49ers Week 9 Offensive Grades
Even with Jimmy Garoppolo and the passing game executing exceptionally well, the 49ers were outgained per play by the Cardinals 7.1 yards to 6.0. The key differences, however, were the Niners running 69 plays to Arizona’s 50, and San Francisco going an astounding 11-of-17 on third down.
Some of those third-down conversions, particularly late in the fourth quarter, were critical in the 49ers coming away with the win.
Garoppolo ended up having his best game as a pro, touchdown-wise, tossing four such plays for the first time in his career. He had thrown three touchdowns twice before, the last time coming in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
In Arizona, however, Garoppolo went 28-of-37 for 317 yards with four touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 136.9.
San Francisco’s rush attack has been so stout the first half of the season, one might consider it a loss to see the ground attack muster a mere 101 total yards.
But the B-grade is justified, particularly when this facet averaged just 3.3 yards per carry.
Running back Matt Breida ripped off some chunk yardage, particularly late in the first half, finishing with 78 yards on 15 carries to lead the 49ers rushers. Aside from a key third-down conversion late in the fourth quarter, fellow tailback Tevin Coleman was mostly held in check after his four-touchdown game last week against the Carolina Panthers.
Sanders already looks like he’s been in Shanahan’s offense for years, and Thursday was his coming-out party with San Francisco.
All Sanders did was record a cool 112 yards on seven receptions, and this 1-yard touchdown with time expiring in the first half:
Rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel dropped a would-be touchdown, which knocks the overall grade down a bit. But him finishing with a solid four-catch, 40-yard effort helps.
So do touchdown grabs by Pettis and fellow wideout Kendrick Bourne.
Kittle is good at football.
Even after the Pro Bowler took a hit to his knee, which eventually forced him to sit out the fourth quarter, Kittle still managed a 30-yard catch-and-run touchdown with two stiff arms included:
Kittle is benefiting from Sanders’ presence, as the tight end finished second on the team with six grabs for 79 yards.
But it was No. 2 tight end Ross Dwelley‘s critical third-down grab late in the game, which ultimately ensured the win for San Francisco. Kudos to Dwelley, too.
Skule allowed the only Cardinals sack of the game to EDGE Chandler Jones, yet Garoppolo was hit five times on the night. And San Francisco’s outside rush game didn’t exactly get much going, thanks mostly to there being some difficulty with the up-front push.
Fortunately, it wasn’t a terrible night for the 49ers offensive line. But they’re eagerly awaiting the return of veteran left tackle Joe Staley (fibula), who seems likely to return in Week 10.