This is the first part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Eagles matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m., Levi’s Stadium.
49ers NT Ian Williams vs. Eagles C David Molk
Tale of the tape
Williams (93): 6-foot-1, 305 pounds, fourth season, Notre Dame
Molk (63): 6-foot-1, 290 pounds, second season, Michigan
Williams appears to be completely back from the fractured ankle he sustained a year ago in Week 2. The injury ended his season and required four surgeries. After a slow start in the opener against the Dallas Cowboys, Williams has been stout at the point of attack with the 49ers’ run defense performing well against Chicago and Arizona.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Williams is playing at a high level. Philadelphia hopes to get production from Molk, who will make his first NFL start. Molk takes over for Jason Kelce, who is out of action due to a sports hernia. Kelce was a key to the Philadelphia offense due to his athleticism.
“It’s part of what we do,” Kelly said. “David Molk is an athletic center, also. He fits in the same mold as Kelce. We’re always look for some athleticism in there at that position.”
The Williams-Molk matchup is particularly important as the 49ers will look to contain running back LeSean McCoy. After rushing for 1,607 yards last season, McCoy has gotten off to a slow start with a 2.9-yard average through three games. Molk will also be important in the screen game to get out front of running back Darren Sproles.