49ers vs. Redskins: Score, Grades and Analysis

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49ers vs. Redskins: Score, Grades and Analysis
USA Today

The San Francisco 49ers dominated the Washington Redskins in every facet of the game on Monday night, rolling to a 27-6 road win at FedEx Field. 

Colin Kaepernick completed 15-of-24 passes for 235 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions, while the 'Niners defense held Washington to just 190 total yards en route to the comprehensive victory. 

Jim Harbaugh's squad is now 7-4 and once again even with the Arizona Cardinals for second in the NFC West. The Redskins fall to 3-8—and well, the outlook isn't pretty:

The Redskins actually out-gained San Francisco in the first half, but thanks to two red-zone opportunities that only resulted in field goals, they entered the locker room trailing, 10-6.

Kaepernick connected with Anquan Boldin in the corner of the end-zone for a 19-yard score with 2:54 remaining in the first quarter for the first points of the game. After Phil Dawson added a field goal on the next San Francisco drive, Washington seemed to finally figure things out mid-way through the second quarter.

GIF courtesy of Bleacher Report

But a 13-play, 63-yard drive and 11-play, 62-yard drive both ended with Kai Forbath kicking the ball through the uprights. The second of those drives was diffused after RGIII fumbled the ball after a crushing hit from Justin Smith, forcing ESPN radio's Chris Russell to note this alarming trend:

Washington got another prime opportunity to put points on the board when Vernon Davis fumbled right around midfield to start the second half, but the Redskins followed that up with a four-and-out.

Things would only get worse—for the 'Skins, at least—after that. 

Kaepernick led two touchdown drives before the third quarter would come to an end, finding Boldin for one score and Davis for the other. As CSNBayArea.com's Matt Maiocco pointed out, those touchdowns were pretty much par for the season:

A fourth-quarter field goal pushed the lead to 27-6 for San Francisco, while Washington was unable to do anything to even resemble a comeback. 

 

Player Grades

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers: A

It's been a roller-coaster season for Kaepernick, but his performance on Monday night undoubtedly served as a peak. 

The total yardage may not have resembled the 2012 Postseason Kaepernick or Week 1-Against-The-Packers Kaepernick, but it's hard to find much of anything wrong with 9.8 yards per attempt and a 134.5 passer rating. 

Two things in particular stood out. First, he was crisp and accurate when throwing downfield, something that hasn't been there the past two weeks, per the San Francisco Chronicle's Eric Branch:

Second, the third-year QB has been criticized this season for locking onto his first read too often. But on his second touchdown throw, he created extra time with his legs and worked through his progressions:

GIF courtesy of Bleacher Report

Throw in zero turnovers, and it would have been difficult for Kap to have a better night.

 

Robert Griffin III, Redskins: C-

Rob Carr/Getty Images

On the flip side of the things, there wasn't much of anything that went well for RGIII, who finished with a passer rating of 58.7 and completed just four completions of 10 yards or more. 

Now, Washington's dismal effort shouldn't be tossed entirely on Griffin's shoulders. He faced pressure all night, his receivers couldn't get open and the run game wasn't working very well against San Francisco's stout front seven. 

Nevertheless, Griffin looked extremely uncomfortable in the pocket and couldn't make anything happen with his legs, making him look painfully mediocre. 

 

Mr. and Mr. Smith, 49ers: A

Rob Carr/Getty Images

This is probably what most envisioned out of Aldon and Justin way back in September.

Aldon tallied two sacks, four quarterback hits and is probably going to be in Redskins tackle Trent Williams' nightmares for a good while. Justin had six combined tackles, a QB hit and a forced fumble. Both had to pay rent because they were in the backfield so often. 

The entire 'Niner defense had a terrific night, making a potentially dangerous Redskins offense look like it was a college team, but it started with the pressure Smith, Smith and Ahmad Brooks were able to generate. 

 

What's Next

The 49ers head home for key NFC West battles against the St. Louis Rams and then the following week against the division-leading Seattle Seahawks. 

Washington does the same, as they host the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football

 

 

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