SF 49ers Offensive Grades
Thirty-one points from the SF 49ers offense is a good day, but that doesn’t adequately describe how good the offense looked in the first half.
Two quarterbacks played two different halves and had two different responsibilities, which makes giving a unified grade difficult. However, quarterbacking for this game was more than adequate, and at times, it looked phenomenal.
Jimmy Garoppolo in his one half of action, the majority of which came with a bum ankle, threw for 131 yards on 16 attempts with 14 catches. His two misses was a brutal drop by wide receiver Kendrick Bourne on a fantastic pass and a tightly contested play at the goal-line.
The injury took away from his mobility at times, yet somehow Garoppolo looked better after the injury than before it. He was composed under pressure, taking hits yet getting the ball out. His passes had a zip to them, and perhaps most encouraging, he was reading the field well. He looked like a quarterback the Niners could build around. The Jets passing defense is perhaps his easiest matchup on the schedule, but still, major improvement came from Garoppolo. He found the comfort zone I alluded to in my analysis of Week 1.
Nick Mullens came into the game having to protect a substantial lead, so obviously the offense was not meant to be as explosive as it could be. Mullens looked rusty, which is understandable, and his arm looked flat.
He was a little more timid, and his interception came off a poor throw Jerick McKinnon could have barely handled:
Overall, Garoppolo was spectacular even when injured, and Mullens was serviceable as a backup.
That’s all the SF 49ers could want from their depth chart.
Running Backs: A-
Two of the three major running backs for the 49ers played exceptional. Raheem Mostert got the majority of the snaps in the first half and immediately paid off with his 80-yard touchdown:
This is classic Mostert, foot in the ground, and go. The running game had some issues from here, but the Jets had one strength: their run defense, so the overall production was still good from the bell cow.
However, Mostert left the game at halftime with a knee injury, leaving the running back position up to the other two: McKinnon and Tevin Coleman.
Coleman had an abysmal day, rushing for 12 yards on 14 carries. His performance alone pulls down the running back grade, which is a shame because McKinnon played exceedingly well in his limited snaps.
Jet had three rushes for 77 yards, including a 55-yard scamper on 3rd-and-31 and a touchdown run for 16 yards:
Why Coleman had more carries than Mostert and McKinnon combined eludes me, but those two’s production was more than enough to make this a winning day for the San Francisco rushers.
Wide Receivers: A-
The 49ers offense again focused a lot on running backs and tight ends, with Mostert, McKinnon, and tight end Jordan Reed providing the peak offensive pressure. However, last week, the wide receivers were no threat at all. There was no trust, and they forced no pressure. This week was different.
Bourne had quite a day with 4 receptions for 67 yards as he was a consistent target. His drop on a Garoppolo dime hurts a little, but otherwise he played quite well. Slot receiver Trent Taylor was a decent target, with one of his receptions being his specialty: timely on third down.
He didn’t get much action, though.
The rookie, Brandon Aiyuk, also was not heavily featured. But when he did get his chances, he looked good. Strong, explosive, and most importantly aggressive, Aiyuk looked to be quite a player, and perhaps as the year goes on, his opportunities will expand as his snap count does as well.
The receivers didn’t have significantly more time in this game than the last one, but unlike last week, they came to play, and they produced.
Tight Ends: A+
Reed is no George Kittle; his run-blocking is not the same.
But as a receiver, Reed is a monster, and the SF 49ers truly benefited today.
His two touchdown grabs were both great plays by him after Garoppolo gave him an accurate pass. His seven receptions led the team, and his presence was impactful from the get-go. He did everything the Niners needed and more.
Offensive line: C+
The one damp spot of the entire game for the offense was the offensive line, which did not have a very clean game. The Jets brought pressure early and often, and the SF 49ers O-Line was not ready for it.
Left tackle Trent Williams had his typical game from the naked eye, but the rest of the line seemed to struggle. Laken Tomlinson gave up the sack that took Garoppolo’s ankle, and Mike McGlinchey in particular seemed to have a rough go of it.
With protection, as Garoppolo got in flashes, the offense hummed, and luckily the quarterback was able to get over the lack of it most of the time.
But cleaning up the pocket will be huge for future success.