San Fran's D leads team to best start since 1990

Washington Redskins running back Wendell Smallwood is brought down by the San Francisco defence at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., yesterday. Once again, the 49ers relied on their strong defence in their 9-0 shutout win against the Redskins. San Francisco is now 6-0. (USA Today)

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A perfect 6-0 record to start a year is something to get excited about, and not even an afternoon in a driving rainstorm that turned the FedEx field in Washington into a mud pit was going to keep the Niners from doing exactly that.

So as the final whistle sounded it prompted a handful of the jubilant visitors to let their inner child out and turn the field into one giant Slip ‘N’ Slide playground.

Nick Bosa was the first sacking Case Keenum on he final play and then diving onto the turf in a head- first slide Rickey Henderson would have been proud of.

Bosa was soon joined by other Niners who followed his lead.

“It takes you back to being a kid: You’re out there, you’re sloshing around and your shoes are full of water and mud,” cornerback Richard Sherman told reporters after “It’s still a kid’s game at the end of the day. Guys had a lot of fun slipping and sliding out there, but winning’s always fun.”

The announced attendance was 61,459 but actual bodies in the stands was far less than half of that.

But if there is one thing the 49ers have proven this year it is that they can adapt to whatever is thrown their way and Sunday’s weather conditions, as bad as they were, were just another thing to overcome … and then to celebrate in.

Jimmy Garoppolo, the Niners starting quarterback was a picture of perseverance in this one starting out the afternoon with just three complete passes for 10 yards in a first half in which San Francisco generated just 68 yards of offence in total.

He hung in to finish with 12-of-21 for 155 yards for the day leading his team to three second half field goals, the only scoring of the day for either team.

It’s the first 6-0 start for the 49ers since1990 and just the third time in team history they have won the first six out of the gate.

For the most part this year, the 49ers have been winning with their defence and the shutout was a continuation of that.

Over the past three games now San Francisco has allowed zero, seven and three points to Washington, the Los Angeles Rams and the Cleveland Browns.

But earlier in the year they were doing it with their offence as well. They scored 41 against Cincinnati, dropped 31 on Tampa and had 31 in that defensive gem against the Browns as well.

In a nice twist for everyone who has ever wished the worst on Redskins’ majority owner Daniel Snyder, Shanahan, who was Washington’s offensive coordinator on his father’s coaching staff in 2013 before management fired the entire coaching staff, gave the game ball to his father.

“(My family’s history here) definitely had nothing to do with the game, has nothing to do with the score,” Shanahan said. “But you always want to take care of things the right way when you’re bothered by how some things have been for a family member.”

The players were well aware of the history their head coach had in Washington.

“We were aware,” tight end Greg Kittle confirmed to reporters afterwards. “It definitely was a game that we wanted to win for both him and Mike Shanahan. And it was really fun that we could get that for him.”

The slipping and sliding afterwards were just the icing on the cake.

HERE AND THERE
It appears the New Orleans Saints have just about dodged the bullet completely. New Orleans, which improved to 6-1 with a convincing 36-25 win over a rested Chicago Bears team, sounds like it may be getting its heart and soul back in the lineup very soon. A right thumb injury is healing up nicely and Brees told reporters Sunday he is going to practice this week with hopes of playing in Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. In Brees’ absence, Teddy Bridgewater has won five consecutive games. That fact and the fact the team has its bye week in Week 9 of the schedule might suggest very little reason to rush Bridgewater out and Brees back in at least until Week 10 … The Saints got that win without the services of lead running back Alvin Kamara. In his absence Latavius Murray stepped up huge with a pair of touchdowns and 119 yards rushing … The Falcons fell to 1-6 with a fifth straight loss on Saturday, this time to the Rams and the steady decline has the head coach Dan Quinn’s longevity in Atlanta being questioned. Team owner Arthur Blank didn’t pull the plug on his coach Sunday, instead offering up this when asked about his head coach’s security. “I still support him,” Blank told reporters … And if that weren’t bad enough quarterback Matt Ryan limped off the field with what appeared to be an injured right ankle late in Sunday’s game and did not return … Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen was optimistic that a hamstring injury he suffered Sunday would only be a day-to-day thing and he would be ready to go again when the Vikings play Thursday night. The team though is suggesting a more likely timetable is week to week. Thielen will have an MRI on Monday.

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