Jason Kelce’s blocking dominance helps Eagles build first-half lead over 49ers
The Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers are in the midst of a defensive battle, but one offensive player has tipped the scales in the Eagles direction in the first half.
Philadelphia All-Pro Jason Kelce proved during the team’s second-quarter drive why he’s been widely considered the best center in football for the past several years.
On the first play below, Kelce throws two key blocks to spring Kenneth Gainwell for a 17-yard gain. First, he throws a shoulder into 49ers defensive line Javon Kinlaw, then sprints to the second level to clear out linebacker Dre Greenlaw.
Three plays later, the Eagles utilized Kelce’s athleticism to immediately pull and act as Miles Saunders’ lead blocker for a 13-yard score. He doesn’t lay the prettiest block, but his impressive speed allows him to get in the exact right position and force Greenlaw to take a tricky angle for a failed tackle attempt.
Through the first half alone, the Eagles have three rushing touchdowns against a staunch 49ers defense, and Philly has their five-time All-Pro center to thank for that.