The 49ers dominated Washington in all categories, except the most important one: turnovers.
Looking at the statistics from the 49ers' 23-15 loss to Washington on Sunday, you would think that the “home” team was able to win convincingly. That would have been the case if San Francisco had not committed three very costly turnovers.
Washington scored 17 points off of those turnovers, including two defensive touchdowns.
Late in the second quarter, Nick Mullens was sacked and subsequently fumbled the ball. Chase Young recovered the fumble and ran it 47 yards for a touchdown. Later, on the final play of the third quarter, Kamren Curl intercepted a Mullens pass and ran it back for a score.
Only the Denver Broncos have committed more turnovers (29) than the 49ers this season, who have given away the ball 25 times through Week 14. San Francisco's defense has accumulated 18 takeaways thus far, on pace to fall well short of the team's 27 takeaways last season.
“Extremely disappointing,” Kyle Shanahan said following the loss to Washington. “The way our defense was playing versus that offense, you have a very good chance to win as long as you just don't turn the ball over.
“For us to turn the ball over three times and them get 17 points off of it, too, without our defense even having to go on the field was borderline the backbreaker.”
The 49ers' defense played well, only allowing Washington to convert 12 first downs. The Football Team's only offensive points came from two field goals.
Washington quarterback Alex Smith was only able to complete eight of his 19 pass attempts for 57 yards. Dwayne Haskins, who took over for Smith just before the end of the first half, didn’t fare much better, completing seven of his 12 passes for 51 yards.
The 49ers' offense was on the field for 76 plays and held onto the ball for more than 32 minutes. San Francisco totaled 344 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per play, compared to Washington’s 3.1 average and 193 total yards.
The 49ers managed to convert 21 first downs; Thirteen through the air, seven on the ground and one by penalty. Mullens completed 25 of his 45 passes for 260 yards and one touchdown, but his turnovers were impossible for the team to overcome.