49ers-Eagles Preview

BY foxsports • September 29, 2011

Another injury apparently will not keep Michael Vick from taking the field for a second straight week.

Despite a bruised non-throwing hand, Vick expects to play Sunday when he'll try to help the Philadelphia Eagles avoid a third consecutive loss and continue their recent success over the visiting San Francisco 49ers.

A week after suffering a concussion in Philadelphia's 35-31 loss at Atlanta, Vick injured his right hand in the third quarter of a 29-16 home defeat to the New York Giants last Sunday. Vick was originally diagnosed with a broken hand, but tests later revealed a bruise.

The Eagles star practiced Wednesday and said there is a "100 percent" chance he starts Sunday as he tries to help Philadelphia (1-2) avoid dropping three straight regular season games for the first time since 2007.

"I just want to be there for my teammates and hold myself accountable for my responsibilities and what I have to do as a quarterback,'' Vick said. "So regardless of what I have to go through, I just want to be there.''

Vick has thrown for a modest 605 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions for an 87.7 passer rating. He's rushed for 153 yards on 24 carries and no TDs. However, he's failed to finish each of the last two games and showed his frustration by lashing out at the officials saying he takes too many late hits without the opponent being flagged. Vick apologized for his comments this week.

"I think I was frustrated because I got hit late and I hurt my hand on that play and I couldn't finish the game because of that,'' Vick said. "I don't want any special treatment. If they feel there's a need to make a call, then they'll make it. If not, then I won't say anything about it.''

Vick's injuries and the offense overall have not been the main reason for the Eagles' early struggles.

LeSean McCoy is second in the NFL with 345 rushing yards and leads all running backs with five TDs. He recorded 138 total yards and a touchdown in last season's 27-24 win over San Francisco.

Jeremy Maclin leads the team with 19 receptions for 260 yards and two TDs, but is day-to-day with a hamstring injury.

It's on the defensive side where the Eagles have their greatest concerns.

Despite the addition of top-flight cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, plus veteran defensive linemen Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins, Philadelphia's defense has allowed 64 points over the last two games - the most by the team in a two-game stretch since yielding 69 from Nov. 26-Dec. 4, 2006.

Against New York, the Eagles allowed three touchdowns of 28 yards or more.

"We can't give up big plays," coach Andy Reid said. "I mean, that's a simple fact."

Hoping to remedy that problem, Reid replaced starting linebacker Casey Matthews with fellow rookie Brian Rolle on the weak side this week.

Though the Eagles have averaged 34.8 points while winning five straight over San Francisco, the 49ers (2-1) have allowed 2.9 rushing yards per game this season. San Francisco gave up just 228 total yards in last Sunday's 13-8 win at Cincinnati.

"They're big, strong guys that are agile, and yeah, they're very good against the run," Reid said. "So we'll see, see how it goes."

The difference, however, might be how well San Francisco can improve after averaging an NFL-low 213.7 yards through the first three games. Despite Frank Gore in the backfield, the 49ers rank 29th averaging 69.7 rushing yards.

Gore, held to 148 yards and one TD on 59 carries, could play despite a sprained right ankle.

"I'm not in his body," coach Jim Harbaugh said. "My educated guess, knowing how tough he is, is that he will play."

Though Gore was held to 52 yards on 18 rushes against the Eagles in 2010, he ran for 107 on 16 carries in a 27-13 loss at Philadelphia on Dec. 20, 2009.

San Francisco kicker David Akers returns to Philadelphia after spending the previous 12 years with the Eagles.

"I have to prove things for the 49ers, not (the Eagles),'' said Akers, who is 7 for 7 on field goals with his new team.

San Francisco last beat the Eagles, 31-28 at Philadelphia on Dec. 21, 2003.



share story