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Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Keys to victory: 49ers 27, Redskins 6

By Mark Simon

What were the keys to the San Francisco 49ers’ 27-6 victory over the Washington Redskins on Monday night?

Kaepernick’s nifty touch
Colin Kaepernick and company saw something in the Redskins defense that the 49ers felt he could exploit. Kaepernick went 6-for-9 for 158 yards and a touchdown on passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield. That included three completions in three attempts (with one touchdown) to Anquan Boldin.

This marked the second time in Kaepernick’s career that he had three touchdown passes and no interceptions. The other was in Week 1 of this season against the Green Bay Packers.

Redskins offense unimpressive
Entering Monday, Robert Griffin III had played 67 games at the college and professional levels and his team had scored an offensive touchdown in every one.

That came to an end against a 49ers defense that wasn’t fooled by anything.

Griffin was 1-for-6 for 1 yard on play-action. Redskins receivers had only 43 yards after the catch, by far their lowest total of the season. Washington gained only 100 yards rushing, its second-lowest total this season.

The Redskins' hopes of a comeback went unfulfilled. They gained 30 yards on offense in the second half, the fewest yards gained by any team in the second half of a game this season.

Unsung hero: LaMichael James
49ers punt returner LaMichael James had two returns of note in this game, the first an 11-yarder off a 51-yard punt from Sav Rocca that gave the 49ers field position on their own 38 to begin the drive that led to their first score.

James then had a 40-yard punt return in the third quarter with the 49ers up 17-6, leading to another score that put the game away.

It was the longest regular-season punt return for the 49ers since Week 14 of the 2011 season (a 52-yarder against the Cardinals).

The 49ers entered the day ranked 27th in the league in average yardage per punt return (7.0). But James is doing his part to better that, averaging 13.0 yards on 10 returns.

Did you know?
The 49ers improved their record to 7-1 in games played in the Eastern Time Zone in the past three seasons.