The San Francisco 49ers lost to Washington by a final score of 26-24 in Week 6, dropping them to 0-6. The 49ers streak of field goal or less losses continues, in what is becoming just slightly ridiculous at this point.
The 49ers tied the game up at one point, then dropped behind 26-17. They managed a late touchdown, and got the ball back in the final minute after forcing a Washington three and out. Pierre Garçon made a ridiculous sideline catch to keep the drive alive, but then had an offensive pass interference flag thrown on him to move the 49ers well out of field goal range. They couldn’t convert their remaining opportunities on the drive, and that was that. Losses suck, but it was an entertaining second half.
While another loss is frustrating, the real story of this game is the change at quarterback. In the second quarter, Kyle Shanahan decided to bench Brian Hoyer and give rookie C.J. Beathard a chance. Beathard showed some rookie issues, but he also got the offense moving at times. Most impressive was his two-minute drill that got the 49ers a touchdown before halftime.
Beathard finished the game 19 of 36 for 245 yards, with one touchdown and a 14-yard rush.. It was not a pretty performance at times, but it seemed like it was enough to get him another start. Kyle Shanahan will meet with the media after the game, at which point we’ll find out.
The 49ers had two big problems in this game. On offense, there were way too many drops. George Kittle was the primary issue, but most of the receivers had their share of issues. This hurt both Beathard and Brian Hoyer, and is as much a reason as any that the 49ers couldn’t get their offense going enough.
On the defensive side of the ball, the 49ers couldn’t stop Washington’s running backs on passes out of the backfield. Chris Thompson had four receptions for 105 yards, while Samaje Perine had three receptions for 24 yards and a touchdown. I’m a little surprised Washington didn’t run more screens because the 49ers simply could not stop them for most of the game.
On the injury report, the 49ers lost Arik Armstead to a hand injury, and Aaron Lynch to a calf injury. We’ll await word on their status for Week 7.
The 49ers are hosting the 2-3 Dallas Cowboys. This marks the second straight week the 49ers are playing a team coming off their bye week. The big story for Dallas is whether or not Ezekiel Elliott will be playing. His suspension was reinstated by a Texas court, but the legal process is far from over. I expect he will play this week while he appeals the ruling from earlier this week.