The San Francisco 49ers travel to our nation's capitol to face the Washington Redskins. The 49ers, under head coach Jim Harbaugh, are one of the biggest surprises in the league thus far. They have fashioned a 6-1 record and a commanding four-game lead in the NFC West.
The Redskins started the season with a bang, winning their first three games. However, they have now lost their last four and were shut out against the Buffalo Bills. At 3-4 in the tough NFC East, the Redskins desperately need a win.
The Redskins have a solid defense, but they have struggled offensively. Quarterback John Beck was sacked nine times last week against the Bills and their rushing attack has been invisible.
Against a very tough 49er defense, ranked No. 1 in the NFL, do not expect the Redskins' offense to have a lot of success. The 49ers have not allowed a rushing touchdown all year and have a string of 29 consecutive games where they have not allowed a 100-yard rusher.
The 49ers' offense could also be under duress today, as the Washington defense is their strong suit. 49ers' quarterback Alex Smith has done a good job managing the game and not committing costly turnovers. He will have to do much of the same today.
Frank Gore has found his rhythm and has rushed for over 125 yards in each of the last four games. The 49ers' offensive line has come together and is doing a decent job giving Gore some running lanes.
The Redskins should come out fired up and looking to make amends for last week's poor performance. Playing at home also gives them an edge.
I expect this to be a tough, physical, low-scoring game.
We are one hour away from the kickoff. Stay with the blog throughout the game for live reaction and analysis.