Brock Purdy

How 49ers' offense rallied past Eagles after sluggish first quarter

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PHILADELPHIA  — It was almost as if someone forgot to tell the 49ers' offense that Sunday's game at Lincoln Financial Field had started. However, after a sluggish first quarter, the unit locked in and raced past the Philadelphia Eagles 42-19.

After the first 15 minutes of the game had passed, Brock Purdy and San Francisco's offense had run just six plays for negative-6 yards. The defense had allowed Jalen Hurts and the Eagles' offense 120 yards on 22 plays but forced two field goals, which was an enormous boost to the 49ers.

"Huge, oh my gosh," tight end George Kittle said after the game. "If they go down there and score both times and it's 14-0, super tough. But our defense did a great job down there holding them to six points."

No words were said on the 49ers' sideline after their first two drives stalled out. No one flinched. Christian McCaffrey, who didn’t even have a carry in the first quarter, credited the defense for giving the offense a chance to rev up.

After the back-to-back three-and-outs, the 49ers' offense came alive on an 11-play, 85-yard drive that took 7:01 and culminated in Brandon Aiyuk's 2-yard touchdown catch for a 7-6 San Francisco lead midway through the second quarter.

"That was huge," McCaffrey said. "We were slow getting going. We didn't start the way we wanted to, and for that third drive, for us to score and and have the lead because of their two stops was huge.

"We just stuck to the script," added McCaffrey, who finished with 133 total yards (93 rushing, 40 receiving) and a touchdown that extended San Francisco's lead to 14-6 just before halftime. "It's nice that we have a lot of veterans on our team because you have guys who have played in a lot of games. They know that the game is not won in two drives, and it's not lost in two drives."

Games might not be lost in two drives, but the 49ers showed they certainly can be won in six. From their third drive on, San Francisco's offense didn't take anything less than a touchdown for an answer.

The 49ers, who finished with 456 yards in offense, scored six TDs on six consecutive possessions, their most in a single game since they also scored six in a row in a 56-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 18, 1992. It also was the most by any NFL team since the Baltimore Ravens scored six consecutive TDs in a Nov. 25, 2019, game against the Los Angeles Rams, per the Elias Sports Bureau.

Orchestrating it all was Purdy, who completed 19 of 27 passes for 314 yards, four TDs and a 148.8 rating with no interceptions.  

"Defense was doing their thing," Purdy said. "For them to come out and get those stops, hold them to field goals. It was up to us on offense like, 'Man, let's get their back. Let's get things rolling and get some points on the board, or a touchdown.' And that's what we did. It was complimentary football when we needed it."

The 49ers, now 9-3 and only one game behind the Eagles (10-2) for the NFC playoff seeding lead, hope they can carry that momentum from Philadelphia back to the Bay Area, as they'll welcome the West rival Seattle Seahawks (6-6) to Levi's Stadium on Sunday.

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