1ST QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS, 49ERS 6 – EAGLES 7
The Eagles won the toss, and elected to receive the ball first.
Rookie DeSean Jackson dropped Donovan McNabb's first and 10 throw, and then on 3rd and 8, Tarell Brown was there to break up a pass to Hank Bassett, forcing a quick three and out.
Allen Rossum fielded the punt and enjoyed a 45-yard return, picking up an additional 15 yards with a great block by Delanie Walker.
Set up at the Eagles 12-yardline, Frank Gore gained six yards on the ground to start the game, but then was stopped for a loss of 2. On 3rd and 6, Josh Morgan had a pass thrown his way in traffic, but couldn't hold on to it. Joe Nedney hit a 32-yard FG for an early 3-0 lead.
A 63-yard return on the kickoff return by Quentin Demps set the Eagles up with great field position of their own. Facing a 3rd and 2, McNabb found Bassett deep, who outjumped Mark Roman for a 16-yard completion. Another 9-yard throw to Greg Lewis set Philly up for an easy 2nd and 1. The Eagles stayed on the ground from that point with Correll Buckhalter eventually punching it in on a 1-yard touchdown run to take a 7-3 lead.
*Nedney injured his left shoulder trying to make a stop on the long kickoff return, but returned to the game.
Gore picked up six yards on the ground, followed by a 17-yard burst over right tackle that he eventually cut back towards the middle of the field. His next carry went for a loss of 1. On 2nd and 11, O'Sullivan tried a misdirection play to Vernon Davis, but there were a trio of Eagles defenders there to greet him for another loss of 1. A 3rd and 12 was made easier by an offsides penalty against Philadelphia. On 3rd and 7, O'Sullivan used a screen pass to Davis, who got great blocks by Eric Heitmann and Barry Sims for a 24-yard gain. Another screen to Gore gained 9 yards to set up a 2nd and 1. An illegal snap by Heitmann erased five yards, creating a 2nd and 6. O'Sullivan took a shot for the end zone but the ball was thrown in the middle of two players on what looked to be some miscommunication between JTO and his receivers. Nedney hit a 34-yard field goal to finish off the 9-play, 54-yard drive with 4:25 left in the quarter.
The 49ers kickoff coverage unit quickly corralled Demps this time at the 22-yardline.
Facing a 3rd and 7 at their 49, McNabb found a very open Jason Avant for a 17-yard catch at the 49ers 34-yardline. A quick screen pass to Buckhalter picked up 25 yards to end the first quarter.
2ND QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS, 49ERS 16 – EAGLES 17A pass to Jackson moved the Eagles to the 3-yardline with Walt Harris nearly picking off McNabb's next throw to the end zone. On 3rd and 3, McNabb went to Bassett on a fade throw. Harris was in coverage, but Bassett made the touchdown catch, putting Philly up 14-6 with 14:06 to go in the quarter. The 10-play drive covered 78 yards.
Rossum enjoyed an 18-yard return but a penalty on Michael Robinson backed them to the 11-yardline. Another holding call put them at their own 5, looking at a 1st and 15. Gore's run up the middle earned four yards. On 2nd and 11, JTO dumped the ball to Robinson who moved the chains with a 12-yard play. Two runs by Gore again moved the chains with the 49ers getting out to their 41-yardline before DeShaun Foster was stopped on a 3rd and 1 stretch play out to his left, forcing forcing the 49ers to punt.
*FB Zak Keasey left the game and headed into the locker room for x-rays on his right arm.
Jackson gained 19 yards on the punt return and then got wide open on the very next offensive play, making a 26-yard catch at the 49ers 38-yardline. Tully Banta-Cain jumped on the next 3rd and 5 play, giving the Eagles a free play and a first down anyhow, but McNabb gained even more yardage with a 26-yard throw to Jackson, who made the catch at the 7-yardline. Tarell Brown was in coverage on the play. Nolan quickly threw the red flag to challenge the catch, but lost. Joe Staley stopped Buckhalter on a draw play at the 3-yardline, setting up a 2nd and goal from the 3. McNabb had pressure in his face from Takeo Spikes and had to hurry an incomplete throw to Buckhalter. On 3rd and 3, McNabb went to Jackson who was brought down at the 1-yardline by safety Dashon Goldson. David Akers' 19-yard field goal finished off the 8-play, 63-yard drive to extend the Eagles to a 17-6 cushion with 4:30 left in the first half.
Back on offense, JTO earned a first down by scrambling up the middle on 3rd and 5. A quick pass to Battle was stopped for no gain, leading to a 2nd and 10 out at the 43. Another JTO scramble earned a first down in Eagles territory at the two-minute warning. A quick slant throw to Battle moved the chains yet again with a 13-yard completion. Barry Sims was flagged for a false start, creating a 1st and 15 at the 38-yardline. A deflected pass was caught by Gore, but earned only 1 yard. Another false start on Davis changed it to a 2nd and 19, and lost ten seconds off the clock, leaving only 38 ticks left in the half. The officials gave the ten seconds back to San Francisco with the 49ers using a timeout instead. A throw to Isaac Bruce picked up 7 yards, leading to a 3rd and 12 at the 35. JTO was forced out of the pocket and had to throw it away, bringing on Nedney for a 53-yard field goal. The 10-play drive covered 37 yards, and trimmed the Eagles to an 8-point lead at 17-9 with 29 seconds left in the first half.
A 16-yard McNabb throw to tight end LJ Smith moved the Eagles to midfield with 9 seconds. McNabb then escaped pressure and flicked the ball to Buckhalter, who was brought down at the 36-yardline with one second left. The Eagles took a timeout and then brought on Akers for a 54-yard ield goal. Ray McDonald blocked the kick, which was scooped up by Donald Strickland and returned 41 yards for a touchdown. The return closed the 49ers to within one point as the first half expired.
3RD QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS, 49ERS 26 - EAGLES 17
The 49ers opened the third quarter with a 21-yard completion to Bruce. A pass to Davis was snuffed out for a four yard loss, but the 2nd and 14 was overcome by a 26-yard quick throw to Battle. A short throw to Rossum earned four yards, and was followed up by a nifty 25-yard run by Gore. Gore slipped two defenders at the line of scrimmage and then picked up some downfield blocks from Bruce and Josh Morgan. Gore then weaved his way into the end zone, finding a cutback seam between Sims and Davis for a 6-yard touchdown and a 49ers 23-17 lead with 11:14 to go in the quarter.
Rossum called for fair catch at the 12-yardline. A holding call on Sims negated a 5-yard run by Michael Robinson. Gore grinded out an impressive 7-yard run play that really should have been stopped for only a yard or two. On 2nd and 6, O'Sullivan found Davis, who somehow managed his way beyond Brian Dawkins and Quintin Mikell and then took off for a 57-yard pass play to the Eagles 27-yardline. A false start on Tony Wragge lost them five yards, with Gore squeezing his way up the middle for a 7-yard gain on 1st and 15. Another Gore run picked up only a yard with Davis coming off the field limping, leading to a 3rd and 7. Gore was stopped a yard short on a screen pass and the 49ers opted to go for it on 4th and 1 at the Eagles 18-yardline. Using mostly determination, Gore churned his legs and some blocking by Adam Snyder and Davis to pick up three yards and the first down. A sweep to the right by Foster earned only a yard. On 2nd and 9, Foster picked up about three before he was tripped up, leading to a 3rd and 6. JTO threw across his body to Davis, who was wide open with three blockers ahead of him and a pretty clear path to the end zone, but the hurried throw was off the mark and Davis couldn't make the one-handed grab. Nedney's 29-yard field goal finished off the 11-play, 77-yard drive and gave the 49ers a 26-17 advantage with three minutes left in the quarter.
CB Donald Strickland made a nice tackle on Demps, who had gotten away from a few other 49ers on a 21-yard return out to the 23-yardline.
Mark Roman nearly picked off a deep ball but Walt Harris was flagged for an illegal contact, handing the Eagles a first down. Buckhalter then hit the right edge on a sweep for a 28-yard run to the 39-yardline of San Francisco. A 19-yard pass to Jackson had the Eagles threatening to score inside of the red zone, but Takeo Spikes ended that with his third interception in three games when he stepped in front of LJ Smith at the 11-yardline.
A short carry by Gore brought the quarter to a close.
4TH QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS, 49ERS 26 - EAGLES 40
The 49ers were held to a three and out with JTO going down for the first sack of the game back at the 3-yardline.
Andy Lee punted from his end zone and shanked his kick which was caught after a bounce by Jackson, who stepped out of bounds at the 38. A false start backed Philly to the 43 at a 1st and 15, but McNabb found Jackson for a 17-yard gain. A 15-yard handoff to Buckhalter set the Eagles up at the 11. Spikes got to Buckhalter for a loss of 1, but a throw to Baskett in front of T. Brown set up a 3rd and 2 from the 3-yardline. McNabb found Shelton for a 3-yard touchdown to close within two points.
The defense clearly needed a break after the score, while the offense really needed to do something, but the O came out throwing, going deep on a ball to Davis that was way off the mark. JTO then tried for a well covered Morgan, leading to a 3rd and 10. JTO's pass to Davis lost 7 yards on a three and out series that lasted about 45 seconds.
Delanie Walker buried Jackson on his return at the Eagles 49-yardline after a 9-yard gain.
A 9-yard pass to Buckhalter was followed up by an 18-yard screen pass to move the Eagles to the 49ers 24-yardline. Patrick Willis had his hands on an interception but the linebacker couldn't make the play, instead giving the Eagles a 3rd and 10 play at the 24. McNabb was forced to scramble on third down, setting up Akers for a go-ahead 38-yard field goal. Nolan challenged whether or not it was a field goal, but lost and the Eagles took a 27-26 edge.
Rossum got the ball out to the 38-yardline with about 7:46 left in the game. Gore gained only two yards on his first down carry. A handoff to Walker lost ten yards, setting up a long 3rd and 18. Walker was hurt on the play. Quintin Mikell picked off JTO and returned it down to the 6-yardline before Gore tackled him with 6:09 remaining.
The defense kept the Eagles out of the end zone, but Akers short field goal cushioned them to a 4-yard point lead with 5:14 left in the game.
Gore gained a yard on the ground, but an illegal formation had the 49ers looking at a 2nd and 14. O'Sullivan picked up 11 yards with a scramble, but on 3rd and 3, he was sacked by Trent Cole, who stripped the ball out. The Eagles recovered at the 20-yardline.
Justin Smith stopped Buckhalter on a 3rd and 2 carry up the middle to force an Akers 28-yard field goal, which secured the Eagles with a touchdown lead with 1:14 remaining.
Following a 25-yard strike to Josh Morgan, JTO was intercepted by Juqua Parker on a quick slant throw to Battle. Parker took it back 55 yards for an Eagles touchdown and a 40-26 lead.
The game came to an end when JTO was sacked by Darren Howard.