By: Phillip Torres
SANTA CLARA- The San Francisco 49ers (6-4) will host the Washington Redskins (3-7) on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers are seeking their third consecutive victory as they are coming off of two great defenses performances. Last week against the New York Giants, the 49ers defense forced five turnovers, all via the way of interception. San Francisco’s defense held the Giants to just 10 points on the afternoon.
The 49ers have forced eight turnovers in the past two games and despite all of the defensive shuffling that has occurred this season, San Francisco has the second ranked defense in the league. With Aldon Smith’s return last week, and rookie linebacker Chris Borland’s emergence, the 49ers defense has not skipped a beat. Although he did not record a sack in his Week 10 return, Smith made his presence felt on the field at MetLife Stadium against Eli Manning and the Giants. The pressure he put on the quarterback was known and he cleared the way for the rookie pass rusher Aaron Lynch to get to Manning.
Borland was named the NFC’s defensive player of the week after another sensation performance against New York. Borland recorded 13 tackles and became just the second 49ers linebacker in 40 years with two interceptions in one game. The rookie has 47 tackles in the month of November; 11 more than anyone else in the league.
Despite All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis being lost for the season, it looks like the 49ers defense will be getting healthier very soon. Nose tackle Glenn Dorsey was activated earlier this week after a torn biceps on August first. Also, fellow All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman returned to practice nearly 10 months after suffering a devastating injury knee injury and broken leg in the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks in January.
This is a big game for Jim Harbaugh and San Francisco as they look to improve to 7-4 before they host Seattle on Thanksgiving night. After Sunday the Giants will face rival Seattle twice within in a span of 18 days. San Francisco and Seattle know how big the match ups are between them because with the 9-1 Arizona Cardinals sitting atop the NFC West, there might not be room for the two division foes in the 2014 playoffs. There are also four teams in the NFC East and North sitting at 7-3 coming into week 11.
Robert Griffin III and the Redskins are coming off of a 27-7 loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Washington has averaged just 13 points per game when RG3 has been under center. The Redskins have put up nearly 11 more points in the games where Griffin has either not started or finished.