LANDOVER, Md. -- It looked like it was going to be a boat race in favor of the Washington Redskins. Washington jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first half when Kyle Shanahan decided to make a change at quarterback and benched Pierre Garçon.
C.J. Beathard jump-started the San Francisco 49ers offense to the tune of 17 unanswered points. The Redskins ultimately went on to win the game, 26-24, but we did see a changing of the guard in San Francisco. Shanahan confirmed postgame that Beathard will be the 49ers starting quarterback moving forward.
Here are the top takeaways from Week 6, starting with what we saw from the 49ers rookie quarterback.
1.** Hoyer couldn't get anything going in his quarter-plus of playing time. He completed just 4-of-11 passes for 34 yards and a 45.3 quarterback rating.
Beathard immediately started moving the ball downfield and helped the 49ers find the end zone before halftime. A 19-yard pass to Marquise Goodwin, a 30-yard pass to George Kittle and a 12-yard pass to Pierre Garçon got San Francisco to Washington's 13-yard line.
On 4th-and-1 with just three seconds left in the half, Hyde found the end zone to make it 17-7. San Francisco drove down the field again to start the third quarter but had to settle for a Robbie Gould field goal that made it 17-10.
The 49ers defense came up with a huge turnover when Ray-Ray Armstrong stripped Vernon Davis. Jimmie Ward recovered the loose ball and returned it all the way to Washington's 1-yard line. Hyde scored on the very next play to tie the game at 17.
Trailing 26-17 in the fourth quarter, Beathard found Aldrick Robinson for a 45-yard touchdown. It was Beathard's first-career TD pass. The 49ers followed with a stop to give the offense the ball back with :52 seconds left and no timeouts, needing just a field goal to win it. Beathard and Co. started at their own 20-yard line and made it all the way to Washington's 40 before Garçon got called for a phantom pass interference call. Beathard's hail mary was ultimately intercepted, clinching San Francisco's sixth-straight loss.
Beathard finished with 245 passing yards on 19 completions. He added one touchdown and one interception. Hyde ran the ball just 13 times for 28 yards but did score twice. Pierre Garçon had five receptions against his former team for 55 yards. Robinson's 66 receiving yards led the team.
2. San Francisco's defense dominated against the run. The 49ers limited Chris Thompson to just 33 yards on 16 carries. Samaje Perine was limited to 23 yards on nine carries. Kirk Cousins was the most effective runner with 26 yards on four carries, including a 7-yard touchdown run.
3. Unfortunately the 49ers defense was less successful against Washington's passing game. Cousins threw for 330 yards and two touchdowns . Much of the damage was done through short passes to Thompson. The running back led the Redskins with four catches for 105 yards. His longest reception was a 49-yard catch-and-run on a screen pass. Davis had three receptions for 65 yards against his former team and had one catch that went for 51 yards. Perine and Josh Doctson had the two touchdown catches.
4. The 49ers have now lost their last five games by a combined 13 points. This is the first time in NFL history that a team has lost five straight games by three points or less. They'll return home in Week 7 against the Dallas Cowboys, still in search of their first win of 2017.
5. In addition to Ward's fumble recovery, Rashard Robinson got his first interception of the season. The cornerback made an over-the-shoulder catch on a deep ball from Cousins down the right sideline.
6. The 49ers limited themselves to just seven penalties for 40 yards. It wasn't perfect, but it was an improvement from the run of double digit penalties San Francisco has seen in recent weeks. The 49ers were 6-of-17 on third down.
7. Stopping opponents on third down continues to be a struggle for the 49ers. The Redskins converted on 50 percent of their attempts on Sunday (7-of-14).
8. Reuben Foster (ankle) did not make his return and was inactive against Washington. Eric Reid (knee) did play but was used sparingly as he eases his way back into the lineup.
9. Aaron Lynch (calf) and Arik Armstead (hand) both left the game and did not return.