Yet another Monday Night Football matchup that, when the schedule was set, must have looked like it was going to be a corker: two of last season's playoff teams, both led by perhaps the leading exemplars of the new breed of young, mobile quarterbacks who excel at the read option, able to take over a game with their legs or their arms. Oh boy oh boy oh boy...
Things haven't quite gone so smoothly for Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin this season, with both posting pedestrian passer ratings (81.8 and 83.6, respectively, compared to 98.3 and 102.4 in 2012).
Kaepernick, after a strong season opener in which he torched the Packers for over 400 yards through the air, has shown that he's limited if forced to be a pocket passer: even with that massive game, his average yards / game is 180, with seven of ten games being held to 167 or fewer passing yards. It certainly doesn't help that his receiving corps is probably the biggest area of weakness on the team though, even without Michael Crabtree, still miles better than anything we used to trot out before Brandon Marshall's arrival so cry me a river, Harbaugh.
Washington, on the other hand, have slumped to 3-7 and prop up the bottom of a mediocre NFC East. I'm not sure what it says that one of those three wins was against the Beloved... or rather, I think it does say something, but I don't like it and refuse to contemplate it. Griffin was hampered early in the season with the aftereffects of a knee injury suffered in the playoffs and, more recently, his leadership was called into question. He also got married and... uh, did he also bump his starting left tackle and take up smoking? Dude's copying Jay Cutler.
At 6-4 the 49ers are still in the mix for a wild card spot, their most likely route to the playoffs seeing as they're three and a half games behind the Seahawks in the NFC West; their opponents, at 3-7, could still win all their remaining games (as they somehow did last season) and win the NFC East with a stunning 9-7 records... but it's safe to say that, tonight, we should be hoping for Jim Harbaugh to be angry-faced shouty man come the final whistle (well, more so than usual) as we root for one of our NFC wild card rivals to suffer a setback.
This is your Monday Night Football Open Thread... whalla!