News & Analysis

NFL Week 14 PFF ReFocused: Washington Football Team 23, San Francisco 49ers 15

Dec 13, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) returns a fumble for a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Football Team defense carried a combination of Alex Smith and Dwayne Haskins to a 23-15 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 14.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

STORY OF THE GAME

Led by defensive rookie of the year favorite Chase Young, Washington scored two defensive touchdowns and held San Francisco to just 4.8 yards per play on the day. Young and fellow rookie Kamren Curl scored both of the defensive touchdowns for Washington. Young scooped up a Nick Mullens fumble and returned it 47 yards for the score with 1:11 left in the second quarter. Curl returned a Mullens interception for a 76-yard touchdown as time expired in the third quarter.

Washington defensive linemen Montez Sweat and Daron Payne also turned in strong performances despite not finding the end zone like their teammates. They both should finish with above average PFF grades when reviews are complete. Mullens, quite simply, cost the 49ers the game. He’ll likely finish PFF’s review process as the game’s lowest-graded player. He completed just 25 of 45 passes for 260 yards, one touchdown and an interception. 

ROOKIE WATCH

49ers rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk should finish PFF’s grading reviews as one of the team’s highest-graded players. He led the team with 10 receptions and 119 receiving yards, including three contested catches and 31 yards after the catch.

Fellow 49ers rookie Colton McKivitz also turned in a strong performance, as the former West Virginia tackle played more than 50 offensive snaps at guard against Washington and didn’t allow a single pressure on first review. Young and Curl stole the show for all the rookies on the defensive side of the ball with two defensive touchdowns and strong PFF grades for both youngsters.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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