Halftime analysis: It’s all about Defense as Eagles storm to 17-0 lead

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The Eagles head into halftime with a 17-0 lead over the San Francisco 49ers. In a scrappy affair hampered by wavering weather, the Niners have thrown everything they have at Philadelphia, but with little success so far. Here are some quick hitters heading into halftime.

 

Secondary is shining
Just moments ago, Jalen Mills scored his first pick six, darting back inbounds and finding space over the middle to put the Eagles up by another touchdown.

Malcolm Jenkins leads the team in tackles and has already made some crucial plays, stacking up a huge tackle on Carlos Hyde and playing impeccable coverage on an early third down against the running back.

Rodney McLeod hauled in his first pick of the year, while Jaylen Watkins continues his development with some strong tackles. The corners have been holding their own so far and the McLeod INT was all set up by Patrick Robinson. For a secondary still missing Ronald Darby, they’re performing admirably.

 

Offensive line is struggling:
Wentz has been sacked 3 times so far and the run game has been nearly invisible. While the QB has stood tough in the pocket and helped send the Eagles offense into some late-half points, both Big V and Lane Johnson have endured rollercoaster games so far.

 

Mack attack
One game after receiving his first NFL touchdown, Mack Hollins is actually leading the team in receiving with 30 yards to his name after a huge 24-yard catch. The Eagles love spreading the ball around, and the UNC product continues to show his value as a downfield threat for Wentz and company.

 

As running game disappears, Wentz catches fire
The rushing attack as been inconsistent so far, but the offense remains balanced. Wentz is 12/16 for 110 yards and a touchdown as the team head into the half, somewhat lifting the pressure from a struggling backfield. The Eagles quarterback has shown tremendous pocket presence and a mature poise as he plucks away at the Niners secondary. Seven different players have caught a pass from Wentz in the first half…which is exactly what the Doctor ordered.

 

Defensive line feasts early on
Derek Barnett’s progression has spiked in recent weeks and the Tennessee product is now seeing more and more time on the field. Supported by an explosive Brandon Graham and ruthless Fletcher Cox who both have a sack to their name, the Eagles pass rush has done everything possible to make life difficult for a rookie QB on C.J Beathard, holding him to 63 yards, 2 INT and the backfield to a total of 58 rushing yards. Thick with depth, this Eagles front four is as ferocious as ever.

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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