San Francisco 49ers

49ers and Redskins go scoreless in a rain-soaked first half

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) looks for a receiver as he is pressured by Washington Redskins defensive end Matthew Ioannidis in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) looks for a receiver as he is pressured by Washington Redskins defensive end Matthew Ioannidis in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) AP

The first half of Sunday’s game was largely defined by the wet conditions.

A steady rain started early in the morning and kept pouring through the afternoon. And neither the 49ers nor the Washington Redskins could get their footing on the slippery surface at FedEx Field. The two teams hit the locker room without putting a point on the board.

The teams combined for 36 rushing attempts and just 17 passes, and both missed field goals toward the south east side of the field.

The 49ers’ biggest play of the first half came from reserve defensive tackle Jullian Taylor, who knifed in the backfield on fourth-and-short near the end of the first half to stuff Adrian Peterson for a 1-yard loss at San Francisco’s 28-yard line.

The sloppy conditions likely led to Washington coach Bill Callahan electing to go for it rather than try a second field goal in the rain – despite points clearly being at a premium.

With the stop, the 49ers’ defense has prevented opponents from converting their last five fourth-down attempts going back to last week’s win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Jimmy Garoppolo struggled. The 49ers quarterback went 3 of 10 with just 9 yards in the first half. Though he was the team’s leading rusher for most of the half with 20 yards on four carries, including one where he made three players miss before Robbie Gould missed his 45-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter.

Matt Breida sprung a couple runs late in the first half and had 28 yards on six carries. Receiver Marquise Goodwin left the game in the first quarter to get checked for a head injury.

While there’s been talk about long snapper Garrison Sanborn (who’s likely to get replaced by Kyle Nelson when his suspension ends next week), the snap and hold from punter Mitch Wishnowsky appeared to be fine on Gould’s attempt. Gould shanked the kick wide left, putting him at 9 of 16 on the season (56 percent).

Washington quarterback Case Keenum completed 5 of 7 for 43 yards. His longest completion was an 18-yard screen that was poorly defended by the 49ers on a third-and-long. Peterson began the game with six consecutive runs and finished the first half with 57 yards on 14 carries.

Chris Biderman has covered the 49ers since 2013 and began covering the team for The Sacramento Bee in August 2018. He previously spent time with the Associated Press and USA TODAY Sports Media Group. A Santa Rosa native, he graduated with a degree in journalism from The Ohio State University.
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