In what was a very good borderline dominating defensive performance by the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night in their 27-6 win over the Washington Redskins. The 49ers’ pass rush was in top form as it was able to get to Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III on a number of occasions, especially in the second half. In particular, the play of Aldon Smith, who saw increased playing time as he regains football playing fitness and rhythm, was on display all night.
Outside of the final two Redskins first half drives in which they were able to score six points and were able to pass the football relatively well, the 49ers were on a consistent basis able to get to RGIII and force an incompletion, hit him and take him to the ground, or sack him. The numbers support how well the 49ers’ pass rush played was on Monday night as they sacked RGIII four times and hit him another seven times. This does not include the number of other times where RGIII could have been hit as in the end he finished 17-of-27 for 127 yards passing with one interception.
Several factors accounted for the pass rush being as good as it was on Monday night for the 49ers. First and foremost, Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks both took advantage of going up against an offensive line that has struggled to play well this season, and they wreaked havoc as each had two sacks in the game. The ability to put pressure ensured that the 49ers’ pass rush could take advantage of this weakness.
Because the pass rush was as good as it was against the Redskins, the defense was then able to eliminate and neutralize the effectiveness and ability of the likes of Pierre Garcon to be able to get open and pick up significant yardage down the field. With Aldon Smith back in rhythm, the 49ers were able to take advantage of a team and a quarterback that have had trouble against pressure this season. And as a result the 49ers’ pass rush was in fine form in a winning effort.