The San Francisco 49ers are off to a strong 6-0 start in the 2019 season after battling the elements and the Redskins in Washington D.C. en route to yesterday's 9-0 victory.
Sunday's game took place at FedExField, located in Landover, MD, five miles east of the nation's capital. The field conditions were utterly horrendous, as players were hardly able to exhibit their usual superhuman abilities due to their inability to sustain any semblance of secure footing. Rainy conditions and soggy turf served to turn what was likely to be a defensive showcase for the Niners and their stifling defense into an all-out war of attrition on both sides of the ball.
After both teams held one another scoreless in an ugly first half, San Francisco finally put together just enough offense to eke out three second half field goals. The air attack was basically off the table for both teams, throughout the contest, but the 49er defense ensured that Washington would have virtually no opportunities to execute any offense other than their ground game. Holding Redskins' quarterback Case Keenum to just 77 yards on 9-of-12 attempts through the air, San Francisco's defensive line ensured the likelihood of failure by continuing to turn up the pressure on Keenum and the Skins' offense.
Jimmy Garoppolo, for his part, only managed to complete 12 of his 21 pass attempts, with no touchdowns and an interception. However, he was able to lead the offense into field goal range where kicker Robbie Gould knocked three of his four attempts through the uprights. The Niner run game, led by Tevin Coleman, amassed 139 yards on 39 carries. Even though their average was a subpar 3.5, the contribution of a consistent running attack both helped control the game and move the team into position to put points on the board.
Nick Bosa, the Niners 2019 first-round draft pick, put an exclamation point on a hard fought victory with a game-ending sack of Keenum.
Below you can see Kwon Alexander celebrating the victory with some Slip-n-Slide action on the FedExField turf.
With the victory, San Francisco is sitting in the driver's seat of the NFC West at 6-0, currently ahead of the Seattle Seahawks (5-2) by two games in the loss column. The 49ers have played four of their opening six games on the road, which means their remaining schedule will consist of six games at Levi's Stadium and four away from home. Defensively, San Francisco has dominated, giving up a stingy 64 total points this season (2nd in NFL). On the offensive side of the ball, running backs Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman have led the Niners to the no. 2 rushing attack in the league (172.7 yards per game).
What remains to be seen is what San Francisco will do when their schedule gets tough. Divisional opponents always pose a unique threat, and the Niners still have to play Seattle and Arizona twice each and one more game against the L.A. Rams. With the Packers, Ravens, and Saints — all of whom currently sport solid winning records — San Francisco fans will definitely find out here pretty soon whether their team is "for real" or not.