photo from sfgate.com: San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Mike Person walks on the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against Washington at Landover MD
By: Joe Lami
The 49ers continue to prove that they win no matter the circumstance, improving their undefeated record to 6-0. Sunday was the most extreme example of the yet as San Francisco brawled out a muddy 9-0 victory in the rain-drenched nation’s capital. The shutout marks the first under the Kyle Shanahan era and brings the 49ers to 6-0 for the third time in their history and the first since 1990.
The defense continues to be the backbone of this team. Washington totaled 156 yards with the Niners completely shut them down in the second half, allowing just 36 yards. Washington also struggled to do much on third down, going three of nine to extend drives.
Adrian Peterson was a workhorse for Washington, picking up 81 yards on 20 carries, including 49 yards on eight carries in the opening drive. Washington was able to copy LA’s opening drive by marching right down the field on the Niners, but the defense was able to make a stand. Dustin Hopkins was no good from 39 yards.
Nick Bosa led the team with seven combined tackles. He also finished off the game to his fourth sack of the season to a slip and slide styled celebration. The defense got to Case Keenum three times with Dee Ford and Arik Armstead joining the fun.
Kwon Alexander made the play of the day, punching out the ball in the middle of a promising Washington drive for the only forced turnover the Niners had.
The offense also improved as the game went on, as Kyle Shanahan started to get more aggressive. 215 of their 283 yards came in the second half. More importantly, the Niners were able to stay on the field, converting 7-of-16 third downs and totaling 17 first downs.
Jimmy Garoppolo was responsible for nine of them, and in a sloppy game, that’s all it takes sometimes. He threw for 151 yards on 12 of 21 passing, but more importantly, he scrambled for 20 yards in crucial situations.
Robbie Gould was three of four, missing his first attempt of the game. The miss marked the seventh of the early season and immediately brought concern about how serious of an issue it’s becoming. Fortunately, he was able to settle into the game, knocking in three-straight.
The Niners’ next test will be next week at home against the 4-2 Carolina Panthers who will have the extra week to prepare coming off their bye.