Game snapshot: 49ers vs. Eagles
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 Eastern SURFACE: Grass TV: FOX, Dick Stockton, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa SERIES: 26th meeting. The 49ers lead series 17-7-1, including victories in four of the last five games dating back to 1996. 2005 NFL RANKINGS: 49ers: offense 29th (30th rush, 24th pass); defense 29th (12th rush, 30th pass). Eagles: offense 23rd (27th rush, 10th pass); defense 16th (31st rush, 2nd pass) KEYS TO THE GAME: The 49ers can't match the Eagles' talent. Then again, they couldn't match St. Louis', either. But new offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy has proven he will use trick plays to keep the Eagles guessing. Regardless of that, San Francisco has to get its running game going early to have a shot. Philly QB Donovan McNabb vowed he will fight through a bruised chest to play. Whether it's McNabb, Koy Detmer or Mike McMahon under center, the Eagles would be wise to run the ball more. San Francisco allowed 405 yards to St. Louis, but it did sack Rams QB Marc Bulger seven times. The 49ers defense is undermanned, but if it can limit the big plays by RB Brian Westbrook and WR Terrell Owens, San Francisco might make it a game. FAST FACTS: 49ers: Will travel 33,810 air miles this season, second-most in the NFL. ... Seek first 2-0 start since 1998. Eagles: Have a 96-31 pass-to-run ratio over their past two games. ... Are 16-3 (.842) following a loss since 2000. PERSONNEL NEWS 49ERS --- LT Jonas Jennings did not practice Thursday due to a sore left knee, but he is expected to play Sunday. Jennings is listed as probable on the injury report. --- TE Eric Johnson still has not practiced since Aug. 9 and will not play Sunday. Johnson is hobbled with a case of plantar fasciitis on his right foot. --- QB Tim Rattay is the second-ranked passer in the league after one game. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns for a 141.9 rating. Dallas' Drew Bledsoe has a 143.4 rating after one game. --- LB Julian Peterson appears to have made a complete recovery from a torn Achilles' tendon that forced him to miss the final 10 games of the season. Peterson recorded eight tackles and 2.5 sacks in the season opener. --- RB Kevan Barlow said he fully expects the run game will turn into one of the team's strengths once the all the components have had more time to work together. In the opener, Barlow gained just 22 yards on 14 carries. One of the reasons he is optimistic is because of the coaching staff's determination to stick with the run game even when it is not clicking early in a game. --- LG Justin Smiley left practice early Thursday after banging his left hand. He later had the hand, which was broken in three places, wrapped. He is not listed on the injury report and is expected to play in Sunday's game. EAGLES --- QB Donovan McNabb practiced Thursday and Friday and said he expects to play against the 49ers. He's nursing a bruised chest that kept him out of practice Wednesday. --- FS Brian Dawkins practiced again Thursday and doesn't seem to be having much difficulty running on his sprained ankle. He expects to play against the 49ers. --- RB Ryan Moats, the Eagles' third-round draft pick, wasn't activated for Monday night's game against the Falcons because he still hasn't learned the offense well enough to suit coach Andy Reid. He likely won't be activated this week, either. --- RB Lamar Gordon, who had just one carry against the Falcons Monday night, is expected to get a heavier workload this week against San Francisco as the Eagles strive for a better run-pass balance. --- DT Mike Patterson played exceptionally well in his pro debut last week and likely will see his snaps increase this week. INSIDE THE CAMPS 49ERS The 49ers secondary will be a busy bunch Sunday as they face the Eagles, who feature one of the game's best receivers. Terrell Owens, the former 49ers standout who left the organization on bad terms, will surely be motivated to face his former team. And he poses a lot of challenges for the 49ers' defensive backs. Owens had seven receptions for 112 yards in the Eagles' 14-10 loss to the Falcons last week. Quarterback Donovan McNabb, who is questionable for Sunday's game with a chest bruise, threw 18 passes toward Owens, whose combination of size and speed makes him difficult to defend. Owens spent the first eight years of his career with the 49ers. When his agent allegedly missed a deadline for him to file for free agency, the 49ers eventually traded him to the Eagles for defensive lineman Brandon Whiting and a sixth-round draft pick. EAGLES McNabb is expected to start Sunday's game, whether he needs to take a pain-blocking injection or not. McNabb suffered a bruised chest in Monday night's 14-10 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome. Tests showed no structural damage to his sternum, but he was in a lot of pain Tuesday and Wednesday and was kept out of practice on Wednesday. He was listed as questionable on the Eagles' Wednesday injury report, and his status remains that way entering the game. "If you ask me, there's no doubt about it. I'll be out there (Sunday)," McNabb said. "Physically, it feels OK. But it's still sore." McNabb suffered the injury early in the game Monday night when the Falcons' Chad Lavalais hit him in the chest with his helmet. McNabb stayed in the game, but didn't move around much. He'll be going up Sunday against a 49ers defense that notched seven sacks in a win over the St. Louis Rams last week.
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