When and where: October 20, 2019, FedEx Field, Landover, MD, 1:00 PM ET
The San Francisco 49ers put their unbeaten streak on the line in Sunday’s NFC showdown with the slumping Washington Redskins. It’s time to put an end to the skepticism and give the 49ers the respect they deserve after crushing the Los Angeles Rams. The offense is leaning heavily on its rushing attack, while the defense is shutting everything down in sight.
It’s basically the antithesis of everything the Redskins have done this season.
They finally earned their first victory of the year in Week 6 against the winless Miami Dolphins. Even against a bad opponent, they still had to fight tooth-and-nail to escape with a 17-16 victory. Now, they’ll turn their attention to arguably the best team right now in the NFC.
Believe the 49ers’ hypeThere’s a reason why the Atlanta Falcons are suddenly struggling and the San Francisco 49ers have gone from being the perennial punchline of the NFC to a legitimate contender.
Two words: Kyle Shanahan.
After a rocky start to his tenure as an NFL head coach, Shanahan seems to have finally found a landing strip with this year’s 49ers team. The offense is playing with the efficiency you’d expect from an offensive-minded guru, and the defense has been lights out since the start of the season. They are the third-best team in the league in sack percentage behind the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers and the second-best in total defense.
That’ll be a big problem for the Redskins, who have continuously played musical chairs at the quarterback position. The Case Keenum-led offense could barely move the ball against the winless Miami Dolphins last week. He is sure to have problems against a 49ers defense allowing only 262.6 total yards per game.
The Redskins have also struggled against the run all season, which is the worst weakness to have going into a game against the second-best rushing team in the league. Running back Raheem Mostert is officially listed as questionable with a knee injury, but the 49ers will still deploy a steady dose of Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman to keep the Redskins’ defense honest.
Something else to monitor is the injury situation surrounding tight end George Kittle, who didn’t appear in the open portion of Wednesday’s practice. He is currently listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury. Dee Ford also popped up on the injury report, but he’s participating in practice in a limited fashion.
Update: (10/18): Wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) and defensive tackle D.J. Jones (hamstring) have been ruled out for this game They join left tackle Mike McGlinchey (knee), fullback Kyle Juszczyk (knee) and cornerback Akhello Witherspoon (foot) are also out due to injuries sustained previousl.
Back to Keenum for the RedskinsColt McCoy was probably one of the few players actually sad to see Jay Gruden leave the building. Perhaps he’d still be the starting quarterback if the former Redskins head coach was never relieved of his duties.
The team is officially handing the reins back to Case Keenum, while listing rookie Dwayne Haskins as the backup. It didn’t exactly change things on the field as the Redskins were nearly beaten and embarrassed on the road by a Dolphins team that’s worse than them.
The team also hasn’t made amends with Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams, which means Keenum will be getting body-slammed to the dirt by the 49ers’ pass rushers on Sunday.
Even the mere opportunity for success will depend on the Redskins’ offensive line playing out of their minds to stave off the 49ers’ ferocious defensive front. They have to get running back Adrian Peterson going and actually give Keenum time to make throws.
The Redskins defense can focus solely on keeping Garoppolo in the pocket and slowing down the run game. Make no mistake, the 49ers aren’t a team blessed with a lot of offensive talent, and they’ve basically managed to get by on Shanahan’s genius scheming on that side of the ball. A disciplined effort with a couple turnovers would go a long way for the Redskins.
Peterson was given Wednesday off, but he is expected to suit up on Sunday. However, the team could potentially be without cornerback Josh Norman, who missed Wednesday’s practice with a hand and thigh injury.
- 49ers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 250 total yards in their previous game.
- 49ers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games against a team with a losing home record.
- 49ers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Redskins are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games against teams in the NFC.
- Redskins are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after an ATS loss.
- Redskins are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Redskins are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.