No. 1: Defensive End Solomon Thomas
In most cases, a shutout against any team would suggest the defense had an awesome day. And that was surely the case for the 49ers, even though the Redskins aren’t exactly having a great season, offensively.
That said, third-year defensive end Solomon Thomas would probably like to have a do-over for some of his efforts on Sunday.
San Francisco 49ers
Thomas got the start at nose tackle in place of the injured D.J. Jones, which appeared to play into the former’s strong interior-rushing and run-stopping abilities. Yet the Redskins’ limited offensive success primarily came from veteran running back Adrian Peterson, who had little trouble within inside rushes.
Right in Thomas’ direction.
The Niners shored up their run defense after Washington’s first possession, yes. But Thomas had a couple of other gaffes, too. On one play, he jumped offsides and was called for encroachment following the hard count by Case Keenum.
That wasn’t too bad, but Thomas was also flagged for a hit on Keenum, which ultimately wiped out a 1st-and-25 after back-to-back Redskins penalties moved them in the wrong direction.
Sure, the call might have been somewhat ticky-tack. But Thomas’ helmet hit the facemask of Keenum, and the officials will call that kind of hit more often than not.
Thankfully for Thomas and San Francisco, linebacker Kwon Alexander forced a fumble from Peterson a few plays later, which the 49ers recovered.