This Monday night, the San Francisco 49ers returned to their game-winning form conquering the Washington Redskins in a (27-6) victory; putting their consecutive two game losing streak completely behind them. (QB) Colin Kaepernick reclaimed a little piece of his (2012) playoff spark, slashing through the Washington defense with his underrated dual-threat ability. Sadly, the 49ers still remain at the bottom of the league in regards to their aerial production on the field (ranked 32nd ); however, today proved to be an entirely different scenario. Coach Jim Harbaugh sent a statement throughout the league, emphasizing the notion that his team can also be adjusted to handle the passing aspect of the game; it’s a two-dimensional west coast offense. Overall, the Niners’ unremitting defense was able to contain Washington’s elusive receiver (Robert Griffin III), consistently applying that intimidating relentless pressure to the (2011) Heisman trophy recipient. Harbaugh and Co. went into D.C. with the determination to win, and they did just that with resonating authority.
Kaepernick threw three perfectly thrown touchdown passes and completed 15 receptions on 24 attempts, for a reasonable total of 235 passing yards. He also rushed for 20 yards, recorded no interceptions, and met the turf just twice throughout the “competitive” tilt. Evidently, the wide-receiving core came out and gave the young quarterback all the support he needed on the outside. (WR) Anquan Boldin led the assault with 94 yards on 5 receptions. Pro-Bowler and D.C. native (TE) Vernon Davis came in second to the throne, registering 4 catches for a suitable 70 yards. Principally, (WR) Mario Manningham also caught 4 passes for a decent 45 yards (including crucial 3rd down conversions); his offensive production is steadily peaking. Furthermore, the rookie out of Rice University (TE) Vance McDonald also chipped in 20+ yards on 1 reception. The passing game worked like a charm against the Redskins’ woeful defensive secondary. The 49ers’ running foundation was quite stagnant with (RB) Frank Gore only rushing for 31 yards on 13 carries. Translating into the fact that the Redskins’ did an impressive job enforcing their defense against the Niners’ power-run offense. Astonishingly enough, coach Mike Shanahan’s offense failed to realize that the red and gold also possess substantial weapons at wide receiver. Harbaugh and master play-caller (OC) Greg Roman did a tremendous job confusing both the Washington defensive front and secondary with the following tactics: jumbo packages (extra lineman), constantly shifting lineman, no-huddle offense, and time-consuming play-calls.
On the defensive end, everything was clicking on all cylinders for the reigning NFC champions. (ILB) Patrick Willis was the leading tackler of the night, inking 7 tackles and 4 assists. (OLB) Aldon Smith is slowly reshaping into his (2012) sack-leading form, pinning the Subway spokesman (RGIII)-twice. (LB) Ahmad Brooks is finally making some noise out of that talented D-line. He’s an underrated defensive player who deserves every shred of recognition on the field; especially for how he’s been performing lately game in and game out (6 tackles, 1 assist, 2 sacks). (S) Donte Whitner picked off RGIII’s poorly thrown bootleg pass in the last few seconds of the 1st quarter; his 2nd interception of the season. Definitively, the red and gold put a halt to the NFL league’s No.1 rushing attack, and created a migraine for Washington’s college-like passing offense.
(RB) LaMichael James has permanently been given the responsibility to take care of the 49ers’ punting duties, ever since (WR) Kyle Williams was cut off the 53-man roster. His extra playing time didn’t disappoint, returning a punt for 40 yards; setting up Davis’s final touchdown reception in the last remaining minute of the 4th quarter. If James can duplicate this type of production in the next upcoming match-ups, this can pose a problem for opposing defenses (field positioning). Another individual to take note of is (K) Phil Dawson, he has an admirable total of 16 made field goals out of 19 attempts (84.2 percent). The extra insurance points he provides to the scoreboard means a great deal to this 49er organization. As of tonight, there were no notable injuries against the Redskins’ offense/defense.
The 49ers’ now have a record of (7-4) and are still in the running to obtain a spot in the highly anticipated Wild Card round. Obviously, it’ll be between the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints to duke it out for the influential home-field advantage. The Niners’ now head west back to Candlestick Park to face coach Jeff Fisher’s short-tempered St.Louis Rams.
With the possibility of (WR) Michael Crabtree returning back into the wide-receiver lineup this week (if activated off the PUP list); things might get interesting come Sunday night.
There are only 5 left in the remainder of the regular season, here are the remaining opponents: St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, and the Arizona Cardinals .
Can the 49ers’ finish strong?