SF 49ers position grades, analysis after costly Week 2 win vs. NY Jets

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Kyle Shanahan, SF 49ers
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

SF 49ers Special-Teams and Coaching Grades

The 49ers had a pretty clean day on special teams, though there were a few issues that could be corrected.

Special teams: B+

The kicking unit nearly messed up their only opportunity, as a Robbie Gould kick hit the post and bounced in. His extra points were also trending towards the right post, so it was looking likely for a situation to arise.

Luckily, there was no issue, but it could be an issue in the future.

The punting game has been a revelation, in my opinion this year, with the notable exception of the blocked punt Week 1. Mitch Wishnowsky had four punts for an average of 49.8 yards, with two dropped inside the 20-yard line and a third nearly downed at the 1. It’s a small thing, but Wishnowsky wasn’t looking too good last year, and seeing his improvement is a good sign.

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The one qualm with special teams in Week 2 was kickoffs, where Dre Greenlaw got injured because the Niners weren’t kicking the ball through the end zone. With that lead, there’s no need to get cute. Just boot it and save your players the trouble and the pain.

Coaching: A-

Kyle Shanahan called a fine game on the offensive side, though his insistence on giving Tevin Coleman extended reps continues to baffle me. His offense took care of business. The only potential problem was how over-complicated plays could be. Sometimes, the simplest way to go is the best. But that’s a minor concern for a great job.

Robert Saleh had a big test without Dee Ford or Richard Sherman. He needed to prove his play-calling wasn’t carried by the 49ers talent.

In some ways, he succeeded.

The 49ers defense played well, giving up only a garbage-time touchdown. But his initial plan of defense was poor. The Jets feasted on the soft coverage Saleh offered both this week and last week. His adjustments in the second half were good enough to help seal the win, but Saleh needs to find different looks to make his defense harder to scheme against.


Football Gods: F-

I’m being partially facetious, but the string of injuries the SF 49ers have dealt with during the Shanahan era has been incredulous. And this year, the team has seemed to fall apart before October.

There is plenty of time for some players to get healthy, and likely this upcoming Week 3 game will be the worst the Niners are, health-wise. But this recent string is simply terrible horrible bad luck.

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Still, the NFL churns on, and despite the injuries, the Niners will pick it up next week against the Giants on the same field as they try to fight their way back to the playoffs and the Super Bowl.