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Eagles vs 49ers: Week 2 NFL preview

Both the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers are coming off electric Week 1 wins. Jalen Hurts led his Eagles to a blowout win over the hapless Atlanta Falcons. And while they received a late-game scare, the 49ers dropped 41 points against the Detroit Lions on the road.

In what has to be considered a huge early-season matchup between these two conference rivals, let’s preview this Eagles vs 49ers NFL Week 2 outing.

Eagles vs 49ers: What you need to know

Find out where the Eagles and 49ers stand in our Week 2 NFL power rankings

Jalen Hurts vs Jimmy Garoppolo

eagles vs 49ers preview: jalen hurts
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Both Jalen Hurts and Jimmy Garoppolo excelled in their regular season debuts, leading their teams to impressive road wins. It’s an interesting thing to look at given that both quarterbacks were pretty much in the news for all the wrong reasons during the offseason.

For Garoppolo, he beat out Trey Lance for the starting job in San Francisco. Meanwhile, Philadelphia initially refused to hand the keys to the kingdom to Hurts after the trade of Carson Wentz. It has also been linked to the likes of Deshaun Watson on a near never-ending loop.

  • Jimmy’s time in San Francisco: Fresh off a 41-33 win over Detroit last week, Garoppolo now boasts a 23-8 record in 31 starts as a member of the 49ers. The veteran completed 17-of-25 passes for 314 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions in leading an explosive San Francisco offense.
  • Jalen not hurting Philadelphia: A second-round pick in 2020, Hurts debuted to mixed reviews as a rookie. It led to speculation that the Eagles might seek an upgrade under center. At least for one week, the youngster quieted critics. Hurts completed 77% of his passes with 264 yards and three touchdowns against zero interceptions in a blowout win over the Atlanta Falcons. He’s now facing a much different defense led by one of the best front sevens in the NFL.

Advantage: San Francisco 49ers

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Deebo Samuel vs Darius Slay

eagles vs 49ers: deebo samuel
Junfu Han via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Philadelphia’s defense really handed it to Matt Ryan and Co. in a 32-6 road win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1. Ryan tallied just 164 yards on 35 attempts and was sacked three times.

As for Samuel, he put up a career-best performance against a bad Lions defense last Sunday. With fellow youngster Brandon Aiyuk seemingly in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s dog house, he’ll need to continue stepping up.

  • Deebo has the “it factor: Despite a late-game fumble that nearly cost San Francisco the game, Samuel was as electric as we’ve seen since the 49ers made him a second-round pick in 2019. The youngster caught 9-of-12 targets for 189 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown.
  • Slaying a dragon: In Week 1’s win over Atlanta, Slay allowed just two catches for 14 yards on six targets for an opposing 42.3 passer rating. He remains one of the most-underrated corners in the entire NFL and will be a difficult task for Samuel in this one.

Advantage: Philadelphia Eagles

Devonta Smith vs K’Waun Williams

eagles vs 49ers: devonta smith
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Devonta Smith was stellar in his regular-season debut last week, registering six catches for 71 yards, including this touchdown. With that said, this performance came against one of the worst defenses in the NFL.

While San Francisco has its injury concerns at cornerback, Williams remains the one consistent. He did not yield a catch out of the slot last week against the Lions and should be more than up to the task.

  • Needing K’Waun to step up: Over the course of the past two seasons, Williams has yielded a sub 70 passer rating when targeted. He’s done so primarily out of the slot. The 49ers will need this to continue when he’s lined up against the reigning Heisman winner come Sunday afternoon.
  • Rookie of the Year? It might be too early to crown Smith as an NFL Rookie of the Year candidate, but he just seems to have that it factor. The Alabama product will play a key role Sunday if Philadelphia is able to pull off the home upset. While he’ll see action on the outside, expect most of Smith’s work to come in the slot against Williams.

Advantage: San Francisco 49ers

Bottom line: Two teams coming off pretty solid Week 1 performances and looking to make a statement, this Eagles vs 49ers game promises to be fun. We are going with the road team to pull off a second consecutive win to open the season away from Northern California despite San Francisco’s late-game struggles against Detroit in Week 1.

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