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49ers Snap Two-game Skid on MNF in Washington

Posted Nov 25, 2013

Thanks to three touchdown passes from Colin Kaepernick and four sacks by its outside linebackers, San Francisco topped its host, 27-6, on "Monday Night Football."


Who knew that all these 49ers needed was a weekend trip to Washington?

Colin Kaepernick threw three touchdown passes, Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith combined for four sacks, and their 49ers snapped a two-game skid with a dominating 27-6 victory on a frigid Monday night at FedExField in Landover, Md.

With the win, San Francisco (7-4) reclaimed the second spot in the NFC West Standings, strengthening its place in the playoff picture. Its “Monday Night Football” host, not far from the nation’s capital, fell to 3-8.

Jim Harbaugh called it a "by-any-means-necessary" game.

"For the team, this was one of those that we had to have. We came a long way to get it," the coach said. "Our guys expended a lot of energy and toughness to get it."

VIEW: SF-WAS Photo Gallery

For the first time in three weeks, the 49ers offense eclipsed 200 yards, and Kaepernick led the charge. The embattled San Francisco signal-caller passed for 200-plus yards for the third time this season, completing 15 passes for 235 yards.

"We executed, plain and simple," said wideout Anquan Boldin, who nabbed two of three touchdown passes.

Kaepernick’s peer didn’t quite have the same night.

Washington’s Robert Griffin III-led offense was held to a pair of first-half Kai Forbath field goals despite the fact that the 49ers defense was without the services of cornerback Tarell Brown (ribs) and defensive tackle Ray McDonald (ankle).

Griffin appeared unsettled, as Brooks and Smith pushed him out of the pocket with regularity. Both outside linebackers recorded two sacks each, and Griffin finished the game 17-of-27 passing for 127 yards and an interception.

Brooks’ takedowns in the third and fourth quarters gave him a single-season career-high of 8.5 sacks with five games left on the schedule, while Smith now has 40 career sacks in the midst of his third pro season.

READ: SMITH, BROOKS DOMINANT IN DC

The 49ers scored the game’s first points on their third offensive drive. Kaepernick connected with Boldin for gains of 24 yards and 19 yards, the latter on a post-corner route in the end zone.

San Francisco’s defense got the ball right back on Washington’s ensuing possession. Smith, who did not start, rushed and spiked Griffin into the ground on a first-down play that resulted in a Donte Whitner interception.

Post-pick, Kaepernick found tight end Vernon Davis for a 40-yard gain to set up a 29-yard Phil Dawson field goal. The unit has scored after each of its defense’s last 19 turnovers, a streak that spans eight games.

There was more of the same in the third quarter. On the 49ers second possession of the period – Davis uncharacteristically fumbled away the first – Kaepernick found Boldin (32-yard gain) and Davis (21) to set up a six-yard touchdown toss to Boldin.

Boldin last had two touchdowns in one game on Dec. 12, 2012 against this same Washington team.

Davis finished the 49ers following drive with his own touchdown. After a 40-yard punt return by LaMichael James and a 21-yard toss to No. 2 tight end Vance McDonald, Kaepernick rolled to his right on a play-action fake and found Davis in the back of the end zone for a one-yard score.

This put the team ahead, 24-6, following the extra point. Dawson added his second field goal of the night, a 49-yarder, midway through the fourth quarter. The 15-year vet has executed 13 straight three-point attempts.

Davis’ 49th career touchdown catch moved him into a tie for fourth among the franchise’s all-time leaders.

Of Kaepernick’s 14 touchdown passes this season, nine have found Davis; the other five have found Boldin.

San Francisco hosts the St. Louis Rams (5-6) on Sunday at Candlestick Park.