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#465 49ers -10 vs.
#466 Washington Redskins 43
Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 1:00pm EDT
FedEx Field, Landover
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#465 San Francisco
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This article covers a past game!

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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’ hype

There’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 Redskins

Colt 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.

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Unless Williams makes a sudden appearance, I can’t imagine the Redskins having any answers for the 49ers’ pass rush. Ford, DeForest Buckner and rookie Nick Bosa have been absolute terrors on defense. They’ll make easy work of the Redskins’ offensive front and force Keenum to run like Forrest Gump in the pocket.

The only reason why the Redskins were able to get some form of offense going against the Dolphins was mostly thanks to Peterson rushing for 118 yards. That isn’t happening for the 34-year-old legend against a nightmarish defensive front only allowing an average of 87.2 rushing yards per game.

So that would essentially put Keenum on an island with no running game, few receiving weapons and a patchwork offensive line for protection. What could possibly go wrong?

The rhetorical answer is everything—everything will go wrong for the Redskins on Sunday. I’m taking the 49ers to remain unbeaten and the points.

Prediction: San Francisco (-9.5)

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The 49ers have only given up one touchdown in their last two games. Even if Keenum is a more competent quarterback than McCoy, there still isn’t enough offense for him to work with to be able to successfully attack the 49ers defense and put up points. On the other side of the ball, Garoppolo and company will pound the running game and eat up most of the time of possession. Give me the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (41)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.