the Eagles from that point on. Just completely murdered them after all of the stupid shit he said after January. You cannot let somebody talk as much shit as he did and then destroy you that badly on your home field. Everyone on the defense should be embarrassed by that.

8) On the near-interception play when George Kittle dropped the pass, Reddick almost hammered Purdy. Same thing last year, with the Niners using these risky blocking schemes to pick up the edge rushers:

Using tight ends to block Reddick is what got Purdy injured in the NFC Championship Game. They got it together after the first quarter, but I was a little surprised they came out showing the same looks they used last year.

9) San Fran with -6 yards in the first quarter. Averaged -1 yards per play. What a fleeting moment that was.

10) Blown coverage on the 32-yard George Kittle gain. Looked like the Eagles were playing dime and two guys went with one receiver. Nobody was there

11) Josh Sweat flagged for lining up in the neutral zone on a 3rd down stop was a backbreaker, but we didn’t get a decent camera angle on replay. They showed one replay from Sweat’s side of the field, but behind him, and then the Brandon Aiyuk review came into question, so the broadcast didn’t go back and give us the side angle from the previous play.

From what it looks like, they got him for the placement of his right hand here:

Why the late flag then? Not sure, maybe it was off to the non-play side of the field and rest of the officiating crew didn’t realize that it was thrown. That’s plausible.

12) RE: the Aiyuk play, they gave the back angle replay and it did indeed look like he kept his right hand underneath the ball.

13) DeVonta Smith converting 3rd and 19 was a miracle considering Hurts took a terrible sack on 1st down and then grounded a screen on 2nd down. That 4th drive was frustrating. Nobody open, Hurts holding the ball back there, and Quez Watkins unable to come down with a deep shot that some people thought was DPI.

14) Lane Johnson at Nick Bosa’s lunch more often than not. There was a 3rd quarter spin move that forced a Hurts incompletion, but not much beyond that.

15) Sweat jumping offside again…. :/

16) San Fran’s early adjustment was to run between the tackles and throw some short stuff over the middle. Quick releases, shallow routes stressing the linebackers, easy stuff like that. They put up 173 yards and two scores in the second quarter. Drives of 10 plays, 90 yards and 11 plays, 85 yards. They controlled 11 minutes of clock. You cannot get your ass kicked any worse than that in a single quarter.

17) Nicholas Morrow, Eli Ricks, bunch of guys getting totally abused on that San Francisco scoring drive to open the second half. Kyle Shanahan masterclass. Just totally eating their lunch.

18) DeVonta Smith is gonna have to sell the pick play better than that. You can’t just run to the guy and put your arms up in the air.

19) I did an in-game sidebar on the Big Dom expulsion. 

20) The 2x shoves? A rare enjoyable moment in this game.

21) Haven’t seen a linebacker play a worse game than what Nicholas Morrow turned in. That missed tackle on the 2nd Deebo Samuel touchdown was beyond pathetic. 48-yard touchdown on a fucking six-yard pass. Reed Blankenship was also held on the play.

22) 4th and 2 from your own 32 yard line isn’t and ideal “go for it” situation. Counterpoint – the defense had just given up four touchdowns in a row.

23) Defensive line couldn’t get home after the first quarter, couldn’t stop the run, couldn’t do much of anything. Say what you will about the linebackers, but the front wasn’t great either. San Fran’s offensive line was fantastic.

24) Missed tackles all night long. And to cap it off, they run a zero blitz, nobody gets close to Purdy, and Ricks gets completely abused 1v1 on the outside. What a pathetic play that was.

25) Should have pulled Hurts and conceded defeat. Almost got D’Andre Swift killed out there. Amateur hour from Nick Sirianni at the end of this game.