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Rapid Reaction: Washington Redskins

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Some thoughts and observations after the Washington Redskins' 17-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers:

What it means: Considering what the Redskins lost before the game and then during the game because of injuries, it's hard to be too critical of their performance. They were considered long shots to win the game beforehand, let alone after losing multiple players to injuries during the loss. Given the sort of season they have had, the Redskins did a good job managing adversity and adjusting on the fly, the defense in particular. Offensively, the pass game is still not where it needs to be -- this time there were some issues in protection. The Redskins could have helped themselves more by converting turnovers into points. They forced three and managed only a field goal. Robert Griffin III was better than last week, but not enough plays were made in the pass game. He was sacked five times, but unlike last week it's tough to pin most on him. When you've lost so much it's tough to be encouraged by a defeat, but the Redskins were much better Sunday and showed some toughness and resiliency.

Injury woes: The Redskins already were minus four starters, three because of injuries (Trent Williams, Jordan Reed and Chris Baker). David Amerson was scratched for violating a team policy. Then they lost corner Tracy Porter to a shoulder injury and corner E.J. Biggers to a concussion and linebacker Adam Hayward to a knee injury. It took a toll from scrimmage and on special teams. At times the Redskins used four safeties and one corner in various packages.

Stock report: Up -- The defense. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett gets ripped quite a bit, but his group somehow managed to keep the Redskins in the game despite losing multiple players to injury. The defense caused quarterback Colin Kaepernick to hesitate, leading to two sacks and multiple pressures. The Redskins also forced three turnovers. Up -- Tress Way. The Redskins' punter averaged 46 yards on eight punts and continues to be an outstanding pickup.

Game balls: Running back Alfred Morris continues to have a good second half to the season. He's breaking tackles again at the second level -- or making defenders miss. Morris rushed 21 times for 125 yards. The third-year back has run very well the past three games. It's not about Griffin's return, either. Morris is just running well -- and did so especially to the right side Sunday.

What's next: A matchup between the first two quarterbacks chosen in the 2012 draft, Griffin and Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck. The Redskins play at the Colts.