|Other Week 17 Game Recaps|
|CAR at NO||CHI at HOU||CLE at PIT||DAL at PHI||DEN at SD||DET at GB||JAX at BAL||KC at CIN|
|MIA at NYJ||NE at BUF||NYG at MIN||OAK at TB||SEA at ARI||STL at ATL||TEN at IND||WAS at SF|
Week 17 Game Recap: Washington Redskins 24, San Francisco 49ers 27
What you need to know
QB Jason Campbell was inconsistent through much of the game and only strung together a single extended scoring drive on the day. He made up for a below average passing day, however, with some key rushes late in the game, including a two yard score.
RB Clinton Portis was used early and often in the game, rushing almost 30 times. While he ran well early, he seemed to wear down as the game progressed. With 80 yards and a TD, however, it was still a solid performance.
WR Santana Moss struggled as much as Campbell with his consistency and as a result caught only just over half of the balls thrown his way for just under 70 yards.
|San Francisco 49ers|
QB Shaun Hill, while he did struggle at times and was on somewhat of a leash early on, finished with a very strong passing performance as he led his team to a last second victory.
WR Josh Morgan was a real bright spot in the passing game as he regularly gained separation and made plays all over the field. He certainly looks to have a very bright future.
What you ought to know
|QB Jason Campbell, Pass: 18 - 30 - 156 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 39 - 1|
A combination of his being off target early and a successful running attack kept Campbell from doing much in the first quarter. Come the second quarter, however, the Redskins passing game started to click even though the ground game was still the primary focus. Campbell efficiently managed the offense, mixing short to intermediate completions in amongst the rushes as he orchestrated a 17 play, nine-plus minute drive that culminated in a play-action toss to WR Antwaan Randle El for an eight yard score. That drive would be the high point of the day as far as passing performance for Campbell, as, while he didn't make any huge mistakes in the second half, he also didn't light the world on fire. It was actually with his feet that Campbell contributed the most impressive plays in the second half as he rushed for some key first downs and then tied the game at 1:09 to go with a two yard scoring scramble.
|RB Clinton Portis, Rush: 29 - 80 - 1|
When Portis got the ball less than 20 times per game this season, the Redskins were winless, so Washington Head Coach Jim Zorn seemed determined to get Portis his 20 touches early. Washington's second drive was heavily weighted towards the run, and while Portis didn't break off any huge gains, he did chew up yards in chunks of four and five at a time. The drive ended fittingly as Portis took the ball over the left side for a four yard score. This heavy focus on the run would be story for most of the day, though Portis' production would decline as the game progressed and result in 80 yards on 29 carries. The lone dark spot in Portis' performance was an early third quarter lost fumble.
|WR Santana Moss, Rec: 6 - 68 - 0 (11 targets)|
With a run heavy offense and QB Jason Campbell struggling at times with his accuracy, Moss' opportunities to make plays were not that plentiful. While some of the blame for Moss only hauling in six of his 11 targets for 68 yards must fall on Campbell, Moss didn't do anything to help himself either as he also dropped or otherwise missed at least three catchable balls.
|WR Antwaan Randle El, Rec: 3 - 16 - 1 (7 targets)|
With the Redskins focusing heavily on the rushing game, Randle El didn't receive many opportunities to excel. When he did, however, he made at least one of them count. Late in the second quarter he scooped in a short pass from QB Jason Campbell and stretched out to get the ball across the goal-line for Washington's only TD through the air on the day.
|TE Chris Cooley, Rec: 6 - 57 - 0 (7 targets)|
With the Washington passing game somewhat limited in its usage, Cooley didn't get the ball thrown to him as much as usual. Even so, he converted on six of his seven targets and finished second on the team with 57 receiving yards. In this game Cooley tended to be utilized on short routes or screen passes as opposed to strikes downfield, and while Cooley did come close to a score late in the game, he was stopped at the two yard line.
|PK Shaun Suisham 1 - 1 FG, 3 - 3 XP, 6 points|
Suisham was asked to attempt a single FG and made it from 41 yards out.
|WAS Rush Defense|
Whether it was RB Frank Gore or DeShaun Foster running the ball for the 49ers hardly mattered as Washington allowed both to gain plenty of yards on almost every carry. San Francisco averaged gains of 4.7 yards per carry on the day and scored two rushing TDs to add insult to injury. Only the 49ers' need to pass the ball late took the pressure of this underperforming defensive unit.
|WAS Pass Defense|
While they succeeded in keeping 49ers QB Shaun Hill under control in the first half -- even picking him off on one occasion -- in the second half the Washington pass defense collapsed. On two fourth quarter drives Hill and, in particular, WR Josh Morgan were able to pick the Redskin pass defense apart en route to taking the lead and then winning the game. In the end the Washington defense gave up almost 250 passing yards and recorded only a single sack.
|QB Shaun Hill, Pass: 21 - 30 - 245 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 4 - 8 - 1|
On the 49ers' first drive Hill ran the offense efficiently, completing all of his passes and then making the smart decision to abort a planned shovel pass and rush the ball in himself for a short touchdown. Even so, it was clear that San Francisco wanted to focus on the ground game and Hill's chances to succeed (or fail) were limited in the early going. Where Hill was successful in the first half was in the short to medium game as he seemed to hit his targets in those zones with regularity. Downfield was a different story, however. Early in the second quarter he made an ill-advised pass 20 yards downfield toward WR Josh Morgan who was surrounded by Washington DBs. One of them, Carlos Rogers, picked off the pass and returned it 33 yards. As the game moved to its second half -- and in particular the fourth quarter, Hill dropped back much more often and generated some solid plays, including downfield. In the 49ers' first drive of the final quarter Hill was six of seven in passing attempts, and capped it off with a nine yard TD toss to WR Jason Hill. On the 49ers' final drive of the game Hill was just as impressive as he took his team down the field with roughly a minute remaining and set up the game-winning FG. Aside from the interception, Hill had a very good game.
|RB Frank Gore, Rush: 11 - 58 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets)|
Back in the action after missing time with a bad ankle, Gore got the start for San Francisco but ended up with only 11 carries as he split time with fellow RB DeShaun Foster. When he was in the action in the first half, Gore looked like the powerful, dynamic back that he is and regularly gashed the Washington defense for solid gains. As the game progressed, however, Gore would immediately head for the sidelines after most runs and ultimately sat out much of the second half.
|RB DeShaun Foster, Rush: 9 - 44 - 1, Rec: 3 - 20 - 0 (3 targets)|
While fellow RB Frank Gore was back in the mix as the 49ers' starter at RB, Foster still saw plenty of action as Gore wasn't playing at 100%. Not only did this result in a solid performance, yardage-wise, but it also saw him score a third quarter TD from the one yard line while Gore nursed his injured ankle on the sideline. Foster was also involved in the passing game, as he received a handful of targets on screen tosses and short routes in the second half.
|WR Jason Hill, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0, Rec: 4 - 28 - 1 (4 targets)|
Involved in the offense as much as any other San Francisco WR, Hill eclipsed his fellow wide-outs with the team's only TD catch of the day. On that fourth quarter play he took a short dump-off from QB Shaun Hill at the seven yard line and made for the right pylon. While he looked likely to be tackled short, Hill stretched out to get the ball across the goal-line and give his team a late 21-17 lead. Hill also saw a rushing attempt on an end around play early in the game that saw him gain nine yards.
|WR Josh Morgan, Rec: 3 - 50 - 0 (5 targets)|
No receiver was more impressive for the 49ers on the day than Morgan as he was regularly able to find the soft spots in the Washington defense and get open. This was the case whether Morgan ran short, intermediate or long routes. The only thing holding Morgan back from a huge day seemed to be the intermittent struggles of QB Shaun Hill. When Hill was on target, Morgan produced. When Hill wasn't, Morgan didn't.
|WR Isaac Bruce, Rec: 2 - 8 - 0 (3 targets)|
Though he started at WR, Bruce received only three targets and pulled in only two for eight total yards. He was as close to being a non-factor in this game as it is possible to be without putting up a series of zeros in the stat lines.
|WR Bryant Johnson, Rec: 2 - 43 - 0 (5 targets)|
Though he started and was tied for the team lead in targets, Johnson only managed to haul in two receptions. Though he made the most of them, averaging 21.5 yards per, it was still a mediocre performance.
|TE Vernon Davis, Rec: 3 - 18 - 0 (3 targets)|
While Davis successfully converted three of his targets into receptions, he simply wasn't a large enough part of the offensive game plan to make a significant impact and finished with only 18 yards on the day.
|PK Joe Nedney 2 - 3 FG, 3 - 3 XP, 9 points|
In the first quarter Nedney missed a 48 yard FG attempt. While the snap was bad, the hold was fine, but Nedney hooked it very wide left. In the fourth quarter Nedney easily hit on a 34 yard attempt early and then booted a 40-yarder with no time left on the clock to cinch the win.
|SF Rush Defense|
Early on it looked as if the 49ers rush defense was in for a long day as Washington RB Clinton Portis ran all over them. As the game progressed, however, they seemed to grow stronger and managed to stuff Portis on more plays than not. In the end, San Francisco ended up allowing Portis less than three yards per rush.
|SF Pass Defense|
While they rarely generated much pressure on Washington QB Jason Campbell and only generated a single sack, San Francisco's pass defense was effective in keeping him inconsistent all day and did not allow any passes over 17 yards. This was largely a result of effective coverage, though some of the credit (or blame) must also fall on Campbell's shoulders since he was just plain off target at times.