There is no crisis crippling the San Francisco 49ers. It’s only the simple fact that they’re not as good of a football team when compared with last year. When they’re playing better opponents, like they have four times this season, they lose. When they face a team like the Washington Redskins, they win quite comfortably, and Colin Kaepernick has a chance to look like a superstar quarterback.
Is he that good? Kaepernick threw three touchdown passes and for 235 yards while running for 20 more in the 27-6 win over the Washington Redskins. The 49ers came away with a comfortable 27-6 win, reassuring anyone who started to get worried about their place in the playoffs, considering they have St. Louis, Arizona, Atlanta and Tampa Bay still left to play, with the Seattle game being something to feel less confident about.
The Redskins didn’t bow down easily, at least not in the first half, but this is clearly a team going in the wrong direction. Robert Griffin III finished with 17-of-27, throwing for 127 yards and one interception. It’s hard to tell if he’s really that affected by his knee injuries or is it some sort of downward spiral he got caught up in, causing him to look like a mediocre quarterback, while the rest of what the Redskins have to offer isn’t exactly quality material.
How bad was it for Griffin? The 49ers sacked him four times, all without sending any special kind of pressure. He has been sacked four times in each of his last three games. The numbers say that when he’s sacked this much, the Redskins never win. That problem in protecting him has been leading to interceptions: He has thrown one in 9 of the team’s 11 games this season, and his 11 interceptions this season are more than he threw during his entire career in College. The same goes for not scoring any touchdowns – the first time in 68 games that a team with RG3 as its quarterback, college and NFL, couldn’t get the ball in the endzone.
For once, the 49ers didn’t have any problems moving the ball in the air. When Kaepernick can get the ball consistently to Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin, this team looks dangerous, and not for its running game. Frank Gore was limited to 13 carries and 31 yards, not really forced to be the anchor pulling this team to safety. Boldin caught 5 passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns; Davis caught 4 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. Much better than usual, and enough to make Kaepernick look a lot better than he has for most of this season.
The consistent thing about the 49ers for most of this season has been defense. They held the Redskins to only 190 yards, the 5th time they’ve held their opponents below 200 yards since Jim Harbaugh took over in 2011, tied for the most such game in the NFL in that span along with the Ravens and Texans. The Redskins were limited to only 30 yards in the second half, the worst offense production by any team this season in the second half.