The first quarter was not a good one for either defense, with both teams engineering touchdown drives to leave the game tied at 7. San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree caught a 7-yard pass from Alex Smith to open the scoring, while Philadelphia answered with a strike from Kevin Kolb to Brent Celek.
The 49ers opened the game with a methodical 11 play, 57-yard drive lasting more than 7 minutes and featuring lots of Frank Gore early. The drive was capped by a 7-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Michael Crabtree, putting San Francisco on top 7-0.
As San Francisco approached the red zone, the 49ers exploited mismatches with the Eagles second and third cornerbacks due to the absence of Asante Samuel. Crabtree’s touchdown catch came against Dimitri Patterson, while Joselio Hanson couldn’t stick with him two plays earlier on an 11-yard hookup. Smith was 4-for-4 for 42 yards on the opening drive.
Philadelphia’s offense wasn’t to be outdone though, driving 75 yards on 10 plays in 5:30. Kevin Kolb exected perfectly on the drive, going 6-for-6 for 72 yards and th touchdown. Brent Celek was his favorite target, catching the 8-yard touchdown pass and a 32-yard strike on a play the Birds practiced several times this week.
Kolb rolled to the right and threw back across the grain to a wide open Celek for a 32 yards. A few plays later, after a LeSean McCoy touchdown run was wiped out due to a hold by Todd Herremans, Kolb escaped pressure in the pocket by breaking a tackle, rolled to his right and found Celek at the goal line.
The Eagles defense then came up with a big play, as Moise Fokou forced a fumble by Frank Gore with :16 left in the opening frame. Joselio Hanson recovered. On the following play, Kolb connected with Jeremy Maclin for 13 yards, moving the Eagles to the 49ers 32-yardline at the end of the quarter.
Kolb is 7-of-7 for 85 yards and a touchdown, while Smith is 5-of-5 for 56 yards and a score.
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