Bryce Love drafted by the Washington Redskins

Photo credit: gostanford.com

By: Ana Kieu

Bryce Love was selected in the fourth round with the 112th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday by the Washington Redskins. A running back from Wake Forest, N.C., Love is the first Cardinal selected by Washington since Trent Murphy in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

“Bryce Love is special,” Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw said. “He’s not just a speedy outside-the-box guy, but he’s a running back. He averaged 8.1 yards per carry and had 13 50-yard runs in 2017, things that just don’t make any sense. Bryce is fast and explosive, but he also breaks tackles. He led the nation in yards after contact a year ago. He’s a game changer, a field position changer. He scores touchdowns and he’s also a phenomenal human being. He’s going to be a strong asset for the Washington Redskins.”

The 2017 Heisman Trophy runner-up and 2018 team captain, Love was a three-time All-Pac-12 honoree. He won the 2017 Doak Walker Award, Lombardi Award, was a unanimous All-American and the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. He finished his career with 3,866 rushing yards, 30 rushing touchdowns and 16 career 100-yard games. His 6.79 yards per carry average set a new school record.

“The reason Bryce is going to be successful is because he’s a professional, he works hard, he’s competitive and he’s very talented,” Cardinal running backs coach Ron Gould said. “He’s going to make plays where there aren’t a lot of plays to be made. He’s a lot stronger than people think — he had over 1,000 yards after contact his junior year – and he’s the fastest guy in the draft. You can’t count Bryce out because he has an impeccable work ethic, he’s passionate and he wants to be the best to ever play the game. When the lights and cameras aren’t on, Bryce is still going to be working.”

During his record-breaking season in 2017, Love rushed for 2,118 yards, averaged 162.9 yards per game and a school-record 8.05 yards per carry. He had 12 100-yard games, 30 rushes of more than 20 yards, 24 of more than 30 yards, 15 40-yard rushes, an FBS record 13 50-yard rushes and seven 60-yard rushes. He set a new FBS record with 13 consecutive games with a 30-yard rush and 11 straight games with a 50-yard rush.

Love was named honorable mention All-Pac-12 last season when he totaled 166 carries for 739 yards and six touchdowns–playing in and starting 10 games. In 2016, he was also honorable mention All-Pac-12 as he totaled 783 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He finished his career with 32 touchdowns and two two-point conversions for 196 career points.

San Francisco 49ers podcast with Joe Lami: Like Shanahan, Foster’s girlfriend shocked that Washington picked him up

photo from abcnews.com: Girlfriend of former 49ers Reuben Foster, Elissa Ennis giving an interview on ABC News about Foster and his domestic violence charges

On the San Francisco 49ers podcast with Joe:

#1 Joe how shocked were you that former 49er Reuben Foster was picked up by Washington just a few hours after the 49ers released him?

#2 Foster’s girlfriend Elissa Ennis said that she lied on the witness stand regarding the last assault charge by Foster and that he indeed commit domestic violence charges against her.

#3 Like 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan before her, Ennis says that she couldn’t believe Foster got picked up by Washington just a short few hours or in less than a day after he was released by San Francisco. Joe talks about what it was like for the people who knew Foster well that he got picked up so quickly.

#4 Quoting Foster’s girlfriend Ennis on lying on the witness stand, “Love will have you doing things that’s not in your best interests,” she said. ” . . . I did what I had to do for the person I love. I thought that he would change.” How disappointing was it for not only Ennis, but for the 49ers that Foster didn’t change?

#5 It’s a 1:00 pm kick off at Levi’s Stadium as the 49ers (2-10) host the Denver Broncos (6-6). Joe sets this game up.

Joe Lami does the 49ers podcast each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Offensive woes dooms Carr and Raiders in Washington DC

Photo credit: Oakland Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

HYATTSVILLE, MD — Boy, you didn’t see that one coming from a mile away.

Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders were straight out humbled by Washington 27-10 Sunday night at FedEx Field to brought their record to 2-1 on the season.

Carr and the offense were completely out of sync, registering just 128 yards of total offense. The Raiders signal-caller completed just 19-of-31 passes for 118 and threw two interceptions (with a 52.9 passer rating) that led to a 14-0 lead for Washington at halftime.

Last season, Carr didn’t have a game in which he threw two interceptions in the contest. Before tonight’s two-interception clunker, Carr’s last two-interception game was in Week 15 of the 2015 season against the Green Bay Packers.

“Man, we just got our butt kicked,” Carr told reporters after the game, “This isn’t alarming, but we did get punched in the mouth.”

Punched in the mouth is an understatement.

Washington (2-1) took a pair of rusty pliers to Oakland’s mouth and pulled their teeth out. Oakland took care of the football in the first two games this season, but tonight was a different story.

Oakland couldn’t move the ball on third down, finishing 0-for-11 while Washington converted 7-of-15 on third downs. Washington controlled the time of possession, holding on to the football for 38:06 to just Oakland’s 21:54.

Oakland gained just seven first downs the entire night.

The Raiders didn’t record a first down until 11:34 into the second quarter, and that came off a penalty on Washington.

Wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree were virtual no-shows, combining for two catches for 13 yards on eight targets on the night. Crabtree left the game in the fourth quarter after taking a wicked hit to the chest and didn’t return.

Running back Marshawn Lynch racked up 18 of Oakland’s 32 rushing yards and was a non-factor after Oakland had to abandon the run after Washington took a 21-0 lead at the 10:37 mark in the third quarter following a 52-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins to wide receiver Josh Doctson.

Trust me, the offense had a hand in this debacle, but Oakland’s defense got pushed around and were hammered by Washington.

Doctson jumped over Oakland and former Washington cornerback David Amerson up the right sideline that was a gut-punch to a Raiders defense that surrendered 472 yards of total offense.

Cousins ripped Oakland to shreds, completing 25-of-30 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns with a 150.7 passer rating.

Washington running back Chris Thompson was unstoppable, dominating Oakland with six receptions for 150 yards and a 22-yard touchdown catch from Cousins.

Tight end Vernon Davis went back into the time machine, hauling in five catches for 58 yards, which included an 18-yard touchdown catch after gaining a step past cornerback Sean Smith down the middle of the field.

But what makes this loss so gruesome for the Silver and Black was that it occurred in prime-time in front of the entire country.

The over-priced offensive line, and rightfully so, was just out-worked by a speedy and powerful Washington defensive front that gave Oakland problems from the opening kickoff.

Carr, who was sacked just twice coming in two games coming into Week 3, was sacked four times by Washington. On Oakland’s second possession of the game, Carr was sacked on back-to-back drop-backs and the offensive line couldn’t maintain Washington’s speed on defense.

If it weren’t for a fumble by Washington wide receiver Jamison Crowder on a punt that Oakland recovered to set up a 21-yard touchdown pass from Carr to tight end Jared Cook (four receptions for 43 yards) to cut Washington’s lead to 21-7 with 3:52 left in the third quarter, the Raiders could’ve been shut out.

At one point, I’m looking at the stat sheet and the Raiders had just 74 yards of total offense. One of the league’s premier offenses was a shell of itself in the first of their franchise-record five prime-time games this season.

It will be a long flight back to the Bay Area for the Raiders and to a man, everyone on that team plane has to be upset. Everyone from the coaches to the players had a hand in this no-show of a football game.

Oakland has to now turn their attention to Week 4 and prepare for a trip to Denver for a key AFC West game next Sunday.

With both teams looking up at the undefeated Kansas City (3-0) in the division, the matchup against the Broncos (2-1) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High is now a must-win for Oakland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Redskins dominate Raiders on primetime television 27-10

Photo credit: Washington Redskins

By Jeremy Kahn

What could go wrong for the Oakland Raiders against the Washington Redskins most definitely went wrong.

Kirk Cousins threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns, as the Redskins defeated the Raiders 27-10 at FedEx Field.

Not only did Cousins have a huge night, but the Redskins also got a huge game from running back Chris Thompson, who picked up 188 yards and a touchdown.

The Redskins defense sacked Raiders quarterback Derek Carr four times, and held the Raiders to just 128 total yards of offense.

Cousins went 25-of-30 on the evening, that included touchdown passes to Thompson, Vernon Davis and the final touchdown pass was a 52-yard touchdown pass to Josh Doctson.

Thompson gained 38 yards on the ground, and 150 yards through the air, becoming only the second running back to gain 150 yards thru the air against the Raiders since they returned to Oakland from Los Angeles in 1995.

In comparison to the Raiders 128 yards of total offense, the Redskins gained 472 yards of total offense and are now 2-1 on the young season.

Carr went 19-for-31 for 118 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Entering the game, Carr went 112 consecutive passes without throwing an interception; however, that ended on the second play of the game, as Montae Nicholson intercepted a Carr pass.

The duo of Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper caught a combined two passes on the evening.

Marshawn Lynch carried the ball just six times for 18 yards.

Nothing went right for the Raiders on the evening, as they went 0-for-11 on third down conversions.

The Raiders offense gained just 47 yards in the first half, their lowest performance in a first half since Week 14 of the 2015 season against, this according to ESPN Stats and Info.

NOTES: Once again, the Raiders will stay on the road next week, as they face the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority at Mile High.

The only other running back to gain 150 yards of receiving was Jamal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Oakland-Washington Preview: Raiders travel East for prime-time game against Redskins

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) is congratulated by quarterback Derek Carr (4) and tackle Donald Penn (72) after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

OAKLAND — Coming off a dominate 45-20 Week 2 victory against the lowly New York Jets in their home opener, the Raiders (2-0) play their first of five prime-time games with a cross-country trip to Washington to face the Redskins at FedEx Field with a 5:25 p.m. PT kickoff.

This will be the first game between the two teams since 2013, which resulted in a 24-14 win for Washington in Week 4 at Oakland.

Derek Carr shredded the Jets, completing 23-of-28 for 230 yards and three touchdowns, all to wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Crabtree led all receivers with six receptions for 80 yards while Carr posted a 136.6 passer rating in the game.

Oakland’s running game found open lanes in New York’s defense, racking up 180 yards on the ground, with a 6.7 yards per carry.

Running back Jalen Richard and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson each scored long rushing touchdowns, 52 and 43 yards respectfully. Oakland’s native son, Marshawn Lynch, scored his first touchdown in front of his hometown fans in the second quarter.

Lynch finished with 12 carries for 45 yards and one overly-publicized dance on the sideline early in the fourth quarter with the Raiders holding a commanding 35-13 lead.

Defensively, Oakland’s defense was sound, holding the Jets to 271 yards of total offense and forcing one fumble by safety Karl Joseph, who also registered his first career sack. Joseph’s sack was one of four recorded by the Silver and Black on the day.

Safety Reggie Nelson led the team with eight tackles and first-round rookie cornerback Gareon Conley made his NFL debut, recording a pass break up.

Washington (1-1) won in Los Angeles 27-20 behind a 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins to wide receiver Ryan Grant in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter.

Cousins finished 18-of-27 passing for 179 yards.

Washington’s top play-makers are tight end Jordan Reed and former Oakland quarterback-turned-wide receiver Terrelle Pryor led the Redskins in receptions (11) and receiving yards (97) respectfully.

While veteran Rob Kelley (22) and rookie running back Samaje Perrine (21) get the majority of carries, fourth-year runner Chris Thompson leads the team with two rushing touchdowns.

Chris Thompson is also a great pass catcher out of the backfield, hauling in one of two Washington’s touchdowns through the air to go along with seven catches for 81 yards this year.

On defense, linebacker Zach Brown is a tackling machine, ranking third in the NFL in tackles with 22 entering Week 3. Third-year linebacker Preston Smith leads the Redskins with two sacks, while fellow linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is second on the team with 1.5 sacks.

The seven-year pro from Purdue has one of Washington’s two interceptions for the season, returning it 24 yards for a touchdown.

Prediction: Raiders 28-17.

Oakland’s offense led by Carr have too many weapons for Washington to handle. Washington’s cornerback tandem of Bashaud Breeland and the trash-talking Josh Norman will be a great test for Oakland’s wide receiving combo of the aforementioned Crabtree, and Amari Cooper, but Carr has improved his throwing mechanics and now can make every throw seem effortless.

Combined that with a versatile ground attack led by Lynch and Richard, (not to mention DeAndre Washington) to go-along with a wild-card like Patterson, Washington will have problems covering all the players the entire night.

This game in Washington could be a “trap” game for the Silver and Black, with a trip to Denver looming in Week 4 if they take the Redskins lightly.

Don’t expect that to happen Sunday night from the Nation’s Capital for the Raiders who have bigger goals in mind this season.

 

 

Oakland Raiders Sunday Spotlight: Michael Crabtree

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

OAKLAND — Michael Crabtree was a scoring machine against the visiting New York Jets, hauling in six catches (on six targets) for 80 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in Oakland’s 45-20 rout Sunday in the Silver and Black’s home opener.

Oakland is 2-0 for the first time since 2002, the last time the team played in the Super Bowl after winning the AFC Championship. Crabtree briefly left the game in the first quarter with an ankle issue, but returned to the game and was the Jets’ worse enemy the rest of the game.

With the Jets doubling fellow wide receiver Amari Cooper for most of the game, Crabtree took full advantage of single coverage, scoring on a 2-yard fade route up the left side in the first quarter, a 26-yard fly-route down the right side in the second quarter, and 1-yard option route in the fourth quarter that pushed Oakland’s lead to 42-13.

The Raiders racked up 410 yards of total offense against New York (0-2), who gave up 400-plus yards of total offense for the second straight week after surrendering 408 yards to the Bills in a 21-12 loss at Buffalo in Week 1.

In two games this season, Crabtree leads Oakland with 12 catches (on 13 targets) for 163 yards and four touchdowns.

Oakland heads to Washington next Sunday to play the first of their franchise-record five prime time games in 2017 on NBC Sunday Night Football. Crabtree could be in for a tough matchup against the Redskins, who have one of the NFL’s best shutdown cornerbacks in Josh Norman.

Washington (1-1) defeated the Rams 27-20 in Los Angeles Sunday after intercepting Rams starting quarterback Jared Goff in the final minute of the fourth quarter to seal the win.

 

NFL Wild Card Weekend Preview: Road teams get it done

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

emblem from: sports-logos-screensavers.com NFL logo

If you’re like me, you have to love the single-elimination that is the NFL playoffs. One game to decide who moves on and who is packing up for a long offseason after a grueling 17 weeks (16-game) NFL season.

No disrespect to the NBA, MLB, and NHL for their playoff series’s where if you lose a game, its not the end of the world, but when you talk about the playoffs in any sport, in all honesty, the NFL playoffs is where its at.

The march to Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7 in Santa Clara starts Saturday with Wild Card Weekend and with some intriguing match ups, I hope you’re like me (a football die-hard), ready for the games to begin.

Since the NFL instituted the Wild Card round in 1978, only 10 teams have made it to the Super Bowl.

Out of those 10 teams, six have gone on to win the Lombardi Trophy (the 1980 Oakland Raiders, the 1997 Denver Broncos, the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, the 2007 New York Giants, and 2010 Green Bay Packers.)

With all that said, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the road teams get it done this weekend.

Kansas City Chiefs (11-5); 5th seed at Houston Texans (9-7); 4th seed –  Saturday 4:35 p.m. ET/1:35 p.m. PT – ESPN

Sure its been 22 years since Kansas City has won a playoff game (currently tied with the Detroit Lions for the most consecutive playoff losses with eight), but the Chiefs are arguably the hottest team in the NFL closing out the season with 10 straight wins.

Remember, people counted out the Chiefs when they were 1-5 and lost star running back Jamaal Charles for the season with a torn ACL.

Quarterback Alex Smith has played some of his best football for a Chiefs team that defeated the Texans 27-20 in Week 1 down in Houston. Smith threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns, two to tight end Travis Kelce in that game.

Kansas City’s seventh-ranked defense harassed Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer, sacking him four times and intercepting the signal caller once.

Houston does have a dynamic player on offense in wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who caught nine passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas City in Week 1.

Hopkins had a career year with 111 catches for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns (all Texans records), while becoming the only wide receiver in NFL history to have 100-yard receiving games with four different quarterbacks this season (Hoyer, Ryan Mallet, T.J. Yates, and Brandon Weeden.)

No wonder why Hopkins, along with teammate defensive end J.J. Watt (NFL-best 17.5 sacks), were selected as All-Pros at their respective positions.

This could be a close game, but the Chiefs look prime to snap its playoff drought.

Chiefs 24 – Texans 19

Pittsburgh (10-6); 6th seed at Cincinnati Bengals (12-4); 3rd seed –  Saturday 8:15 p.m. ET/5:15 p.m. PT – CBS

These two AFC North rivals are meeting up for the third time this season after splitting two games during the regular season, each winning on the others’ home field.

Cincinnati won the AFC North, but are heading into the game with backup quarterback A.J. McCarron under center. McCarron will make his fourth start for the Bengals after coming in for starter Andy Dalton, who broke his thumb in Cincinnati’s 33-20 home loss to Pittsburgh on Dec. 13.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (0-6) is still seeking his first career postseason victory. If Cincinnati doesn’t win Saturday, will Lewis be patrolling the sidelines for the Bengals in 2016?

Just like Chiefs, the Bengals are on a seven-game losing streak in the playoffs (25 years to be exact.) In fact, Cincinnati is the only team in NFL history to have lost four consecutive opening-round games.

Sure with Dalton being out, Lewis does have a built in excuse, but the way coaches are being fired left and right in the NFL, Lewis’ chair is no longer hot, its got to be near nuclear.

Pittsburgh is led by two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who may have to win the game with his arm since the Steelers’ ground game has been decimated by injuries.

Starting running back Le’Veon Bell was loss for the season with a knee injury in Week 8, while backup DeAngelo will not suit up Saturday night after suffering an ankle injury in Pittsburgh’s 28-12 victory in Cleveland. Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jordan Todman will share carries in the backfield.

It was Pittsburgh’s fourth win in five games to close out the regular season.

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is a match up nightmare for any team. Brown finished tied with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones with 136 catches, and second behind Jones with 1,834 yards, and 10 touchdowns.

Pittsburgh’s defense, which hasn’t been as dominate this year as its been in years past, are an opportunistic bunch. The Steelers’ 48 sacks trailed only Denver and New England and their 17 interceptions were tied for sixth in the season.

In their last 16 trips to Paul Brown Stadium, Pittsburgh is 13-3.

As much as I want to pick Cincinnati, there is something that is telling me that Pittsburgh will continue its dominance in the Queen City.

Steelers 27 – Bengals 23

Seattle Seahawks (10-6); 6th seed at Minnesota  Vikings (11-5); 3rd seed –  Sunday 1:05 p.m. ET/10:05 a.m. PT – NBC

If there is one team that is the most dangerous in the playoffs, its got to be the sixth-seeded Seattle Seahawks.

We’ve become accustomed of seeing the two-time NFC champion hammer teams behind the deafening sound of the 12th Man at the CLink during their last two Super Bowl runs, but if there is a team that isn’t afraid of going anywhere and playing anybody with the stakes are at their highest, its Seattle.

Whenever you have a quarterback like Russell Wilson, who became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 4,000 yards, 30 touchdowns, and rush for over 500 yards, and a take no prisoners defense headlined by cornerback Richard Sherman and free safety Earl Thomas, you definitely have a chance to win.

Running back Marshawn Lynch was ruled out for Sunday’s game after being listed as questionable throughout the week. Lynch missed Seattle’s final seven games of the season with a sports hernia.

“Beast Mode” is a big-time playoff performer, rushing for over 100 yards in six of his 10 career playoff games.

Seattle steamrolled Minnesota 38-7 on Dec. 6 thanks in large part to the NFL’s second-ranked defense limiting Vikings running back Adrian Peterson to a season-low 18 yards rushing on eight carries.

If Minnesota has any chance to win on Sunday, they will need more from the NFL rushing champion. With the temperature expected to be below zero at kickoff, Peterson is expected to get a lot of carries.

I’m not sold on Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Bridgewater tends to lock on his receivers and rarely takes chances down field and in the playoffs, you need a quarterback who isn’t afraid of throwing the ball and  Bridgewater looks like a deer in headlights.

Yes, Minnesota does have a good defense, but Seattle and Wilson with their championship pedigree will find a way to make a few more plays than the Vikings, who are hosting their first playoff game in six years Sunday.

Seahawks 27 – Vikings 9

Green Bay Packers (10-6); 5th seed at Washington Redskins (9-7); 4th seed –  Sunday 4:40 p.m. ET/1:40 p.m. PT – FOX

Wild Card Weekend concludes with what has to be the trickiest game to decipher when the Packers travel to Landover, MD to face the Redskins.

Which Packers team will show up on Sunday? The one that looked virtually unbeatable with a 6-0 start, or the team that went 4-6 down the stretch that saw Green Bay lose the NFC North crown to Minnesota at Lambeau Field in Week 17?

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers finished the season with his lowest completion percentage (60.7) since 2006, and his lowest passer rating (92.7).

Since Rodgers led the Packers to a Super Bowl victory in 2010, Green Bay has lost thee of its last four playoff games. During that march to the Super Bowl, the Packers became just the fourth team to win back-to-back-to-back road playoff games.

Washington is playing with some serious house money with starting quarterback Kirk Cousins having his best season of his career.

Since Week 7, the fourth-year pro leads the league in completion percentage (72.4) and passer rating (119.1) to go along with 23 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. Cousins is one of four quarterbacks to throw at least one touchdown in all 16 games this season, helping Washington win the NFC East.

I like the weapons that Cousins has at his disposal, in particular smooth tight end in Jordan Reed emerging as Cousins’ top target. In his last four games, Reed has been on a tare hauling 29 catches for 378 yards and five touchdowns.

This game could be a shootout as both teams’ defenses are nothing special to write home about. Green Bay is ranked 15th in the league in total defense, while Washington is ranked 28th.

Green Bay has to do a better job of protecting its franchise quarterback, who has been sacked 13 times over the past two games.

In the team’s most recent victory over the Redskins, a 38-20 victory at Lambeau Field for Green Bay, Rodgers shredded Washington throwing a career-high 480 yards and four touchdowns.

Green Bay has won five of their last six meetings against Washington.

Green Bay 30 – Washington 24

Stats provided by Elias Sports Bureau, NFL.com,  and STATS LLC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaepernick rebounds in 49ers’ easy win in D.C.

Image

By Morris Phillips

The most non-descript Monday night win in 49ers history?  It felt like it.

Colin Kaepernick bounced back with a three touchdown passes and a career best quarterback rating while the Redskins had their poorest performance in Coach Mike Shanahan’s estimation since he came to Washington in 2010 in a cross country snoozer that went to the 49ers, 27-6.

“Going into this one, it was by any means necessary and our guys rose up to the challenge and got it done,” Coach Jim Harbaugh said.

San Francisco reclaimed the final spot in the NFC playoff picture with five games remaining and enjoyed a relatively stress-free night in Landover, Maryland ahead of  pivotal games that will likely be a lot more dramatic than this one.

After a competitive first half, the 49ers ran away as the Redskins went limp, totaling only 30 yards of offense after halftime.  Robert Griffin III’s miserable sophomore season continued and the 49ers’ defensive front seven closed down Alfred Morris’ running lanes.  Griffin 17 pass attempts totaled just 127 yards and one interception, and Morris had 52 yards on 14 carries.

“We haven’t been dominated like that since I’ve been here,” Shanahan said.

“We’re all frustrated,” Griffin III said.  “Everybody is tired of losing.”

Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin–aided by Kaepernick and his 235 yards passing—provided all the fireworks, combining for nine catches, 164 yards and all three touchdowns.  Davis and Boldin have all of the 49ers’ receiving scores this season, which means they welcomed the news that Michael Crabtree will make his season debut on Sunday against the Rams in a late announcement made after the game.

The 49ers’ response to a two-game losing streak was workman-like and rooted in San Francisco’s collection of Pro Bowl-level talent on both lines compared to Barry Cofield, a 8th year defensive lineman with an above modest 6-year, $12 million deal signed in 2011, listing as the most notable, starting offensive or defensive lineman in the Redskins’ current starting lineup.

Washington lost a third consecutive game and fell to 3-8 one season after the Redskins won the NFC East.  The 49ers improved to 7-4 and remained tied with the Cardinals behind the 10-1 Seahawks in the NFC West.  The 49ers see all three divisional opponents in the final five weeks with the final game at Scottsdale against the Cardinals looming largest.  And their play on Monday suggested that the team may be closer to playing its best football in the season’s final quarter.

LaMichael James provided a 32-yard kickoff return and a 40-yard punt return as the 49ers enjoyed a healthy edge on special teams.  James’ big punt return set up Davis’ 1-yard touchdown reception five plays later that put the 49ers up 24-6 with 3:35 remaining in the third quarter.

49ers looking to rebound against Redskins

By Gabe Schapiro

This Sunday at 5:40pm the San Francisco 49ers (6-4) face off against the Washington Redskins (3-7), at FedExField. The 49ers are tied with the Arizona Cardinals for second in the NFC West, three games back of the first place Seattle Seahawks. The Redskins are in last place in the NFC East, one game back of the third place New York Giants.

Last weekend San Francisco lost to the tough New Orleans Saints, 23-20. It was a close game throughout, and saw five lead changes. The 49ers were up 20-14 with eight minutes left to play. Saints kicker Garrett Hartley rattled off three consecutive field goals, the last coming with no time left on the clock, to complete the come-from-behind win for New Orleans.

Despite leading for stretches of the game, San Francisco was largely outplayed. Colin Kaepernick struggled again, completing just over 50% of his passes, 17-of-31 attempts. He threw for 127 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis had touchdown catches. Due in part to focusing more on the pass, Frank Gore never really got much going. He rushed for 48 yards, half of which came on a single run, on 13 carries. As a team they totaled just 196 yards. It was their defense that kept them in the game, forcing three turnovers (two forced fumbles, one interception).

After winning five straight, they have now lost two in a row. The task gets a little easier this week against Washington, however, as they look to get back to their winning ways. The Redskins came into the year full of optimism and promise, but haven’t lived up to that billing. Their offense has some electric weapons but they have been prone to turnovers. Their defense has been one of the worst in the league.

They are led by sophomore star Robert Griffin III. After undergoing major knee surgery in the offseason and not playing in the preseason, it looks as if he is still getting back into the swing of things. Despite struggling at times, he still has a strong arm and the ability to be a playmaker with his legs as well. His favorite weapons are wideout Pierre Garcon and tight end Jordan Reed. They also feature another star sophomore, running back Alfred Morris, who is having another fine season. They have the best rushing attack in football, averaging over 155 yards on the ground per game. As a whole, they rank 13th in points scored.

Their defense is far and away their biggest Achilles heel. They are ranked 30th in the league, giving up over 30 points per game. They are slightly better against the run, but couldn’t be considered good either.

After falling to two tough opponents, San Francisco could be set up nicely for a bounce back this week. Washington’s offense is worth being a little concerned about, but the 49ers defense should be able to get good pressure on RGIII, and force some mistakes. They kept Drew Brees from dominating last week, they should certainly be able to do the same against a lesser opponent.

On the offensive side, San Francisco should have a much easier time moving the ball downfield, both on the ground and through the air. Look for them to get back to their roots and lean much more heavily on Frank Gore. Kaepernick throwing the ball 31 times isn’t a winning formula. With that said, he should also have an easier time this week. As long as he stays away from turnovers, they should be fine.

Mario Manningham, now entering his third week back in action, has had a limited impact so far. He has recorded just four receptions for 38 yards. Michael Crabtree should have a much larger impact once he returns, and that appears to be imminent. There has been no official word yet, but he has been participating and practices, and should make his 2013 debut either this week or next.

Quarterback uncertainty with Washington coming to Oakland Sunday

Terrelle Pryor

By. Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — Oakland Raiders starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor has been medically cleared for full contact, but it’s still uncertain if Pryor or backup Matt Flynn will be under center when the Silver and Black take the field against the down-trodden Washington Redskins Sunday at O.co Coliseum.

According to CSNCalifornia.com Raiders’ insider Scott Bair, Oakland will not announce a starter before Sunday’s game, partially for competitive reasons.

This is the first meeting between the two teams since 2009.

Pryor, who sustained a concussion after taking a helmet-to-chin hit from Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard Monday night during Oakland’s 37-21 loss in Denver, was listed as questionable on the team’s injury report, but saw an increased workload after participating in practice Thursday and Friday.

Against the aggressive Denver defense, Pryor had a career-best quarterback rating of 112.4, completing 19 of 28 passes for 281 yards and, including a 73-yard touchdown catch and run by speedster Denarius Moore.

Whichever quarterback starts for Oakland (1-2), the game plan should feature a heavy dose of running back Darren McFadden. Washington is surrendering a league-worst 155 yards per game on the ground and has given up at least 130 yards rushing in two of their three losses on the season.

McFadden arguably had his worst game of his career Monday night, rushing for just 9 yards on 12 carries (0.8 yards per attempt). McFadden did have two touchdowns, one on a 1-yard run and the other, a 16-yard pass to fullback Marcel Reese, but he should be the Raiders’ workhorse come Sunday.

Washington (0-3) is off to a rough start to the season, to say the least.

Starting quarterback Robert Griffin III is coming off a third-straight 300-yard passing game, but Washington couldn’t overcome two critical fumbles in the fourth quarter and dropped a backbreaker to the Detroit Lions, 27-20 at home.

Running back Alfred Morris finished with 15 carries for 73 yards and  a touchdown.

The game is expected to be a sell out and will be seen locally on FOX/KTVU Ch. 2 at 1:25 p.m. PDT.

Players to Watch for Washington:

  • No. 10) Robert Griffin III (QB) – After not playing a single second during the preseason while recovering from offseason knee surgery to repair his ACL, Griffin is still shaking off the rust but appears to be playing better. The second-year quarter from Baylor is sixth in the league among quarterbacks with five touchdown passes.
  • No. 46) Alfred Morris (RB) – Outside of Griffin, Morris is Washington’s next best offensive weapon. Morris finished second to Adrian Peterson in  both rushing yards (1,613), touchdowns (13), and third in rushes (335) in 2012. Morris has rushed for 225 yards and two touchdowns on 40 carries so far in 2013.
  • No. 91) Ryan Kerrigan (OLB) – Kerrigan, along with teammate Perry Riley, Washington has significant punch in the pass rushing department and Oakland has a leaky offensive line. Kerrigan leads Washington with three sacks this season and five quarterback pressures, while Riley leads Washington in tackles with 29.

Players to Watch for Oakland:

  • No. 17) Denarius Moore (WR) – Sure I said that Oakland needs to feed the ball to McFadden earlier, but Moore is starting to be the dependable wide receiver that Oakland is drastically looking for. Moore had six receptions of 124 receiving yards and a touchdown Monday night. Look for Washington’s veteran cornerback DeAngelo Hall to shadow Moore.
  • No. 94) Kevin Burnett (MLB) – Burnett was very active in Denver, finishing with a game-high 10 tackles. Burnett will have his hands full keeping an eye on Morris.
  • No. 79) Tony Pashos (OT) – The veteran Pashos will draw the assignment of trying to block Kerrigan one-on-one. If Pashos is able to prevent Kerrigan from having a big day, Oakland has a great chance of keeping its quarterback upright.

Over/Under (for entertainment purposes only) 42 – Washington (-3) vs. Oakland according to vegasinsider.com