NFL Week 6 Preview: 49ers at Redskins
The San Francisco 49ers visit the Washington Redskins in Week 6 of the 2017 season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.
Coverage by: David Neumann
Matchup: San Francisco 49ers offense vs. Washington Redskins defense
- WR Pierre Garçon vs. CB Bashaud Breeland —Breeland shifted from the right side to the left following Josh Norman’s injury in Week 4, which, should that hold true on Sunday, means he’ll spend a good chunk of his day against the 49ers’ top wideout. That matchup is one Kyle Shanahan should be able to exploit. With a 44.7 overall grade, Breeland currently ranks tied for 87th among 109 qualifying cornerbacks on the season. His coverage stats haven’t been awful — he’s allowing 0.79 yards per snap in coverage, just behind Norman’s mark (0.75) — but he’s been penalized four times in coverage, more than the rest of Washington’s defense combined (three). Garçon put together another good performance in Indianapolis, catching 8-of-11 targets for 94 yards and converting six of those receptions into first downs. His 2.05 yards per route run on the season ranks 16th among 85 wide receivers with at least 16 targets.
- QB Brian Hoyer on play action — No other quarterback has thrown has many play-action passes as Brian Hoyer this season (51), and that’s generally been a good thing for the 49ers quarterback. Hoyer’s passer rating with play action is 98.7, compared to a 67.6 passer rating without. That 31.1-point increase is the eighth-largest in the league and double that of the league-average bump (15.4) with play action. On Sunday, however, Hoyer will face the league’s best defense against play action through five weeks in Washington, who is allowing league-lows in yards per attempt (3.7) and passer rating (39.4) when opposing passers utilize a play fake.
- T Trent Brown vs. EDGE Ryan Kerrigan — Despite a poor effort in the run game against the Colts last week (22.4 run-block grade), Brown continues to be one of the NFL’s top pass protectors in the early part of the season. Through five games, Brown as allowed just six quarterback pressures (one sack) on 211 pass-block snaps, giving him the fourth-best pass blocking efficiency among tackles (97.7). He’ll square off against Kerrigan this week, who has rushed the passer from the left side of the defense on 80 percent of his pass-rush snaps this season. Kerrigan has generated four sacks and 12 total pressures on those snaps, good for a 12.5 pass-rushing productivity that ranks 19th out of 53 edge defenders with at least 40 left-side pass-rushes.
Coverage by: Mark Chichester
Matchup: Washington Redskins offense vs. San Francisco 49ers defense
- HB Samaje Perine vs. Edge Solomon Thomas – With starting running back Rob Kelley a long-shot to play in the team’s Week 6 contest, it gives the Redskins a chance to see the Perine, the University of Oklahoma’s all-time leading rusher, in a bigger role. Through four weeks, he’s carried the ball 46 times and is averaging 2.09 yards after contact per attempt, which ranks 55th of 70 backs with at least 15 carries. He’ll be looking to make a big improvement against the 49ers, but rookie Solomon Thomas will look to work the the rest of the defense to prevent that. Thomas’s 4.7 run-stop percentage ranks 36th out of qualifying edge defenders.
- G Shawn Lauvao vs. DI DeForest Buckner – The veteran left guard got off to an unsteady start in pass protection this year. In the first two games, he allowed seven total pressures (including two sacks) from 77 pass-blocking snaps, for a poor pass-blocking efficiency of 92.5, which ranked 49th of the 53 guards with at least 55 snaps over that time. However, he bounced back in the team’s last two games, and has kept a completely clean slate in pass protection since. The Redskins will hope he continues the trend against DI DeForest Buckner, who has already produced 14 quarterback pressures, and is currently ranked second among players at his position with a pass-rush grade of 89.6.
- WR Jamison Crowder vs. CB K’Waun Williams – This week, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said that he wants to get Crowder more involved in the offense, so look for more passes to be thrown his way. Through four games of the 2017 season, Crowder has amassed just 106 yards on 18 targets, for an average of 0.95 yards per route run, a far cry from the 231 yards from 29 targets and the average of 1.57 yards per route run he had achieved at this point last year. Hoping for a breakout game, he’ll be going up against slot cornerback K’Waun Wiliams, who has allowed more yards (238) than any other cornerback when covering the slot this year.