The Washington Redskins picked apart the film yesterday afternoon, and what they'd thought they'd seen Sunday during their 26-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers turned out to be true: Quarterback Mark Rypien had anything but a good day.

Gibbs peddled the news softly, saying, yes, his quarterback had made mistakes, but so had everyone else. He pointed to a blocked field goal, a busted goal-line play and a defense that did about as well as it could in holding Joe Montana and the 49ers to 487 yards.

But it was Rypien who said again and again that he, more than anyone else, deserved the blame.

He said he'd replayed the game over and over in his mind on the 4 1/2-hour flight home, and that when he arrived at Redskin Park yesterday, he hoped the films would tell him that a lot of other people deserved some of the blame. They didn't.

"In San Francisco, they're saying they held the Redskins to 13 points," Rypien said. "They didn't cover a damn soul. They made four or five plays, but we had guys open out there all day. I was throwing the ball in the ground, behind guys. I just wasn't getting it done.

"Right now, I'm just anxious to get back on the field and work on some things."

Rypien compared himself to a pitcher who has lost the strike zone. He knows where the ball is supposed to go but has been unable to get it there. For the most part, Rypien said that he has made the right moves mentally, but that he has been physically off the mark.

One of the few mental mistakes was missing a wide-open Kelvin Bryant in the flat deep in 49ers territory. Otherwise, Rypien said yesterday at the movies reminded him of how many bad throws he'd made.

"They talk about a pitcher guiding the ball, and that's what I'm doing," he said. "You've got to go out there, plant your feet and throw it. The thing is, I didn't have much pressure on me and we had guys open. Who else is to blame? I just wasn't setting up and throwing it."

Rypien remembered missing Art Monk and Gary Clark on consecutive throws in the first quarter, throwing a poor screen pass toward Earnest Byner.

"The last series was indicative of the whole day," Rypien said.

"We called a 10-yard dodge {pattern} to Art. I've thrown five thousand of those in practice, and I throw it at his feet. That's just not what you're looking for. The next play was to Ricky {Sanders} and he was there, but I made a bad throw."

The Redskins have said all summer there'd be days like this, days when Rypien simply makes mistakes. General Manager Charley Casserly said he doesn't need to alibi for his quarterback because Rypien "is still young and learning."

He has 123 fewer starts than Montana, but the Redskins remembered yesterday that Montana wasn't perfect every day early in his career.

After 24 starts, Montana had 35 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions. Rypien has 22 starts and has thrown 44 touchdown passes and 26 interceptions.

Rypien accepted those numbers with a sly grin, asking: "Does that mean I'm going to the Hall of Fame? The next ten years are going to be fun."

For the day, Rypien completed 17 of 37 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers. He didn't throw an interception for a second straight week, but that doesn't make up for not putting the ball where he wanted to put it.

"Rip was like some of the rest of us," Gibbs said. "He did some good things and he missed some things. We took a hard look at the films and he knew what he'd done.

"It wasn't just one area of our football team. . . . That's the life of a quarterback."

Is he worried Rypien will begin pressing?

"Quarterbacks have been in a pressure cooker most of their lives," Gibbs said. "He's going to have to handle it himself. He played at a big-time college and faced pressure there. That's one of the things he has to deal with and he knows it."

Rypien didn't promise that things would be different Wednesday when the Redskins begin practicing for Sunday's game with the Dallas Cowboys at RFK Stadium. But he came close.

"You've got to go out, take your shots and throw it," Rypien said. "If it goes 20 feet over a guy's head . . . that's going to happen. When it drops in front of a guy, you don't have a chance. That's the frustrating part."

Perhaps it's a sign of an organization's confidence in Rypien that from the highest levels of the club there was no talk of benching him. Team officials said he proved last season he deserved a chance and one bad game isn't enough to send him to the bench.

"I won't get down on myself," Rypien said.

"There are some things I need to correct and I'll try to do that. I'm not making a lot of bonehead throws, laying it down the field where the defense has a better chance to get it. I'm making the right decisions for the most part. It's just not getting the ball there."

The Redskins again started the game in a passing mode. They came out with four wide receivers and threw passes on 13 of their first 17 snaps. But Rypien said perhaps a third of those plays were runs "that I changed at the line after the 49ers put six or seven men on the line."

Gibbs said again yesterday he wants more balance in the offense and that 20 running plays and 37 passing plays isn't balanced.

"That's what you get into when you're behind," he said, "and when they're doing some things to stop you."

Gibbs also told his players that they'd lost to the best team in football by 13 points and that there's a good chance the Redskins and 49ers will see each other again in the playoffs.

"I said we were 13 points away," Gibbs said, "and that we've got to fight and scrap for every single game and find a way to get in the playoffs and make up those 13 points."

Sunday's game probably was lost at the start of the third quarter when, trailing 20-10, the Redskins drove close to the San Francisco 15, only to see Charles Haley block Chip Lohmiller's 33-yard field goal attempt.

A series later, a 40-yard Rypien-to-Clark pass gave the Redskins first and goal at the 1. Michael Walter and Chet Brooks stopped Gerald Riggs on first down. Jim Burt stopped him on second. On third down, Gibbs called a rollout for Rypien, but safety Ronnie Lott came unblocked and busted the play before it ever got started.

"We'd watched him {Lott} ten years like that and he came up the middle," Rypien said. "This time he came straight" for the backfield."

Gibbs shrugged, saying: "That one is on me. We've got probably 25 plays we can call down there and I just wish I'd called one of the other 24."

As a result, the Redskins, who probably should have tied the game, came away from their best two shots trailing, 20-13. Montana and the 49ers held the ball for 9 1/2 minutes and got two field goals on their next two possessions, and that was that.