49ers offensive grades
The 49ers offense put up 48 points, and when they had to, they marched down the field to win the game.
It was a phenomenal performance by the part of the team many consider the “weak link”.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had one of his best games as a 49er in one of the biggest spots: 26-of-35 for 349 yards, four touchdowns, one interception off the hands of his intended target and one game-winning drive.
There was never a throw where it felt Garoppolo didn’t know what he was doing.
Another part of Garoppolo’s game was his ability to move in the pocket and extend plays. Jimmy G is not a rushing quarterback, but he isn’t a statue in the pocket, either, and he managed to limit the constant pressure of the Saints blitzes to only three sacks. He also picked up a first down on a scramble.
The 49ers relied on the pass first and foremost, and Garoppolo led his team in that regard. This was a game where Garoppolo wasn’t aided by a rushing attack, or several short fields from his defense. This was a game where Garoppolo stole the show.
Running backs: B+
Although the 49ers did not primarily use the ground to gash the Saints defense, the three-headed hydra that composes the Niners backfield made plenty of plays when necessary. Integrating back into the rotation, Matt Breida broke off some nice runs, with 54 yards on six carries for a cool 9.0 yards-per-carry average. Raheem Mostert became the featured back, rushing 10 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. Tevin Coleman was not as effective, but he was still solid in pass protection.
Mostert also had himself a receiving touchdown, too.
The Saints were expected to stop the run, and to an extent they did. Although the averages don’t make it seem so, the run wasn’t a consistent weapon like it had been in previous games. That said, the Niners committee played very well and aided the offense to victory.
Wide receivers: A
His touchdown reception was the ultimate trust throw from Garoppolo, and he made good on that attempt with a terrific catch for a 75-yard touchdown.
Deebo Samuel had 109 all-purpose yards, barreling through the defense on the ground and in the air. Kendrick Bourne caught two touchdowns, both requiring great hands. The only blemish came on Garoppolo’s interception that went off Sanders’ hands.
Kyle Shanahan mentioned that these three receivers would be his primary options going forward, and they did not disappoint.
Tight end: A+++
George Kittle may very well be the best offensive non-QB in the NFL. At the very least, he is the best tight end in the NFL, and that cannot be questioned anymore.
On the ground, he blazed holes as a lead blocker. And in the air, well, just take a look at this:
Not much needs to be said about this play. This sealed the game. When he missed time, the Niners offense struggled mightily. He is the engine that makes this machine work.
Offensive line: B
The Niners offensive line wasn’t terrible by any means. The Saints brought pressure early and often, and although it felt like Garoppolo was dealing with constant pressure, it never felt like it would stop him from conducting the offense.
The biggest story for the offensive line is attrition. Center Weston Richburg was carted off the field with an injury that seemed terrible from the start. And although replacement Ben Garland played well, the potential loss of Richburg is a major issue for this Niners team that was just staring to get healthy.