Monday, November 25, 2013
Rapid Reaction: San Francisco 49ers
By Bill Williamson
LANDOVER, MD. -- A few thoughts from the San Francisco 49ers' 27-6 victory over the Washington Redskins on Monday night.
What it means: The 49ers’ short funk is over. San Francisco saw a five-game winning streak end with back-to-back losses to Carolina and New Orleans -- by a combined total of four points. The defeats dropped the 49ers to 6-4 and made their playoff chances murky. Monday night's victory puts them at 7-4 and on pace to be the sixth and final NFC playoff team. However, NFC West rival Arizona also has a 7-4 record. It could setup a major showdown in Arizona in Week 17.
Stock watch: 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the passing offense got rolling again after struggling in the past two weeks. Kaepernick had downfield success and threw touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin (two) and Vernon Davis. Receiver Mario Manningham gave San Francisco another option, with four catches for 45 yards.
Defense stifles Griffin: The 49ers defense has been playing at a high level all season and played well enough to win against the Panthers and the Saints. That didn’t change Monday night: The 49ers dominated the Redskins. Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III was harassed all game and was unable to do much against a defense that was led by Ahmad Brooks, NaVorro Bowman, Justin Smith and Aldon Smith. Aldon Smith had his first two sacks since coming back from treatment for substance abuse. He was dominant in this game.
Points off turnovers: The 49ers cashed in with a field goal after an interception and have now scored on 19 consecutive drives after getting a turnover. They have an NFL-high 101 points off of turnovers.
East Coast success continues: The 49ers are now 7-1 on the East Coast since 2011. That does not include a win at London earlier this season. No other West Coast-based team has had as much success on the East Coast during that stretch.
What’s next: The 49ers host St. Louis on Sunday -- a rematch of Week 4, when the 49ers beat the host Rams 35-11. The Rams and 49ers tied in San Francisco last year. The Rams have been playing improved football in recent weeks behind backup quarterback Kellen Clemens.