Keeping Tabs on Washington's Team

Skins Drop Fourth Straight to Hot 49ers

San Francisco 19, Washington 11

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 6: Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson #85 of the Washington Redskins eludes linebacker NaVorro Bowman #53, Dashon Goldson #38, and Carlos Rogers #22 of the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter at FedExField on November 6, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. The San Francisco 49ers won, 19-11. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

    A couple of Washington Redskins records were set in Sunday’s home game against the San Francisco 49ers. Kicker Graham Gano’s 59-yard field goal as time expired in the first half is the longest in franchise history. And rookie Roy Helo caught a franchise-record 14 passes for 105 yards out of the backfield.

    But the good news -- and scoring -- for the Skins pretty much ended there. (OK, they added a touchdown -- their first in eight quarters -- and two point conversion with 1:10 left in the game.)

    The 49ers won 19-11 on the strength of kicker David Akers’s leg -- four field goals. At least the Skins held San Fran to just one touchdown.

    It was the Redskins’ fourth-consecutive loss and the 49ers’ sixth-straight victory. The 49ers improved to 7-1 and have their longest winning streak since 1997. They are also 4-0 on the road for the first time since 1992 and hold a commanding lead in the NFC West.

    Frank Gore ran for 107 yards on 19 carries for San Francisco (his fifth-straight 100-yeard game), and the NFL's stingiest scoring defense forced three turnovers.

    Alex Smith completed 17 of 24 passes for 197 yards. He hit rookie fullback Bruce Miller late in the first half for the seventh-round draft pick's first career touchdown.

    The Redskins dropped to 3-5.

    Redskins coach Mike Shanahan tried to shake things up by giving debut starts to three rookies -- running back Helu, receiver Leonard Hankerson and left guard Maurice Hurt -- but the offense continued to explore new depths of futility a week after the first shutout Shanahan has suffered in his career.

    John Beck again had trouble finding open receivers, completing 30 of 47 passes for 254 yards with one touchdown and one interception. And the Redskins were on the verge of going eight quarters without scoring a touchdown until Beck found Jabar Gaffney with 1:10 remaining.

    San Francisco's defense, tops in the league against the run entering the weekend, gave up just 52 yards on the ground. The 49ers haven't allowed a rushing touchdown this season.

    An indication of the Redskins' struggles: Their leading receiver was Helu. His longest reception was 17 yards.

    By contrast, Smith managed the game efficiently, hitting 17 of 24 passes for 197 yards.

    Turnovers led to 10 of the 49ers' points. Dashon Goldson's interception near midfield set up a 52-yard field goal in the second quarter by Akers, who has made all four attempts from 50-plus yards this season.

    Then, after another field goal by Akers, Helu caught a pass and was stripped by linebacker Patrick Willis. Donte Whitner recovered, and Smith hit Miller for a 30-yard score on the next play to give the 49ers a 13-0 lead late in the first half.

    Willis created another takeaway in the fourth quarter, forcing receiver Terrence Austin to fumble as the Redskins were trying to play catch-up.

    The Redskins found all sorts of ways to kill drives, including a 15-yard personal foul penalty for a late hit by left tackle Trent Williams that negated a third-down conversion into 49ers territory in the second quarter.

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