Cousins struggles as Redskins barely hold on to beat 49ers

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) carries the ball toward the end zone a touchdown as San Francisco 49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas (94) looks on during the second half of an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Washington’s Kirk Cousins threw for two touchdowns, ran for a score, and also had an interception as part of an inconsistent performance against his past — and possibly — future mentor Kyle Shanahan’s winless San Francisco 49ers in a 26-24 victory Sunday.

The Redskins blew a 17-point lead before barely holding on.

Cousins was hardly at his most accurate in completing 25 of 37 passes for 330 yards against the team he has been linked to for next season because of his connection with Shanahan. The 49ers (0-6) remain unsettled at quarterback: Shanahan benched Brian Hoyer for rookie C.J. Beathard, who threw for 245 yards, a touchdown and an interception and nearly led an impressive comeback.

Beathard, a third-round pick out of Iowa and grandson of former Redskins general manager Bobby Beathard, took over for Hoyer with about six and a half minutes left in the first half and the 49ers down 14-0. After Hoyer was 4 of 11 for 34 yards, Beathard went 19 of 36 in his first NFL action.

With the 49ers down by two in the final minute, Beathard led them toward field goal range. He was intercepted by Kendall Fuller on fourth down to seal the result.

The Redskins (3-2) weren’t helped by several injuries on defense. They benefited from playing a 49ers team that is now the first in NFL history to lose five consecutive games by three points or fewer. San Francisco’s past five losses have come by a combined 13 points.

This one was closer than it should have been in large part because of Cousins’ inaccuracies. After a would-be interception was reversed on video review, Cousins was picked off by Rashard Robinson in the second quarter.

San Francisco running back Carlos Hyde ran for two touchdowns.

DAVIS IN CHARGE

Redskins tight end Vernon Davis had a fumble to set up a 49ers touchdown and a 51-yard catch against the team he played his prime years with. Davis fumbled after making a catch in the third quarter, and Hyde ran for a 1-yard touchdown on the next play to tie the score.

Davis made up for that mistake by catching a pass from Cousins at the Washington 45 and running 33 more yards to the San Francisco 22. Cousins scored not long after.

INJURIES

49ers: DE Arik Armstead left with a hand injury. … DE Aaron Lynch left with a calf injury. … Rookie LB Reuben Foster missed his fifth consecutive game with an ankle injury.

Redskins: CB Bashaud Breeland suffered a left knee injury when he was on the receiving end of a low block. … Rookie DL Jonathan Allen left with a foot injury in the fourth quarter. … S Stefan McClure suffered left knee and ankle injuries. … S D.J. Swearinger was evaluated for a stinger and returned. … S Montae Nicholson was evaluated for a concussion and shoulder injury and returned after being cleared. … RB Rob Kelley (ankle) and CB Josh Norman (rib) were inactive.

UP NEXT

49ers: Host Dallas on Sunday still looking for their first victory.

Redskins: Visit the NFC East-leading Eagles on Monday, Oct. 23.