Kyle Shanahan is one of the NFL’s premier offensive innovators.
But his San Francisco 49ers didn’t need a touchdown on Sunday to secure their best start since Joe Montana played quarterback. The 49ers shut down the Redskins in Washington on a wet, muddy field for a 9-0 victory to improve to 6-0 on the season.
Regardless of the conditions and the struggles on offense, they enjoyed every minute of it. They capped the victory in appropriate fashion as Rookie of the Year candidate Nick Bosa swooped in to sack Washington quarterback Case Keenum in the game’s final seconds, preserving the shutout and leading to an innovative sack celebration.
Bosa’s Slip ‘N Slide
Bosa channeled his inner child and dove chest first in the turf to slide across the wet field like a Slip ‘N Slide and was joined by three of his teammates in the celebration.
The 6-0 start marks the best start in San Francisco since 1990, when Joe Montana led the 49ers to 10 straight wins to open the season. And much like the Montana days, this team has its sights set on a Super Bowl.
Shanahan’s postgame message for Redskins
Shanahan, who was the offensive coordinator in Washington under his dad Mike Shanahan from 2010-13, savored the victory over the team that fired his father, gifting him the game ball in the postgame locker room.
The win was far from the high-octane performance associated with a Shanahan team. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo managed just 151 passing yards and an interception as the 49ers failed to score until the third quarter.
But they stifled an impotent Washington offense, holding the Redskins to 154 yards from scrimmage in a defensive gem that personifies the identity of this team. Adrian Peterson tallied 81 yards on the ground as the only reliable Washington weapon as Keenum managed 77 passing yards while taking three sacks.
49ers can win playing multiple brands of football
The 49ers are capable of lighting up the scoreboard, having scored at least 31 points in three of their victories. But their defense is dominant and on a roll, having allowed a total of 10 points in San Francisco’s past three victories over the Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams and Redskins.
They’re a team that can win ugly or by lighting up the highlight reel, and they can seemingly always count on their defense to have a big game.
It’s a recipe that’s going to make the 49ers a tough out for the rest of the season.
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