Kevin Kolb's play tonight will be a big storyline, for better or worse.
5. Reid’s Decisions – Andy Reid needs to avoid overthinking anything in this game and he can’t afford any costly mistakes like the delay of game on 4th and goal from the 1-yardline in a game that comes close to a must-win in Week 5.
4. Win Turnover Battle – Alex Smith has thrown just 3 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Against an 0-4 San Francisco team, Philadelphia needs to take care of the ball on the road and capitalize when Smith and the 49ers make mistakes.
3. Stop Gore, Make Smith Beat You – Frank Gore is a top-notch running back and the Eagles have been vulnerable against the run. Meanwhile, Alex Smith has struggled mightily this year. Philadelphia needs to put eight defenders in the box and force Smith to beat them, because he won’t be able to.
2. Kevin Kolb’s Performance – Kolb needs to take what he’s given without forcing any throws and protect the ball. When the openings are there downfield, Kolb needs to take his shots, but all in all against a struggling 49ers defense, Kolb should have plenty of opportunities to make plays through the air. As long as he doesn’t try to do too much, he should be able to guide the Eagles to a win.
1. McCoy’s Health – Can LeSean McCoy be his usual self despite a fractured rib? That could go a long way to determining the outcome of tonight’s game, as McCoy is coming closer and closer to taking up the role that Brian Westbrook once held as an all-around threat at running back. If McCoy can’t carry the full load, Mike Bell is the sub-key here. The veteran hasn’t produced much this year, but could be counted on tonight. The bottom line is that the Eagles will throw the ball a lot against San Francisco’s defense, but they need some production from running back so that Kolb throws in the neighborhood of 35-40 passes instead of more than 50.