The 2013 "Monday Night Football" schedule hasn't featured many elite matchups. In Week 12, two teams coming off strong 2012 seasons square off with both seeking a berth in the NFC playoffs.
The San Francisco 49ers will visit the Washington Redskins to conclude the most recent slate of games. Week 11 was a rare occurrence, as the New England Patriots visited the Carolina Panthers in a contest that came down to the final play. While the 49ers are competing with the Panthers for one of the wild card spots, the Redskins' playoff chances have looked increasingly slim. The 49ers sit at 6-4, which is three games better than Washington, who occupy last place in the NFC East.
Last week’s matchup was the only Monday night game of 2013 that featured two team who currently have a record above .500. The Redskins lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in this year’s Monday Night Football opener. San Francisco is 2-1 in primetime, and none of the games have been close. They split their two appearances on Sunday night, losing by 26 points and winning by 31. When they played the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night, they picked up a 35-11 victory.
Washington might not have much to play for, but the 49ers are in the thick of the NFC playoff race. It once seemed like they were a shoo-in to reach the postseason, but two straight losses have changed that. As it stands, the Arizona Cardinals have the sixth and final wild card spot. San Francisco would tie them with a win against the Redskins.
Colin Kaepernick will likely be the key to whether or not the 49ers can pull out the road win. The quarterback hasn’t performed like many experts thought he would in his first season as the full-time starter. He leads a 49ers offense that is last in the NFL in passing.
In San Francisco’s wins, Kaepernick has performed well. He has never posted a passer rating of less than 89.0 when the 49ers have come out on top. During the team’s losses, however, it’s been a much different story. In four defeats, he has a passer rating of 44.9 with two touchdowns and six interceptions.
Kaepernick remains optimistic that San Francisco can turn a difficult season around.
"I think we are (surprised) but we still have six more to go," he said. "And we can still finish this season 12-4."
Player To Watch: Colin Kaepernick
TIME: 8:30 p.m. Monday
PLACE: FedEx Field
Online Stream: WatchESPN
Updated Betting Odds: 49ers by 4.5
Prediction: 49ers over Redskins, 34-17