WASHINGTON — Sunday was supposed to be about the love triangle between quarterback Kirk Cousins, the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers.
Instead, a rising star was born in rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard, who unexpectedly replaced 49ers’ starter Brian Hoyer in the second quarter after an uneven start for the San Fran offense.
Beathard righted the ship, immediately piling up first downs for San Francisco, and then leading his team on a touchdown drive at the end of the first half.
He started the second half with one drive that yielded a field goal, and then another that should have (but Robbie Gould missed it).
After a defensive turnover gave the 49ers the ball at the goal line, Beathard’s offense once again punched it in for a game-tying touchdown.
The Redskins would regain the momentum, scoring a field goal first and then a touchdown. The 49ers would score another touchdown to come back within two points, but could not complete the comeback in time.
Beathard finished with 245 yards passing, a touchdown and interception.
And he did it all under the Redskins’ Ring of Fame at FedExField that includes his grandfather, Bobby. Bobby Beathard was the general manager that masterminded some of the Redskins teams during the golden years of the franchise.
He led the Redskins’ front office from 1978-1989 and was in charge when the Redskins went to three Super Bowls, winning two. He acquired players like Art Monk, Joe Jacoby, Mark May, Russ Grimm, Dexter Manley, Charlie Brown, Darrell Green, Charles Mann, and Gary Clark.
He is one of the 80 Greatest Redskins and was inducted into the Ring of Fame just last season. Less than one calendar year later, his grandson, C.J., gets his NFL career started in the same stadium.
While the younger Beathard could not channel his grandfather’s good fortune in D.C., it’s worth wondering if Gould hadn’t missed that field goal and if Beathard had started the game under center, if he might be flying back to San Francisco with his team’s first win this season.