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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports


49ers can’t recover from turnover-caused deficit in 23-15 loss to Washington

Dec 13, 2020 at 4:44 PM--


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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
WAS 0 13 10 0 23
SF 7 0 0 8 15

The San Francisco 49ers went down fighting against the Washington Football Team in their game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Sunday, but the hole they found themselves in due to costly turnovers proved to be too much to overcome.

The 49ers trailed Washington 23-7 at the start of the fourth quarter after three turnovers led to two defensive touchdowns and a field goal earlier in the game. They added a touchdown and a two-point conversion early in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 23-15, but they couldn't cash in on their offensive opportunities the rest of the way and wound up failing to change that score in the end.

The 49ers outgained Washington 344-193 while holding the Washington offense out of the end zone for the duration of the game. Quarterback Nick Mullens finished with 256 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 25 of 45 passing for the 49ers, while Washington got 15 of 31 passing for 95 yards and one interception from Alex Smith and Dwayne Haskins.

As It Happened


Neither team produced much on offense early in the game, as each of them ended their initial offensive possessions with a punt. Washington began their second possession at their own 40-yard line after a 22-yard punt return by Steven Sims Jr. and moved into field goal range after seven plays but came up empty after a 53-yard attempt was missed by kicker Dustin Hopkins.

The 49ers took over at their own 43-yard line after the missed field goal and put together the first scoring drive of the game by advancing 57 yards in seven plays to go up 7-0 on a one-yard touchdown run by Jeff Wilson. The second play of the drive saw Nick Mullens connect with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk for a 17-yard gain, but the rest of the drive saw the 49ers take to the ground for 40 combined yards from Wilson and Raheem Mostert.


The defenses took back over for the next four possessions as each team punted twice, with three of those possessions ending in a three-and-out. Washington found a bit of offense midway through the second quarter, putting together a seven-play, 29-yard drive after taking over at the 49ers' 38-yard line to set up the second field goal attempt of the game for Hopkins, this one from 51 yards. Hopkins connected successfully on this attempt to cut the 49ers' lead to 7-3.

Washington got back in business quickly after the field goal via a forced fumble by defensive end Chase Young on Jeff Wilson, which was recovered by defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne at the 49ers' 26-yard line. The 49ers stepped up on defense, however, and held Washington to a field goal from 31 yards to cut the lead to 7-6.


The 49ers were held to their fifth punt of the first half after the field goal, which gave Washington possession with just under three minutes remaining in the half. The 49ers appeared to have stopped Washington's chances of scoring from there thanks to a dazzling interception from cornerback Jason Verrett, but disaster struck for them two plays later when a forced fumble on Mullens by Payne landed in the hands of Young, who ran into the end zone from 47 yards out for a 13-7 lead.


The two teams moved to the half after a 49ers punt followed by Washington deciding to kneel and run out the clock. The 49ers outgained Washington 148-98 in the first half and held a 10-6 edge in first downs, but the two turnovers proved costly and put Washington up six while being set to receive the kickoff to start the second half.

Dwayne Haskins took over at quarterback for Washington to start the second half while Smith nursed some calf soreness and promptly moved the offense inside the 49ers' 10-yard line in seven plays. But the 49ers held Washington out of the end zone and forced it to settle for a 21-yard field goal, which extended the lead to 16-7.

The teams exchanged punts from there, then the 49ers appeared to find some life on offense as they moved to the Washington 24-yard line as the third quarter neared a close. But the turnover bug struck once again, this time on an interception as a Mullens pass floated into the hands of safety Kamren Curl, who returned the ball 75 yards for a touchdown and a 23-7 lead.


Things were looking bleak for the 49ers after Curl's pick-six, but they kept themselves in the game on the following possession by putting together an 11-play, 75-yard drive that concluded with a six-yard touchdown pass from Mullens to fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Mullens then completed a pass to wide receiver Kendrick Bourne for a successful two-point conversion, bringing the 49ers back to within one score at 23-15.


Each team traded two punts following the 49ers' touchdown, but the 49ers were able to make their second punt count by pinning Washington at their own one-yard line with just under four minutes left to play. The 49ers' defense did its job from there, holding Washington to a three-and-out in large part due to a key third-down stop by linebacker Dre Greenlaw. A 10-yard return of Washington's punt by Brandon Aiyuk gave the 49ers possession at their own 48-yard line with 2:40 left to play.


The 49ers appeared to be moving towards a score after Mullens connected with Kendrick Bourne on a 22-yard completion on a third-and-two at the Washington 44-yard line. But the play was negated by a 10-yard holding penalty on offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, and from there Washington was able to force a turnover on downs and seal the game.

Washington moved to 6-7 on the season with the win and moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC East, one game ahead of the New York Giants, who lost to the Arizona Cardinals earlier in the day. The 49ers fell to 5-8 on the season with the loss and sank further into last place in the NFC West, two games back of the Cardinals (7-6).

Notes


The 49ers lost two key players to injury during the game as wide receiver Deebo Samuel left after the first offensive play due to a hamstring injury while linebacker Fred Warner left in the second half with a stinger... Today's game was the second against the 49ers for Smith, who was selected first overall by the 49ers in the 2005 NFL Draft. Smith lost his first meeting against the 49ers, which came in 2014 when he was playing for the Kansas City Chiefs (22-17)... The 49ers entered into the game with a 21-11-2 all-time record against Washington, with the last meeting being a 9-0 rain-soaked road win on October 20, 2019... Washington came into Sunday in a first-place tie with the New York Giants in the NFC East. The Giants fell to the Cardinals 26-7 earlier in the day... Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin surpassed 1,000 receiving yards on the season after making his first two catches of the game in the second quarter. McLaurin had 977 receiving yards coming into the game.

Up Next


The 49ers leave Arizona this week for their penultimate away game of the season, this one coming against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The game was originally scheduled as a Sunday night game but was moved by the NFL to a 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST start and replaced on the schedule by a game between the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants... The Cowboys (4-9) are coming off a 30-7 Sunday afternoon road win over the Cincinnati Bengals... Washington will return home this week for a 1 p.m. EST kickoff against the Seattle Seahawks, who moved to 9-4 Sunday with a 40-3 victory over the winless New York Jets.


WAS Team Stats SF
193 Total Yards 344
95 Passing Yards 236
98 Rushing Yards 108
3.4 Avg Yards per Pass 5.8
3.5 Avg Yards per Run 4
0 Fumbles Lost 2
1 Int Thrown 1
2 Sacks Allowed 4
27:49 Time of Pos 32:11
5 Penalties 5

Redskins Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Alex Smith 8/19 57 0 1
Dwayne Haskins 7/12 51 0 0
Isaiah Wright 0/1 0 0 0
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
J.D. McKissic 11 68 6.2 0
Peyton Barber 12 37 3.1 0
Cam Sims 1 5 5 0
Dwayne Haskins 4 -12 -3 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Logan Thomas 6 7 43 0
Terry McLaurin 2 6 24 0
J.D. McKissic 2 4 18 0
Isaiah Wright 1 1 9 0
Cam Sims 1 2 8 0
Steven Sims 1 3 5 0
Peyton Barber 2 3 1 0
Jeremy Sprinkle 0 1 0 0
Robert Foster 0 2 0 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Dustin Hopkins 3 4 51 2
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Tress Way 8 49.8 1 58
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Steven Sims 2 18 0 22
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Kamren Curl 7-0 0 1 0
Cole Holcomb 5-3 0 0 0
Montez Sweat 5-0 1 0 0
Jon Bostic 4-6 0 0 0
Jeremy Reaves 4-2 0 0 0
Deshazor Everett 4-2 0 0 0
Kendall Fuller 3-3 0 0 0
Jonathan Allen 3-0 0 0 0
Chase Young 2-4 1 0 1
James Smith-Williams 2-0 0 0 0
Daron Payne 1-4 1 0 1
Shaun Dion Hamilton 1-2 0 0 0
Ronald Darby 1-1 0 0 0
Tress Way 1-0 0 0 0
Jeremy Sprinkle 1-0 0 0 0
Cam Sims 1-0 0 0 0
Kevin Pierre-Louis 1-0 1 0 0

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Nick Mullens 25/45 260 1 1
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Raheem Mostert 14 65 4.6 0
Jeff Wilson 11 31 2.8 1
Deebo Samuel 1 9 9 0
Kyle Juszczyk 1 3 3 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Brandon Aiyuk 10 16 119 0
Kendrick Bourne 3 7 42 0
Richie James 3 3 33 0
Ross Dwelley 2 2 20 0
Kyle Juszczyk 2 3 15 1
Jeff Wilson 1 3 13 0
Jordan Reed 2 5 13 0
Raheem Mostert 2 4 5 0
Charlie Woerner 0 1 0 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Jeff Wilson 1 1
Nick Mullens 1 1
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 9 45.7 4 58
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Richie James 2 2.5 0 3
Brandon Aiyuk 1 10 0 10
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Dre Greenlaw 6-1 0 0 0
Fred Warner 4-1 0 0 0
Azeez Al-Shaair 4-1 0 0 0
Javon Kinlaw 3-1 0 0 0
Tarvarius Moore 3-0 0 0 0
Jimmie Ward 2-5 0 0 0
Dontae Johnson 2-1 0 0 0
Kerry Hyder 2-1 0 0 0
Richard Sherman 2-0 0 0 0
Jordan Willis 2-0 1 0 0
Dion Jordan 1-2 1 0 0
Arik Armstead 1-1 0 0 0
Ahkello Witherspoon 1-0 0 0 0
Marcell Harris 1-0 0 0 0
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles 1-0 0 0 0
Darrion Daniels 1-0 0 0 0
Jason Verrett 1-0 0 1 0


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