Programming note: Watch 49ers Press Conference Live today at 12:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area or streaming live right here.
SANTA CLARA – The 49ers won their third consecutive game to remain in the thick of the NFC playoff race.
And here are three other positive elements to emerge from their 17-13 victory over Washington on Sunday:
1. Anquan Boldin: He had 137 receiving yards to move past Derrick Mason, Hines Ward and Charlie Joiner and into No. 20 on the NFL’s all-time receiving yardage list.
That’s pretty good, but this goes beyond the numbers.
Boldin’s tough-minded approach is the bright spot for an offense that has been consistently inconsistent this season. His 29-yard reception, in which he hung in there and absorbed a huge hit from safety Ryan Clark, set up the winning points.
Three weeks ago, Boldin introduced the approach that has propelled the 49ers to three straight wins.
He said the remainder of the season consisted of “one-game seasons.” And nobody has played with a sense of urgency more than the team’s best offensive player.
2. Pass defense: Quarterback Robert Griffin completed 11 of 19 passes for just 106 yards. With five sacks totaling minus-29 yards, the 49ers allowed just 77 net yards of passing.
The pass rush was outstanding with Aldon Smith recording to sacks, and the coverage on the back end continued to excel.
3. Ahmad Brooks: One week after spending most of the game sitting on the bench, Brooks returned to action as part of a rotation at outside linebacker. Aldon Smith played 52 of the 49ers’ 55 defensive snaps. Brooks played 37, and rookie Aaron Lynch was on the field for 21 snaps.
Smith had two sacks, Lynch had a sack, and Brooks did his part with a pass defensed and a game-clinching fumble recovery after a sack from Justin Smith.
Said Brooks, “Last week I was selfish. This week I was selfless.”