The San Francisco 49ers beat Washington on Sunday, winning 17-13. It was an ugly game, but you guys already know that. I don't need to tell you how frustrating this offense has been, nor do I need to tell you how good the defense has been as a counter-balance. This game was just as frustrating as the rest have been lately, and I'm sure you all have expressed as much in the comment section of the first recap.
Well this thread will serve as some overflow for that, and as a bonus, I've included my usual ranting and raving from the notes I took throughout the game. As it turns out, most of them are negative, though I'd like to point out that I was very pleased with some aspects of the game -- namely the pass rush when Lynch is on the field.
Whatever the case, a win is a win is a win, right? That's what's important in the here and now.
-The 49ers really need to work on the center-to-quarterback exchange. I don't think it has anything to do with Marcus Martin being a rookie, given that the guy has been snapping footballs for a long time and all. But that drive stalled in the first thanks to a bad snap on second down and you just can't have that happen. I don't know what needs fixing, but it needs to be fixed, lest it sinks the 49ers in a big game.
- It's a mistake to placate Ahmad Brooks by giving him all of those snaps after he threw such a fit last week. The 49ers have never struck me as an organization that rewarded that kind of behavior, but he started the game and kept Aaron Lynch off the field early. He didn't come onto the field until the second quarter
- The pass-rush is definitely improved with Aldon Smith in there, though. That first quarter sack by Ray McDonald was great, and it came on a stunt. This team knows how to execute a stunt (there was a great one last week as well) and needs to do more of them. Smith basically forced Robert Griffin III back into McDonald.
- Isn't it just like the 49ers to find a way to play down to Washington's level? They're the opposite of a good team when it comes to that defense, but the 49ers found a way to make them look good here and there. The Carlos Hyde fumble is a good example of that.
- Kaepernick still scares me when he runs with the ball. I've noticed he's careless with it much more this season than last. I'm not sure why that's happening or why the 49ers haven't forced him to clean it up thus far but it's a problem.
- Kaepernick had a 115.4 quarterback rating heading into the second half, and the 49ers had a three-point lead ... yeah, sounds like the 49ers.
- That Kaepernick interception was definitely one of his worst overthrows. While that ball was in the air, I honestly forgot that the 49ers were on offense there. My thought process automatically went to "wow what a throw by Robert Griffin, led his man perfectly," before I snapped back into reality when I looked at the jersey numbers. Kaepernick's arm is too good to do that.
- So ... that roughing the passer penalty on Aaron Lynch was absolute [site decorum]. Neither Lynch nor Eric Reid hit Griffin in the head -- neither came close -- but they called a helmet-to-helmet on him.
- About halfway through this game I realized just how silly it is that, as 49ers fans, we spent much of this week talking about the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and various playoff scenarios. We discussed the best way for the 49ers to get in, who should win that game, etc ... and then this game happened. While watching it dawned on me how silly it is that we're even thinking about the playoffs given the way this team is playing. Imagine this 49ers team in the playoffs. Imagine it!
- I'm still a big fan of Carlos Hyde. I think he's going to be a very good player, especially when he takes over the starting role. Just seems like the kind of player that will improve with time, and improve with more and more carries.
- Lynch was very good in the second half, and at this point, I'm fully on the "the 49ers are making a decision to be worse when Ahmad Brooks is on the field" train. He's a better pass-rusher, though I admittedly am not sure how Lynch is in coverage at this point. I know Brooks isn't great at it, but I wonder if that is some kind of factor.