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Redskins fall short in San Francisco 17-13

Although the Redskins forced three turnovers, it wasn't enough to get a much needed win on the road. The Redskins drop to 3-8 on the season.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

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Washington Redskins






San Francisco 49ers






What would a Sunday be without some sort of Redskins drama before the team even plays a down of their game? I don't know either. Today it was reported that Robert Griffin III would be on a short leash in San Francisco and that Coach Jay Gruden would bench him if the third year signal caller struggled.

The Redskins will face a tough 49ers team that features a phenomenal pass rush, including a freshly reinstated Aldon Smith who will go against rookie Morgan Moses making his first start at left tackle in place of Trent Williams. Not the best scenario for a quarterback that is struggling and hasn't looked confident in some time.

The Redskins need to prove a lot today. Prove they can be competitive, provide something positive to hang their hats on because there was no positives to take from last weeks debacle against Tampa Bay.

Despite a rough start to the game, the Redskins find themselves down by just three heading into the locker room at halftime. The Redskins had a shaky start on both sides of the ball, starting the game with a three and out, followed by a quick touchdown by the Niners.

However, the Redskins got right back into the game when Brandon Meriweather forced a fumble that was recovered by Ryan Clark. Although the Redskins didn't convert the turnover into points, they flipped the field position pinning the 49ers deep in their own territory. The next time the Redskins got the ball, the tied it up thanks to some encouraging throws from RG 3 and some tough running by Alfred Morris.

The Redskins got back to what was so successful in 2012, pounding the ball in the running game and throwing the ball off play action, where arguably Robert Griffin III is at his best.

The 49ers did get a field goal on their final drive of the half after converting a 4th and 2, making the score 10-7 heading into the locker room. It will be extremely important for the Redskins to keep the turnover battle in their favor, and for Griffin to come out of the locker room and continue to be in rhythm as he was on his last drive.

The Redskins are in a terrible position in the secondary (worse than normal I should say). With Amerson sidelined because of a violation of team rules, Tracy Porter was set to start with E.J. Biggers set to man the slot. However, when both left the game with injury undrafted rookie Craig Ducre who was signed off the San Diego practice squad came up with a huge interception on his first defensive snaps of the season. That is an unlikely spark for a defense that has only forced three interceptions on the season.

However, after the momentum shifting interception, the Redskins go three and out. That is the second time this afternoon Washington has been unable to convert turnovers into points. These are the types of little things that are the difference between winning and losing football games.

This is what infuriates coaches about RG 3: after throwing a beautiful strike to Jackson, RG 3 fails to recognize the blitz and holds the ball just a second too long resulting a big sack and a loss of 9. Those are the types of plays that have to be eliminated, yes he's young and yes he is attempting to develop, but Griffin needs to show more improvement in this area, he has failed to show strides in this area thus far. Luckily for the Redskins and Griffin the play was bailed out by a helmet to helmet hit.

The Redskins were unable to score a touchdown after the penalty, settling for the field goal to tie the game at 10.

The Redskins just haven't gotten the small things to go right in this game. RG 3 hung tough in the pocket to convert a third down only to have it negated by a holding penalty. Not to mention Griffin took a shot on the play that ultimately didn't matter.

The Redskins got some help from two young defenders to give their offense another shot. Rookie linebacker Trent Murphy forced a Frank Gore fumble, which was then recovered by second year safety Phillip Thomas, who is seeing his first defensive snaps of the season due to an injury depleted secondary.

The Redskins are now plus three in the turnover battle, this game should not be tied. The Redskins do manage to get points of the turnover, taking their first lead of the game 13-10.

The 49ers drive right down the field, and score a touchdown to regain the lead 17-13.

The Redskins have played better than anyone expected them to. They fought through adversity on the road and had young players make some big plays when they needed it. But when you force three turnovers, don't give the ball away, and have been running the ball well, you expect to win the ballgame. With just under three minutes in the game, RG 3 has a chance for a statement drive to temporarily silence his critics. Lets see what the third year quarterback is made of.

Not the posession Griffin or the Redskins were hoping for. After a first down incompletion Griffin took a sack he shouldn't have and missed on his third throw as well.

As well as the Redskins overall have played, they have not done enough to win. Despite the defense playing a very solid game, the focus will be on the fact that Griffin was ineffective again, took too many sacks, and failed to throw for 100 yards or a touchdown. I'm not sure if it's possible, but Griffin might be on a shorter leash with Coach Jay Gruden after this week than he was entering this week.

The Redskins defense did their job, forcing a three and out. The Redskins will get the ball back with around 1:40 to go. The defenses effort today has been admirable, with starters such as Brian Orakpo, DeAngelo Hall, and Chris Baker among others missing from the lineup the defense has played very well, with some young guys stepping up when the Redskins needed them to.

As the Redskins love to do, they make everything harder on themselves than they have to. After a penalty on the punt return, Morgan Moses jumped off-sides to back the Skins offense up to the 4 yard line, 96 yards away from the lead.

A fitting end to the game, rookie Morgan Moses was beat by Justin Smith hitting Griffin from his blind side, fumbling the ball, San Francisco recovers. Game over.