The San Francisco 49ers saw much of the same kind of strategy from the Washington Redskins early in Week 7 as they did against the Los Angeles Rams the week before.

Washington's offense came out heavy on the ground, amid driving rains and a sloppy field at FedEx Field, running the ball all the way to the Niners' 18-yard line. Veteran Redskins running back Adrian Peterson led the change with 49 yards on Washington's opening possession, yet Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins' 39-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide right.

San Francisco wasn't able to generate much success on its opening drive, either, settling for an early punt that pinned Washington back at its own 10-yard line. And the Niners defense forced a 3-and-out on the Redskins' second possession of the game, too.

The 49ers were able to move into Washington territory during their next drive, though, which extended into the second quarter. The first quarter lasted just over 30 minutes of actual time, given both teams' tendencies to run the ball and the noted lack of incomplete passes to stop the clock.

Speaking of those runs, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was San Francisco's leading rusher early, thanks to plays like this:


Yet as the fate with Washington's kicker, the 49ers' Robbie Gould missed his first attempt when the drive stalled with just under 11 minutes left in the first half.


The Redskins were able to move deep into Niners territory after the missed Gould field goal, including getting beyond a 2nd-and-23 and still converting a first down. But like last week in Los Angeles, the 49ers were able to thwart a Redskins 4th-and-short run to cause the turnover on downs, thanks to tackles from defensive linemen Ronald Blair and Jullian Taylor, who slipped underneath his blocker to make the tackle on Peterson.

San Francisco couldn't manage anything on its following possession, which dragged down to the two-minute warning. Yet EDGE Dee Ford and the Niners defense answered back with 1:31 remaining, as Ford sacked Redskins quarterback Case Keenum and picked up San Francisco's first sack of the game, forcing a punt in the process.

The Niners weren't able to do anything with the possession, though, which led to a scoreless first half.

At least the 49ers will start back on offense in the third quarter.
  • Peter Panacy
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.