Two struggling dual-threat quarterbacks faced off at Washington’s FedEx Field on Monday night, and San Francisco’s emerged victorious.
Colin Kaepernick completed 15-of-24 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns ending the 49ers’ (7-4) two-game skid and keeping them in the hunt for the sixth playoff spot.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh was proud of Monday’s win:
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Our guys rose up to the challenge and got it done.”
Robert Griffin III was 17-of-27 for 127 yards and threw a costly interception in the second quarter to Dontae Whitner which resulted in a Phil Dawson field goal.
The Redskins (3-8) never led. A pair of Kai Forbath field goals were all the points they could muster.
Despite totaling just 76 rushing yards, the 49ers passing attack was on point.
Kaepernick twice connected with Anquan Boldin in the end zone and found Vernon Davis for another. Boldin finished with five receptions for 94 yards and Davis had four for 70 yards, but also lost a fumble.
Mario Manningham also hauled in four catches for 45 yards on seven targets.
The offensive line — with Adam Snyder subbing at left guard for the injured Mike Iupati (knee) — protected Kaepernick well, allowing just two sacks.
Kaepernick commented post-game on the effort of his blockers:
“I’m most thankful for my O-Line. They keep me healthy and in prime shape.”
Defensively, San Francisco was outstanding holding Washington to just 190 yards of offense. Patrick Willis led the unit with 11 tackles while his teammates pounded Griffin throughout the contest.
Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith both registered two sacks each, and combined to hit Griffin six times with Justin Smith getting another lick on him.
On special teams, LaMichael James was efficient returning kicks (26.5) and punts (14.4), but also fumbled — a knock against him since college.
San Francisco remains tied for second place in the NFC West with Arizona (7-4) while Seattle (10-1) has the division lead.
The 49ers host the Rams (5-6) on Dec. 1 and Harbaugh anticipates Michael Crabtree will play in the game.