The 49ers started the game as you would have expected. The 49ers' defense forced a punt and had a turnover on downs on its first four possessions. Washington attempted to go for it on fourth down but to no avail.
Brock Purdy and the offense moved the ball with ease before a trick play on 4th & 1 didn’t work. The offense would continue to sputter on their ensuing drive, but the struggles would end there.
From their 1-yard line, the 49ers marched 99 yards, thanks Ray-Ray McCloud outracing the Commanders' defense on a perfectly blocked reverse en route to a 71-yard touchdown. That gave San Francisco a 7-0 lead.
Washington was the beneficiary of a lucky bounce, as a pass that hit Jauan Jennings in the hands deflected into the air and in the hands of Washington’s defensive back. Their wideout also lucked into a first down on a third down target, leading to a Commanders touchdown. That made it 7-7 and took us into halftime.
The Commanders were 7th defensively in DVOA since Week 10 heading into today and had the 2nd best passing defense. It showed in the first half, but that would change in the second half.
The 49ers scored 30 points in the second half. They had seven drives and scored on six of them. The offense doesn’t get all of the credit here, as the defense forced a turnover on downs that gave the offense a short field. George Kittle ended up scoring on a 34-yard touchdown pass. Washington also had a fumble and an interception. But that’s the type of complementary football necessary to win it all.
Nick Bosa had a pair of sacks and QB hits and lived in the backfield all afternoon. Don’t be surprised if he has double-digit pressures when the stats are released.
Jimmie Ward continued his high-level play in the slot and was rewarded with an interception. It felt as though the secondary had their hands on multiple passes. Tashaun Gipson almost had an interception on the first possession of the game. Talanoa Hufanga nearly picked off Taylor Heinicke.
Kittle finished the game with six receptions for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Aiyuk had five receptions for 81 yards. You would have had no idea the team was without Deebo Samuel.
This was a letdown spot for nearly every team in the NFL. The 49ers were off an emotional victory against a divisional rivalry and had little to play for Saturday. Yet, they come out of the half and establish their dominance. Impressive, and that’s why this is arguably the best team in the NFL.