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Need to Know: First look at Redskins-49ers

Nov 20, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

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Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 20, five days before the Washington Redskins host the San Francisco 49ers.

Nickel coverage

Five things you need to know about the Redskins-49ers game:

1. The Redskins and 49ers both have lost their last two games. The similarity in their recent experiences ends there. Washington lost to the Vikings, now 2-8, and the mediocre Eagles. San Francisco lost fourth-quarter leads to Carolina and New Orleans, two of the top teams in the NFC.

2. One storyline in San Francisco that is familiar around these parts is that Colin Kaepernick is having some trouble equaling his 2012 performance, when he started the last seven games and helped get the Niners to the Super Bowl. His completion percentage is down (56.2% this year vs. 62.4% in 2012) as is his yards per attempt (6.8 vs. 8.6) and his interception percentage is up (2.8% vs. 1.4%). After being hailed as a superstar in the making nine months ago, many are wondering if he can be much more than a competent starter.

3. Cause or effect? It’s not like Kaepernick is operating in a target-rich environment. Anquan Bouldin (47) and Vernon Davis (34) have 57 percent of the team’s receptions. That is quite top heavy. Their third leading receiver, fullback Bruce Miller, has 12 catches.

4. But just like the Redskins’ struggling QB can hand off to Alfred Morris, Kaepernick has ageless wonder Frank Gore to pound the rock. He is on pace to do what he’s done for six of the last seven years, rush for between 1,100 and 1,200 yards. He’s 30 and he has over 2,400 career touches and he’s still going strong. If I’m Morris, I hunt him down before the game and ask for longevity tips.

5. Redskins fans lamented the departure of cornerback Carlos Rogers, who played the first six seasons of his career with the Redskins after being their first-round pick in the 2005 draft. He signed with the 49ers as a free agent in 2011. It looked particularly bad when Rogers picked off six passes and made the Pro Bowl in that first season in San Francisco. Although he remains a solid starter and is a player the Redskins certainly could use, he has picked off just two passes in the last two seasons. That keeps him off of the highlight shows so he’s now out of the minds of many Redskins fans.

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Timeline

—Days until: Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 5; Giants @ Redskins 111; Chiefs @ Redskins 18

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Practice 1:00; Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan news conferences after practice (approx. 3:00)

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