Film room: 49ers lose to Eagles, but get pressure on Wentz

Arik Armstead and Dee Ford (cropped). Photo by All-Pro Reels. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en)

San Francisco’s offense couldn’t reward its defense’s valiant efforts.

The 49ers (2-2) dropped their Sunday night matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles (1-2-1), 25-20, despite a strong performance from defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s unit. San Francisco’s defense pressured Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz all night, producing an interception and multiple sacks, but its injury-plagued offense couldn’t finish it out.

Here’s how the 49ers successfully pressured Wentz in the loss:

Relentless pass rush

On Wentz’s early interception, defensive end Arik Armstead gets close to Wentz on the outside, forcing him into pressure from Kerry Hyder Jr. and Javon Kinlaw.

Wentz’s throw is batted before being picked off by linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, an even better result than a sack.

When defensive linemen go nonstop in their pass rush and stick with the play, as San Francisco’s unit did here, plays like this are bound to happen eventually.

Warner, Jones double RB

Successfully-timed blitzes can lead to optimal matchups and sacks, as evidenced by a specific play Sunday night.

San Francisco linebacker Fred Warner plays contain on the outside, and Miles Sanders is essentially forced into a double-team from Warner and D.J. Jones, who comes on a stunt.

That’s way too much for a running back to handle in protection, and Jones sacks Wentz, producing a highlight moment for the 49ers.

CB blitz leads to another sack

Saleh calls another strong blitz later in the game, leading to another sack on Wentz.

San Francisco nickel cornerback Jamar Taylor comes from the outside, and Dion Jordan runs a stunt to the inside. It’s enough, and they collapse on Wentz at about the same time.

Mixtures of exotic blitzes and stunts are perfect to confuse an offensive line, disrupting pass protection and leading to plays such as this.

Rolling with the rollout

Late in the game, when the 49ers desperately needed a stop, Saleh’s unit got them one.

On a third-and-9, Wentz rolls out, a call likely made to avoid San Francisco’s pressure. The 49ers play it perfectly, though, sliding with the rollout and allowing Armstead and Hyder to trap and sack Wentz.

Saleh called a great game on Sunday against Philadelphia, which may be overshadowed by the 49ers disappointing loss. It does bode well for the rest of the season, though, that San Francisco knows how to dial up pressure and disrupt talented quarterbacks such as Wentz.


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