49ers Week 11 Offensive Grades
It was a game dominated by the passing game, as the ground attack simply had no way to get going. The Cardinals stacked the box and dared the 49ers to throw, and throw the 49ers did.
The team put up 30 points (six points belong to a defensive touchdown) and looked almost unstoppable once they broke their scoring drought.
The team could only get 34 rushing yards on 19 carries, but when you take away a Garoppolo scramble, it becomes only 27 yards on 18 carries.
Most of the yards came from Garoppolo and the air attack instead.
For Garoppolo, he went 34-of-45 passing for 424 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. The completions, yardage and touchdowns all broke or matched his career highs. He had a fifth interception called back for a flag (again).
The play of the day was easy. While taking in a Cardinals blitz, Garoppolo floated a perfect pass to an open Jeff Wilson. Wilson then broke away for what was the winning score with well under a minute to go:
It’s a pass that looked easier than it really was, as Garoppolo had to take the pressure and then put it in a place where Wilson didn’t have to break stride.
On a similar play in the final quarter, Garoppolo passed under heavy pressure which resulted in an interception. On the topic of the turnovers, they were examples of the mistakes which sometimes litter Garoppolo’s game.
The aforementioned pick wasn’t entirely on him, as it was a result of a Ross Dwelley deflection. However the ball was well behind Dwelley who tried to make a play on its. The deflection was luck, but the throw itself was on Garoppolo.
The second interception was worse, Garoppolo had tunnel vision in the red zone and fired a throw at his receiver without noticing the linebacker that was always there to cut that route. It was a horrible throw.
These mistakes stop the grade being an A-plus, but they shouldn’t detract from his career performance either.
As mentioned before, the running backs didn’t do much running the ball. It was tough to do much of anything with the Cardinals stacking the box.
Luckily the backs made plays with the passing game. Counting fullback Kyle Juszczyk, the running backs combined for 13 catches for 150 yards and the winning touchdown.
Juszczyk had the biggest involvement, as Garoppolo lent on him as a safety valve in the absence of George Kittle. He caught all seven of his targets for 63 yards.
Tevin Coleman had only 14 yards on 12 carries as the lead ball carrier, but had three catches for 48 yards.
Samuel continued his great run of form with eight receptions for 134 yards. He’s a great route runner, fast and has a vein of toughness that allows him to fight for extra yards.
Bourne was (rightly) much maligned for his performance last week, but fought back with four catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. Bourne has been a red-zone target for Garoppolo, and while he did drop a catch (in fairness, it was not a perfect throw) he did prove reliable.
Emmanuel Sanders was hampered by his ribs, but did catch three passes for 33 yards while drawing a long pass interference.
Essentially tight ends is code for Dwelley, as he was the only one that really had any stats.
What stats they were too, catching two touchdowns and having a third called back for a questionable holding flag. He showed some serious potential as a mismatch option in the red zone.
He was no replacement for George Kittle, but he didn’t need to be either. He also made a key catch on third down to keep the chains moving in the key drive at the end of the game.
It was a better day at the office compared to last week in the passing game, as Garoppolo was sacked only twice.
He did see some pressure, some of that was on blitzes and others weren’t serious enough to hamper his day on the field.
Where the 49ers offensive line didn’t hold up was on the ground attack. Too often, the Arizona defensive line would get into the backfield and stuff plays on the ground.
It wasn’t a perfect day, but it was passable.