Redskins-49ers: San Francisco defeats Washington 19-11

Final: 49ers 19, Redskins 11:

A crackback block by wide receiver Terrence Austin near the end of the third had Washington facing third and 17 as the final period began. Beck threw a screen to Helu, who broke tackles to pick up 15 yards to the San Francisco 33, and Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan elected to go for it.

Beck tried to force a pass to Davis, but it never made it, and San Francisco took over at its 33-yard line. The 49ers got four yards from Gore on first down, but on second, WR Braylon Edwards was called for pass interference, pushing San Francisco back to its 27.

Smith completed a 10-yard pass to the right sideline to tight end Vernon Davis to set up third and six. From there, Smith completed a pass over the middle to Davis for 21 yards.

The 49ers faced third and four moments later, and Smith hit Edwards for a 24-yard gain. Edwards beat cornerback Josh Wilson on the throw, broke free from linebacker Rocky McIntosh and lowered his shoulder near the sideline as cornerback DeAngelo Hall tried to hang on for the tackle.

Hunter ran for two yards, and Gore went up the middle for six to make it third and two from the 4. But Gore managed just a yard on his next carry, and Akers came in for a 20-yard field goal to extend the lead to 19-3 with 7:41 to play.

Any chance of a comeback for the Redskins essentially disappeared when Austin caught a 10-yard pass from Beck and fumbled as 49ers LB Patrick Willis knocked the ball free. Linebacker NaVorro Bowman recovered at the 36 with 7:23 to go.

The Redskins got the ball back when Vernon Davis fumbled, but their offense continued to struggle mightily and gave it right back when Beck threw incomplete on three consecutive passes.

The Redskins finally put together a lengthy touchdown drive, but by the time WR Jabar Gaffney caught a nine-yard pass in the back of the end zone and Hankerson caught the two-point conversion to make it 19-11, there was only 1:10 to play. The 49ers recovered the Redskins’ onside kick and Washington could not stop the clock because it was out of timeouts.

Third Quarter: 49ers 16, Redskins 3

The teams exchanged fruitless possessions to open the second half before the 49ers took over at their 39 when Ted Ginn returned a punt 19 yards. San Francisco ran twice to the 46 and converted a first third down for the first time Sunday when Smith found Ginn for a 14-yard completion to the Washington 40.

Smith completed passes to Michael Crabtree for seven yards and to Braylon Edwards for 6 to set up first and 10 at the 27. Gore ran twice to the 21, but on third down, Smith was sacked by linebacker Brian Orakpo for a five-yard loss.

Akers came in to attempt a 45-yard field goal that barely made it inside the right upright, and San Francisco stretched its advantage to 16-3 with 4:23 to play.

Washington’s next series started at its 19, and after a four-yard scramble, Beck was booed for a poor throw intended for tight end Logan Paulsen. But Beck converted third down with a 12-yard pass to Leonard Hankerson.

Later in the drive, Terrence Austin was called for a crackblack block, and Washington faced first and 25 from its 44 in the waning seconds of the quarter.

Second Quarter: 49ers 13, Redskins 3

The 49ers were on the move at the start of the second quarter thanks to a heavy dose of Gore, who got around LaRon Landry for several extra yards on a check-down pass from Smith on first and 10. That put the ball on the Redskins 35, but running back Kendall Hunter managed only one yard on third and three.

Place kicker David Akers, who is plenty familiar with FedEx Field from his many seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, easily made a 52-yard field goal try for the first points of the game with 12 minutes 43 seconds to play before halftime.

The Redskins followed with a drive that reached their 49, but tight end Fred Davis dropped a pass on second and eight, and on third down, the Redskins would have had a free play and first down with a completion to wide receiver Jabar Gaffney.

But left tackle Trent Williams shoved defensive tackle Justin Smith in the back, and as a result of the personal foul, Washington faced third and 23. Washington managed only eight yards on the next play and had to punt yet again.

The 49ers’next began at their 45 and reached the Redskins 11 at the two-minute warning. Smith overthrew Gore on play-action on third down, and on fourth down, San Francisco was called for a false start. That brought in Akers for a 34-yard field goal for a 6-0 lead with 1:50 to play.

San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis stripped Helu on a short completion on Washington’s next possession, and safety Donte Whitner recovered at the 30. One play later, Smith hit fullback Bruce Miller on an out and up pattern for a touchdown and a 13-0 advantage with 1:09 to go.

Washington finally got on the board as time expired on Graham Gano’s 59-yard field goal, the longest in team history.

First Quarter: Redskins 0, 49ers 0

The Redskins began the game with a 16-yard run by Roy Helu, then ran twice more for four yards. On third and six from the Washington 40, Beck threw to Terrence Austin, but the ball was off target, and the Redskins had to punt.

The 49ers took over at their 18 and reached Redskins’ territory by mixing the run and pass. The drive stalled, though, when on third and one, San Francisco was called for delay of game. Then on third and six, Ryan Kerrigan sacked Alex Smith for a seven-yard loss.

On Washington’s ensuing possession, Washington faced third and four from its 26. Helu came open over the middle, but he dropped Beck’s pass, and the Redskins had to punt.

After the 49ers punted, the Redskins averted disaster when returner Brandon Banks muffed the kick but was able to fall on the ball at the 2. Beck almost had his pass intercepted in the end zone on first down, and on second down he threw the ball into the ground for what appeared to be a safety.

But San Francisco defensive tackle Justin Smith was penalized for holding on the play, and Washington had first and 10 on its 8. The Redskins moved to their 38, and from there Beck tried to fit the ball into tight end Fred Davis, but the throw was off, and safety Dashon Goldson dove for the interception with 25 seconds left in the quarter.

Gene Wang is a sports reporter covering multiple beats, including Navy football, the Capitals, Wizards, Nationals, women’s basketball, auto racing, boxing and golf. He also covers Fantasy Football.

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