First, let's get to the injury report:
Mike Iupati confirms injury will keep him out of Monday Night Football vs. Washington - Niners Nation
He struggled mightily last season. In limited duty this season he's been OK, but this is a big step up in playing time. Last week's 18 snaps were the most snaps he has played this season.
Usually injuries to an offensive line are something that the Redskins stout pass rush (on paper) should take advantage of but they did not step up to the plate vs the Vikings when their OLine was decimated. Certainly stunting and overloading that left side seems like a good game plan for Monday night.
On the defensive side...
Defensive tackle, Ray McDonald, did also not practice. As great as the 49ers defense has been both against the pass and the rush, they rank a lowly 27th in sacks with only 21. That is great news for an inconsistent Redskins line and RGIII who has been getting battered week in and week out.
In addition, the Saints laid out a blueprint on how to stop the Niners and Gore: All-22 Breakdown of how the Saints stuffed the 49ers run game - Niners Nation. An in depth analysis using All-22 film of how the Saints held the 49ers to 81 yards rushing by packing the box and daring the 49ers to throw the ball
The Redskins have continually showed the inability to make fundamental tackles, so Frank Gore certainly adds a challenge in that department.
With all that being said, I think the Redskins breakout candidates besides RGIII are:
- Alfred Morris - No other team rushes the ball to the left side more than the Redskins. They overage over 5.7 yards a carry when they do. The 49ers rush defense ranks in the 20s stopping rushes in that dreiction.
- Aldrick Robinson - The Niners passing coverage is top 10 in every part of the field (left, middle, right, short and deep) except for deep middle. Opponents have only thrown the ball there six times this year, but the Niners have not been good on those plays. We all know how much Shanahan loves that part of the field.
- Brandon Meriweather - The Redskins D needs someone to step up and Meriweather is one of the better play makers on the team. He's always around the ball for tackles and he has the chance to set the tone and keep the crowd in the game.
Who did I miss?