LANDOVER, Md. – After picking up their first win of the season last weekend, the Washington Redskins (1-5) host the San Francisco 49ers (5-0) Sunday afternoon.
Washington’s interim head coach Bill Callahan has been very vocal about his desire to rely heavily on the run game, but that’s especially difficult when going up against San Francisco’s defense.
The 49ers defense ranks No. 2 in the NFL and No. 4 in stopping opponents on third down. The latter ranking is bad news for the Redskins, who have a third-down conversion rate of 23.44%, ranking second to last in the NFL.
“They’re incredibly powerful up front. You’re going to play against a loaded box for a lot of the day,” offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell said. “Right about the time you get locked in on this or that, they do something different. Schematically, you’d say it provides you with some opportunity, but you’ve got to be very careful trying to be too aggressive in those situations when those plays present themselves.
“Every level of the defense, every aspect of throwing the football, you’ve got to be very careful about what you’re doing in their coverages as well as the pressure that they have, but then running the football. Whether it’s going to be a zone game, try to condense the formation down, spread the formation out. They’ve got some answers because their scheme is down.”
The 49ers have been the more successful team in series history, with a 20-11-1 record and 17-10-1 regular season record.
The last time these two faced off was in 2017, when Washington won 26-24.
Sunday’s game kicks off at 1 p.m. at FedEx Field.