49ers vs. Redskins: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Washington

Shae Cronin@@BetBigDCCorrespondent INovember 25, 2013

Oct 20, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall (23) celebrates on the field after the Redskins against the Chicago Bears at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 44-41. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins did a good job of giving fans hope early on in the game on Monday night, but in the end, the San Francisco defense was dominant, and the 49ers were too much for Washington to handle. 


Redskins: 6

49ers: 27

Washington Redskins Grades
Position Unit1st HalfFinal
Passing OffenseDD
Rushing OffenseB+C+
Rushing DefenseA-A
Passing DefenseC+D
Special TeamsBC
vs. 49ers Week 12

Second-Half Analysis for Washington 

Pass Offense: An inaccurate Robert Griffin III struggled all night, not only with ball placement, but also with decision-making under pressure, confidence in the pocket and anticipation on this throws.

Griffin finished the game with 112 yards on 14-of-24 passing and an interception.

Not giving Griffin the least bit of help was the Washington offensive line, as right tackle Tyler Polumbus was destroyed all night, while Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams struggled to maintain his own assignments.

Without ample blocking up front, compounded with Griffin’s mental recovery from his offseason knee surgery, this Redskins passing offense was (and remains) terrible.

Run Offense: Despite just 52 yards on the night, Alfred Morris had a nice game considering how little the offensive line gave him. He ran hard as usual, but also demonstrated great patience and proved why his field vision is such an invaluable commodity for this offense.

Run Defense: Arguably the brightest spot of the Redskins’ otherwise dull, dark and eventless evening was the defense’s ability to contain Frank Gore and force Colin Kaepernick to beat Washington with his arm.

The Redskins have done a good job against top-tier backs this season, but oftentimes said backs still find paydirt. For Gore, that wasn’t the case tonight—just 31 yards on 13 carries.

Pass Defense: Most will look at Kaepernick’s 235 yards through the air and think the Redskins pass defense wasn’t terrible.

Those people would be wrong.

Although it seemed like every one of Kaepernick’s 15 completions on Monday night came against Josh Wilson in coverage, the Redskins pass defense as a whole—outside of DeAngelo Hall—was poor. The man coverage was beat all night and the pass rush wasn’t enough of a disruption.

Special Teams: While Santana Moss on punt returns was exponentially better than anyone else we’ve seen all year, Niles Paul as a kick returner might be the next guy to go. Although the tight end stays north and south, he does so almost to a fault.

Sav Rocca booted some nice punts on Monday night, but the punt coverage was nothing more than average.

The special teams unit deserves credit for the hurry-up scramble to end the first half in which the field-goal unit rushed onto the field and converted three points with less than 17 seconds to go and no timeouts.

Coaching: Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be ripped on Tuesday morning, no doubt. Fans won't be able to help themselves from expressing their displeasure regarding play-calling and offensive execution. But Kyle isn’t the only one for responsible for the Redskins' loss on Monday. 

What should dominate discussion, however, for the rest of the week and beyond will be the future of Mike Shanahan as the Redskins' head coach.

Is he coming back? Will he be fired before season’s end? Does he even want to come back?

This Redskins franchise can’t shake the drama, and losing on national television certainly doesn’t help matters.

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 25: Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins is sacked by outside linebacker Aldon Smith #99 of the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter at FedExField on November 25, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo
Rob Carr/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for Washington

Pass Offense: It hasn’t been a pretty start to the game for the Redskins passing offense. Robert Griffin III looks just as inaccurate as we’ve seen him through the first 10 weeks of the season, he’s not stepping into his throws and he’s clearly not seeing the field well (see: interception directly to Donte Whitner).

Notably, Griffin’s offensive line hasn’t helped things. Right tackle Tyler Polumbus has been chewed up and spit out on more than a handful of plays through one half, and Griffin hasn’t had consistent time to make throws.

Had it not been for Aldrick Robinson stopping midroute, we may have seen a decent touchdown pass. But Griffin moved up in the pocket aggressivelyalmost in a sprintand Robinson seemed to think Griffin was taking off, thus breaking his route and resulting in an overthrow.

Run Offense: The usual hat tip to Alfred Morris for his brilliant running through one half. Despite his offensive line not being anywhere near dominant, Morris is using his vision and remaining patient, executing cutbacks and exploding through holes.

If the Redskins want a chance of staying in this game, the bloodline runs through Morris. Not only is he grinding with his own legs, but his effectiveness helps to establish balance in the Redskins offense and it keeps the San Francisco defense on its toes, in turn helping to set up the bootleg.

Run Defense: No complaints about a rushing defense that has held Frank Gore to just 18 yards on six carries.

Although Gore has the quick and consistent feet to keep runs alive and spark through a pile of garbage at the offensive line, the Redskins have done a good job maintaining gaps and finishing their tackles.

Pass Defense: Other than Josh Wilson, the Redskins haven’t looked bad in the back half. But No. 26 was picked on early and often by Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers, ultimately leading to San Fran’s lone touchdown from the quarterback to Anquan Boldin in the end zone.

Despite just two notable names of Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis, the Niners have plenty to pick apart the Redskins coverage, especially considering the way Wilson is playing. They need to keep things tight and pick up the pass rush.

Getting Kaepernick out of the pocket can often lead to the quarterback dropping his eyes, and the Redskins have done a good job staying in front of the dual-threat player.

Special Teams: Santana Moss on punt returns! And that’s all we asked for.

Obviously, that doesn’t solve all of Washington's woes on special teams, but it sure does help.

Also, punter Sav Rocca has strung together some decent punts, and Kai Forbath has notched two nice field goals to give the Redskins their six points through one half.

Coaching: Jim Haslett came with the Brandon Meriweather spy on third down, and Redskins fan should appreciate that. Allowing third-down conversions via quarterback scampers would be frustrating beyond belief.

Kyle Shanahan started the game off with some questionable play-calling, but only due to lack of execution. He established balance as the game progressed. 

Head coach Mike Shanahan looked mad after Robert Griffin III called a timeout with less than a minute left in the second quarter and the Redskins driving. The coach who is often criticized for poor time management probably doesn’t want to give any fuel to those who doubt him. Or something like that.


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