WASHINGTON — The Washington Redskins dominated the San Francisco 49ers for 29 of the first 30 minutes on Sunday, leading the 49ers 17-0.

The turning point occurred in the waning moments of the first half when safety D.J. Swearinger gifted the 49ers a first-and-goal:

The penalty followed a play in which Pierre Garcon caught a pass and turned it upfield. As he did so many times in a Redskins uniform, Garcon lowered his helmet and drilled the defender, in this case, Montae Nicholson:

Nicholson’s helmet went flying on contact and he needed to be attended to be Redskins trainers.

While this is a legal play, Swearinger clearly took exception to the physicality and approached Garcon on the sideline. Words led to action as Swearinger jabbed Garcon in the facemask, just feet in front of an official, who threw his flag.

The 15-yard penalty gave the 49ers a first down in the shadow of the goal line. With three seconds remaining in the first half, Kyle Shanahan aggressively went for it and running back Carlos Hyde converted the touchdown:

106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen noted how much Swearinger’s penalty assisted San Francisco:

This is the type of play that will be pointed to if the 49ers come back and win, especially by a small margin. If the Redskins win, all will likely be forgiven. What do you think of the penalty?


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