Tonight’s Monday Night Football on ESPN is the first time two electrifying quarterbacks will meet head to head in a MNF game. The San Francisco 49ers made it to the Super Bowl last season with QB Colin Kaepernick at the helm, while the Washington Redskins made the playoffs with QB Robert Griffin III (RG3) before losing the game as well as their star with a knee injury. This season, both teams and their quarterbacks have had to change their expectations, as neither QB has performed as well as hoped. Tonight’s MNF game should still provide plenty of intrigue as the 49ers look to stay in the playoff race and RG3 and the Redskins look to prove last season wasn’t a fluke. If you can’t catch the ESPN broadcast on TV, you can watch Monday Night Football online free using one of several different methods.
Going into tonight’s Monday Night Football game, all but one ESPN expert is picking the 49ers to beat the Redskins. There are several reasons for this, and San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick is only one of them. Kaepernick hasn’t had a strong receiving corps this season outside of Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis, but his total QBR is still 11th in the NFL, and he’s going up against a Washington Redskins pass defense that should give him plenty of open looks in tonight’s live MNF game. How open? That’s to be determined, but suffice it to say that opposing quarterbacks have a 99.2 passer rating this season against the Redskins.
In addition, San Francisco has played outstanding defense all season, as it’s been a struggling offense that’s lost them the past two games, not their defensive performance. Through 11 weeks, the 49ers have the NFL’s ninth-ranked overall defense, allowing just 220 yards in the air and 103.8 rushing yards per game. The 49ers also bring to tonight’s MNF game a defense that’s only giving up 17.8 points per game. Compare that to the 31.1 points being given up by the 29th-ranked Redskins defense, and you can see that RG3 and the Washington offense could be in for a long night.
The 49ers also have a stout running game, with a ground attack ranked fourth in the league. But the team they’re facing tonight when you watch Monday Night Football online free has the NFL’s top-ranked rushing attack, which is a large reason they’ve not been complete doormats. They’ll need to really exploit that strength in tonight’s Monday Night Football game, because reports this week indicated the 49ers will try to stop the run using only their front seven. At the same time, Washington will need to establish a passing game against the best overall defense they’ve faced this year, particularly against the pass. This could be tough in light of Washington’s issues in pass protection, not to mention RG3 missing open receivers, but if it can’t happen at home tonight on ESPN for MNF, it may not happen at all.
Ironically, although Washington has lost two of its past three games, the offense seems to have been clicking. In those games, the Redskins have managed to have three consecutive 400-plus yard games, tying a 30-year-old franchise record. During those games the Redskins have gained 1,360 yards, more than a third of which (591 yards) have come on the ground. Again, that top-ranked rushing game should perform well tonight against the 49ers, but the Redskins will have to have RG3 clicking through the air as well if they’re going to eek out a win and put a damper on San Francisco’s playoff hopes.
You can watch Monday Night Football online on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket with MAX package. The package requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any game. ESPN also offers subscribers to their cable sports network through a satellite or cable package access to easily watch Monday Night Football online free on ESPN3, which is also available through the ESPN mobile app and ESPN app on Xbox One and Xbox 360. You may also be able to watch online with the Verizon NFL mobile app, which costs $5 per month.