Matt Cavanaugh, starting for injured Joe Montana, completed 20 of 32 passes for 255 yards and one touchdown today to lead the San Francisco 49ers to a 24-13 NFL win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 49ers relied on a mixture of short passes and running plays. Cavanaugh said the strategy was used to take advantage of the Philadelphia defense.
"I knew they were going to drop a lot of guys back and not rush many," he said. "It was just a matter then of sitting back and picking out the right receivers."
San Francisco (5-4) moved ahead by 21-3 with the opening possession of the second half when Wendell Tyler raced three yards for his second touchdown.
The Eagles bounced back when Ron Jaworski hit Mike Quick with an 82-yard scoring pass to make the score 21-10.
San Francisco's Roger Craig fumbled, and Herman Edwards recovered for Philadelphia at the 49ers' 25. The Eagles lost yardage on the drive and were forced to settle for a 44-yard Paul McFadden field goal to make it 21-13.
The 49ers grabbed the momentum back on their next possession. On third and 11 at San Francisco's 19, Cavanaugh connected with rookie Jerry Rice for a 41-yard gain. With a third and seven from the Eagles' 37, Cavanaugh found tight end Earl Cooper with a 20-yard strike down to the 17. However, a sack forced the 49ers to settle for a 36-yard Ray Wersching field goal.
The Eagles, who had their three-game winning streak ended and fell to 4-5, threatened in the fourth quarter, but Jaworski was intercepted at the two-yard line by Carlton Williamson with 3:59 left.
The performance was an encore for Cavanaugh, who filled in for an injured Montana last season and led the 49ers to a 21-9 victory, also against the Eagles.
Cavanaugh, however, refuses to think of himself as an "Eagle killer."
"I can't really say that," Cavanaugh said. "If I said I did, I probably would face them next year and get my butt kicked. It was just good getting out there."