He might not be an All-Pro player anymore, but linebacker NaVorro Bowman’s absence was certainly missed.
San Francisco 49ers
Washington attacked the center of San Francisco’s defense with success and regularity, and there’s a pretty significant drop off from Bowman to a usual-special teams linebacker, Brock Coyle.
Overall, the Niners gave up 419 all-purpose yards and allowed the Redskins to convert 50 percent of the time on third downs (7-of-14).
Defensive Line: B
Aside from a missed read on a keeper play from Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, rookie defensive end Solomon Thomas arguably had the best game of his budding season thus far. He finished the game with a team-leading nine tackles and one sack.
Backup defensive lineman Xavier Cooper was in the backfield regularly, picking up a tackle for a loss.
The Niners still hurt for a true edge rusher, though.
There’s a pretty steep difference between Bowman and Reuben Foster compared to Week 6’s linebacking starters, Coyle and Ray-Ray Armstrong.
Armstrong’s play improved in the second half before giving up a huge play to tight end Vernon Davis, shown below, which led to a key Washington touchdown:
Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster (ankle) can’t come back soon enough.
Defensive Backs: C
Strong safety Jaquiski Tartt has all but assured the Niners don’t need to keep the veteran, Eric Reid, on their roster next season.
Tartt suffered an injury late in the game but managed five tackles, including one for a loss. Aside from a coverage gaffe, that led to the Redskins’ first touchdown, Tartt was excellent in Week 6 before the injury.
And free safety Jimmie Ward continues to showcase why he’s better suited for his natural position instead of at cornerback.
Speaking of cornerbacks, the 49ers have some issues here, as we all know. No. 1 corner Rashard Robinson did manage to have a “gimme” interception, but he had his issues in coverage. And rookie corner Ahkello Witherspoon looked like, well, a rookie.