49ers' defensive resilience key on goal-line stand vs. Eagles originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 49ers just barely squeaked out a win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2.
It was all Eagles throughout most of the first half, despite just a 3-0 Philadelphia lead. The momentum did not favor the 49ers until an impressive goal-line stand provided a jolt of energy to the defense.
Following a booming 91-yard pass from Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts to wide receiver Quez Watkins, the Eagles were in a prime position to add to their lead. The 49ers' defense responded by forcing a turnover on downs after Philadelphia failed to score from the goal line.
The 49ers defense holds on 4th down🛑
— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) September 19, 2021
The defensive stop flipped the momentum in the game, resulting in a 12-play drive from the 49ers' offense to take the lead before halftime.
"I'm sure there were a lot of moments that mattered, but that one was really big," linebacker Fred Warner said postgame. "We all had the right mindset down there. It doesn't matter if we gave up a big play or not -- we can't let them in the paint. They took their chance and tried to go for it on fourth down and we held up strong."
"When I saw that bomb I was ready to run off the field," defensive end Nick Bosa said. "I thought he was gone, and I think Quiski (safety Jaquiski Tartt) ran him down or somebody got him down. We jogged our way down there and hung tough. Biggest sequence of the game for sure."
If the Eagles were to score on that drive, there's no telling how different this game would have been.
"They were huge," coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game. "I thought they did a good job not giving them too many freebies. It's always a challenge when you've got a running quarterback and you've got their receivers who are threats always on screens and bubbles and stuff... But the resilience of the D was great."
Fortunately for the 49ers, their defense would bend but not break against the Eagles. They're going to need that same level of resiliency against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in Week 3.