Back On Track- Colin Kaepernick completed 15 of 24 passes for 235 yards and threw for three touchdown passes as the San Francisco 49ers routed the Washington Redskins 27-6 on the NFL’s Week 12 edition of Monday Night Football. Anquan Bolden was the recipient of two of Kapernick’s touchdown passes while Vernon Davis caught one in his return to his hometown. Meanwhile the 49ers defense also had a big night as they frustrated Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III for the majority of the evening. Griffin experienced a very tough night despite completing 17 of 27 passes but only for 127 total yards. The 49ers defense was all over the Redskins on almost every play forcing Washington to rely on a vertical passing game which simply didn’t work. The 49ers did have their struggles early in the game as their first three series produced two six and outs and one three and out. On the 49ers fourth series of the game their offense finally got rolling. The Redskins did their best to stay with the 49ers and did so for much of the first half. However Washington simply had no answers in the second half after missing out on a golden opportunity early in the third quarter follwoing a 49ers turnover at midfield. With the win the 49ers snapped a two game losing streak where they dropped two games by a total of four points. The Redskins meanwhile fall to 3-8 which leaves them dead last in the NFC East and soon looking towards 2014.
49ers Passing Game Key- The 49ers passing game which entered this contest near the bottom of the league statistically was able to move the ball efficiently against a Redskins defense that was hoping to box in Kaepernick for most of the evening. The 49ers did have their struggles running the football as Frank Gore was held to only 31 yards on 13 rushes while Kendal Hunter only picked up 12 yards on eight rushes. Kaepernick himself only managed 20 yards on nine rushes. However Kaepernick was able to make the most of the passing game and took advantage of the Redskins weak secondary and the many plays they allowed him to make. On the first touchdown drive in the opening quarter Kapernick found Mario Manningham for a key 11-yard pass play on third down and eight from their own 40 yard line. Three plays later on a subsequent third down play Kaepernick found Bolden for 19 yards setting up a key first down at the Redskins 19 yard line. On the very next play Kaepernick found Bolden again in the right corner of the at goal line to give the 49ers a 7-0 lead. In the third quarter after the defense prevented the Redskins from taking advantage of a Davis fumble at midfield, the 49ers offense began to take charge of the game. On a third down and seven play from their own 43 Kaepernick found Boldin again for a key 32 yard pass play that gave the red and gold great field position at the Redskins 25. Two players later Kaepernick found Davis on the sidelines for a 19 yard play that would set up a first and goal on the Washington six yard line. On the very next play while rolling out to his right, Kaepernick made a difficult against the grain throw to the end zone that was caught by Bolden in between two Redskins’s defenders to increase the 49ers lead to 17-6. Later in the third quarter Kaepernick would conclude a five play 44 yard drive with a short one yard touchdown toss to Davis. Not all of Kaepernick’s passes were perfect. In fact, one pass in the second quarter was almost intercepted by Perry Riley for what could have been a potential Redskins touchdown. However Riley could not hang on to the football. Aside from that Kaepernick and the passing game had a good night. The running game however only would pick up a combined 76 yards on 33 total carries which made the passing attack success for the 49ers critical. The 49ers also put together two drives of a 13 and 11 plays which resulted in two field goals from Phil Dawson.
Defense Tees Off on Redskins- This was another good game for the 49ers defense who outside of two field goal drives by the Redskins shut down the Washington offensive units and pretty much just had their way with them. In the second quarter the Redskins put together two drives of 62 yards each before settling for two Kai Forbath field goals, the second of which almost never happened as the 49ers defense almost recovered an RGIII fumble. Throughout the first quarter and for most of the entire second half the 49ers defense had RGIII running for his life as he constantly was either getting flushed out of the pocket or having to change a play on the fly. Patrick Willis had a big night with seven tackles while assisting on four others. NaVorro Bowman, also a native of the Washington DC area had four tackles while assisting on four others. Ahman Brooks said "flag this" with six tackles and two sacks of RGIII. Aldon Smith also sacked RGIII twice. Justin Smith and Tramaine Brock had four tackles apiece while eight other 49er defenders had at either two or three tackles each for the game. Donte Whitner had an interception of RGIII in the first quarter. Overall it was a solid game by the 49ers defense and just a relief knowing that when it was all said and done the second two game skid of the season was over. The 49ers also with the win retook the number six and final spot in the NFC playoff chase back from division rival Arizona.
Next 49ers Game- The 49ers return home to Candlestick Park Sunday in what will be the first game of a five game December stretch to close out the regular season. First up for the 49ers is the annual visit from the St Louis Rams. This is not a game the 49ers can afford to take lightly or look past as the Rams have played some fairly decent football since the last time the two teams met on Week 4 at St Louis. The Rams don’t have Sam Bradford who is out for the season due to a leg injury suffered in a loss at Carolina a few weeks ago. Kellen Clemens may not be the next Kurt Warner however he has filled in quite well. Also the Rams defense is a much improved unit and the 49ers will need to bring the A-Game with them Sunday as they will certainly need to expect all they can handle against their long time division rival. Kickoff is at 1:05pm PT and will be carried by FOX.
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