49ers

Kyle Shanahan, 49ers getting ready to face Mason Rudolph-led Steelers

Kyle Shanahan, 49ers getting ready to face Mason Rudolph-led Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger ranks in the top 10 all-time of some of the most significant NFL passing statistics.

The Steelers (0-2) will visit Levi’s Stadium with Mason Rudolph at quarterback on Sunday to face the 49ers (2-0), who will be looking to open unbeaten after three games for the first time since 1998.

Roethlisberger will not be in uniform against the 49ers on Sunday after requiring season-ending elbow surgery. Coach Kyle Shanahan said he and his coaches were in the early stages of preparing to face the Roethlisberger-less Steelers when he met with the media on Monday afternoon in Santa Clara.

“Any time they don’t have Ben, that’s a huge deal,” Shanahan said. “Ben’s one of the best quarterbacks of our generation, so I know it’s got to be huge blow for them. But I know Rudolph will be ready. He’ll step in. They’ve always had a good scheme. They know what they’re doing. They got some other players out there, too.

“It’s still the NFL. It’s going to be a very tough game, but any time you lose a guy like Ben Roethlisberger . . . everyone knows how good he is, and I still think he’s underrated, so that’s a big blow for them.”

Roethlisberger ranks sixth all-time with 56,545 passing yards; seventh in touchdowns (363) and completions (4,651); and tied for ninth in career yards per pass attempt (7.8). He has earned six trips to the Pro Bowl and is a two-time Super Bowl champion.

The Steelers led Seattle 10-7 at halftime at the point Roethlisberger left the game with the injury. Rudolph played the entire second half and completed 12 of 19 pass attempts for 112 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in his first NFL appearance.

The Steelers selected Rudolph (6-foot-5, 235 pounds) in the third round of the 2018 draft with the No. 76 overall selection. Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen  , Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson – all chosen in the first round – were the only quarterbacks drafted ahead of Rudolph.

Rudolph was inactive for every game last season, as the Steelers went with Joshua Dobbs as the backup quarterback last season.

[RELATED: Why 49ers should trade for Ramsey]

Rudolph won the backup job over Dobbs to open this season, and the Steelers traded Dobbs last week to Jacksonville for a fifth-round pick in the 2020 draft.

On Monday, the Steelers placed Ben Roethlisberger on injured reserve and promoted rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges from the practice squad to serve as Rudolph’s backup. Hodges originally signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent from Samford.

Nick Bosa seals 49ers' win with sack, then slip-and-slide celebration

slipnslideus.jpg
USATSI

Nick Bosa seals 49ers' win with sack, then slip-and-slide celebration

FedEx Field was wet, rainy, muddy and full of sloppy football on Sunday. It also was the home of another 49ers win and another sack from Nick Bosa. 

The 49ers rookie sealed San Francisco's 9-0 win over Washington by sacking quarterback Case Keenum in the game's final seconds, and proceeded with the perfect celebration. 

Bosa turned the field into his own personal Slip 'N Slide before being joined by teammates DeForest Buckner, Dee Ford and Arik Armstead. 

The sack and celebration were just two more examples of Bosa already looking like a star for the 49ers. He ended the win with seven tackles -- four for loss -- one quarterback hit and his fourth sack this season. 

San Francisco's defense finished the day with three sacks and seven tackles for loss. Washington totaled only 154 yards as they fell to 1-6 on the year.

49ers takeaways: What we learned in sloppy 9-0 win over Washington

49erstakeawaysusatsi.jpg
USATSI

49ers takeaways: What we learned in sloppy 9-0 win over Washington

BOX SCORE

LANDOVER, Md. -- Nothing came easy for the 49ers on Sunday, who entered Week 7 as the NFC’s only unbeaten team.

In a sloppy game that resembled the field conditions at FedEx Field, the 49ers did just enough to pick up their sixth victory to open the season with a 9-0 win over Washington.

Here are three takeaways from the 49ers’ victory. 

The defense leads the way ... again

The 49ers’ defense continues to lead the way.

On a rain-soaked day, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s unit kept the 49ers in the game with another strong showing.

For the second week in a row, the 49ers had problems stopping the run on the first drive of the game. Washington put together a 60-yard drive that lasted 8 minutes, 14 seconds. And for the second week in a row, the defense came back strong and dominated the rest of the way.

Arik Armstead and Dee Ford registered sacks, and so did Nick Bosa on the game's final play. In all, the rookie had four tackles for losses.

The big play came near the end of the third quarter when linebacker Kwon Alexander stripped Washington running back Adrian Peterson and defensive tackle Jullian Taylor made the recovery at the 49ers’ 41-yard line.

Helps on way for kicking game

When Robbie Gould hooked a 45-yard field goal attempt to the left in the first half, it was his career-worst seventh missed field goal of the season. And the 49ers are not even at the midway point of the season, yet.

Gould has struggled this season, making 11 of 18 attempts after signing a four-year, $19 million contract extension in the offseason. Gould made kicks on Sunday from 28, 22 and 29 yards.

It is difficult to pinpoint the reason for Gould’s struggles, but the fact that the club has gone through three long-snappers could have contributed to the issues in the kicking game. The 49ers should finally have some stability in that area beginning next week.

Kyle Nelson, the team’s long-snapper since the 2014 season, is eligible for reinstatement after serving a 10-game suspension over two seasons for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

[DC PERSPECTIVE: Weather only real winner between 49ers and Washington]

Losses on offense start to show

The 49ers had a difficult time gaining their footing on offense Sunday.

The offense struggled to function in the constant downpour without starting fullback Kyle Juszczyk, and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did not have much time to throw in the first half. He completed just three of 10 pass attempts for 10 yards and was sacked once. Garoppolo opened the second half with a 28-yard pass to Kendrick Bourne, but that drive ended on a fourth-down interception.

On a fourth-and-4 play from the Washington 36, Garoppolo lofted a pass to Dante Pettis on a corner route. Washington safety Troy Apke ranged from the deep middle to make the interception. He returned it 33 yards, but the 49ers defense didn’t allow Washington to get much closer.