HomeTrade Rumors5 Things to Watch in the Eagles vs. 49ers Game, Including Reddick

5 Things to Watch in the Eagles vs. 49ers Game, Including Reddick

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PHILADELPHIA – It’s billed as “the game of the year,” something the Philadelphia Eagles seem to be playing a lot of the past couple of weeks.

There was the visit from the Dallas Cowboys that began this so-called gauntlet portion of the schedule. Turned out, Eagles 28, Cowboys, 23.

Then came a bye and, afterward, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Super Bowl LVII rematch. Eagles 21, Chiefs 17.

The desperate Buffalo Bills followed. Eagles 37, Bills 34 in overtime, in what may have been the most exciting game of the league season and not only put the Eagles at 10-1 and 3-0 in what is supposed to be the toughest six-game stretch of their season, perhaps the toughest six-game stretch any team has faced this year.

Now, the San Francisco 49ers will give Philly their best shot at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Here are five things to watch:

Haason Reddick. The Eagles pass rusher wrecked the 49ers in last year’s title game, with two first-half sacks, one that knocked quarterback Brock Purdy out of the game, the other that knocked backup quarterback Josh Johnson out of the game. The 49ers better have a better game plan for him this time around, and maybe that won’t even be enough for him to close the deal, because right tackle is being handled by … Colton McKivitz?

Haason Reddick pesters Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen in the Philadelphia Eagles Week 12 win, 37-34, in overtime.USA Today

Quick start. Are the Eagles capable of it? A 17-7 halftime deficit like the two they’ve faced the previous two weeks is probably a death knell against a 49ers team that likes to get an early lead and turn its very good pass rush loose.

“We’ve just got to find a rhythm,” said offensive coordinator Brian Johnson. “Initially, it’s just about the first first-down. And I think really, you’ve just got to think really short term of, what can we do to get the first one going, and then we can roll a little bit.

“Obviously, the last two weeks haven’t been great with our first drive. And that’s something that we’ve got to continue to look at, continue to improve upon.”

Talk is cheap, it’s time to figure it out…

Talk is cheap. Haason Reddick said those very words about all the bluster coming out of San Francisco from the moment they lost the NFC title game last January. It’s just about time for the 49ers to put up or the Eagles to shut them up.

Will there be some after-the-whistle stuff going on? Bank on it.

Run defense. There was a time not long ago – like three weeks ago – when the Eagles were ranked No. 1 in stopping the run. They’ve been dented since then. Though the Bills running backs were mostly stuffed, running 31 times for 92 yards (2.6 yards per carry), quarterback Josh Allen did most of the damage with 81 yards on nine runs, including two touchdowns.

The Chiefs’ Isaih Pacheco ran hard for 89 yards as KC put up 168 on the ground.

SF’s Christian McCaffrey will need to be stopped or at least limited – no easy task. He leads the league in rushing and has 11 rushing scores plus five more in the passing game. The 49ers are 8-0 when they run for more than 115 yards and 0-3 when held under that total.

Alex Kemp. Perhaps the name rings a bell. He is the head official for Sunday’s game, and the Eagles haven’t fared well with his working their games. The 49ers have.

Two of Philly’s three regular-season losses last year came with Kemp in charge. Meanwhile, this is Kemp’s sixth time in the 49ers’ last 30 games he has worked and San Fran is 4-1 in those games, with a 3-0 record on the road.

Related: Future & Present is Now for Eagles’ Dawgs Jordan Davis, Jalen Carter

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