ReFo: Redskins @ 49ers, Week 12
The 6-4 49ers hosted the 3-7 Redskins on Sunday in what looked to be a cakewalk on paper for the home team and after Colin Kaepernick connected with Anquan Boldin on a touchdown on their first possession it looked as if they might truly cruise. Lo and behold, it would take the 49ers 53 minutes of game clock to score their next touchdown as both offenses went into hiding for much of the contest.
Toggether, 25 drives produced a combined 30 points, but it was the final couple drives for each team that proved the difference. The 49ers went 75 yards for a touchdown while the Redskins answered with back-to-back drives that went nowhere and the 49ers sealed their 17-13 victory by recovering a fumble with under a minute left.
Washington Redskins – Performances of Note
Robert Griffin III, QB: -4.0
Breakdown: Not quite the way you go about silencing your critics. RG3 completed just 2-6 passes targeted over 10 yards down the field and both of those were wide-open crossing routes. While he didn’t put the ball in harm’s way after an overthrow dropped by Eric Reid early in the game, he missed on a number of easy throws. His 57.9 Accuracy Percentage was his lowest of the season.
Signature Stat: On 12 pressured drop-backs RG3 went 2-6 for 29 yards and took five sacks.
Trent Murphy, OLB: +3.7
Breakdown: It’s tough to do much better as an edge defender against the run than Murphy’s +4.6 grade Sunday. Facing the 49ers multi-faceted rushing attack Murphy beat guards, tackles, and fullback’s alike for five stops and a forced fumble.
Signature Stat: Since he took over as the starter in week 8, Murphy has the sixth highest grade among 3-4 outside linebacker at +7.4.
Morgan Moses, LT: -6.3
Breakdown: Trent Williams absence was sorely felt all throughout the game Sunday. Moses drew one of the hardest matchups in the NFL with Justin Smith and Aldon Smith and the rookie left tackle crumbled. He allowed two immediate sacks and was controlled on almost all his blocks in the run game. Only seven of the Redskins 25 designed runs ended up with a point of attack to the left of center.
Signature Play: On the Redskins last offensive play of the game Moses was taken to the woodshed on an outside move from Justin Smith for the sack-fumble.
San Francisco 49ers – Performances of Note
Aldon Smith, OLB: +3.0
Breakdown: The Aldon Smith that simply cannot be blocked by tight ends has returned. Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul were each tasked with blocking the outside linebacker at various points in the game and little success was had. Smith repeatedly ragdolled both on his way to two sacks, two hits, a hurry, and three stops.
Signature Stat: Since his return, Smith has the second highest pass rushing productivity of any outside linebacker at 16.3.
Anquan Boldin, WR: +3.8
Breakdown: Boldin’s +3.8 is the strongest of the season to date and just his third time in the green on the year. Bringing in nine of the 12 targets he saw, he collected 137 yards and a score with work done against six different defenders. Five of those catches came from the slot where he continues rate among the leaders, now third in that category with 41 slot receptions.
Signature Play: I can’t think of a play that exemplifies Boldin’s strength and ability better than his catch with 4:43 left in the fourth quarter. He got just enough space on the post route for Kaepernick to fit it in behind Trenton Robinson and then took a massive blow to the head from Ryan Clark. After all that Boldin was the only man left still standing as he added a good chunk of YAC for a 29-yard gain.
Chris Borland, ILB: +1.9
Breakdown: He’s human! Well, almost. Three missed tackles in the run game are all that kept Borland from his fourth straight monster game. A low six tackles for Borland, but all six were stops and two of his missed tackles would have gone for stops had they been fulfilled. Six games is a small sample size, but there’s little doubt Borland is already among the upper echelon at the position.
Signature Play: Blitzing inside linebackers rarely get the upper hand of offensive linemen in 1-on-1 situations. That’s what makes Borland’s pass rush with 11:22 left in the fourth quarter so impressive. Kory Lichtensteiger slid protection to his right and was in perfect position to block Borland when the rookie linebacker hit a spin move on him that caused a pressure and induced a holding penalty that brought back the third down conversion.
PFF Game Ball
While Colin Kaepernick had himself a fantastic game, Anquan Boldin was the best player on the field Sunday and deserving of the game ball.
Follow Mike on Twitter: @PFF_MikeRenner