SF 49ers offensive grades
The offense failed the SF 49ers time and time again, taking what could have a competitive game and perhaps a dominant showing, and turning it into a pitiful performance.
Let’s take a look.
Surprised this isn’t an F-grade?
Well, Nick Mullens played great in those garbage time snaps, so I’ll give him some props here. Mullens played a full quarter of football and put up numbers for a full game. It was an inspired effort, although it came when the Seahawks were clearly playing softly. To be clear, Mullens is not a starting-caliber player for this team, and he should not be considered the QB of the future. But compared to Garoppolo? He was electric, and it didn’t take much to match that.
Garoppolo played three quarters in this game before being pulled again because of a bad ankle and worse play. He threw an atrocious interception to former Niners defensive back D.J. Reed, Garoppolo missed open receiver after open receiver, and his hesitancy in the pocket was so apparent, the Seahawks became teeing up on Garoppolo with constant blitzes.
Perhaps the most damming sight against Garoppolo was how easily Mullens cut through the Seahawks defense once he entered the game.
For Garoppolo, who finished with 84 yards against what was the worst passing defense in the NFL entering Week 8, this game has been just another drop on a roller-coaster year. From lighting up the New York Jets and running a clean efficient game plan against the Rams and the New England Patriots, to costing the Niners wins against the Miami Dolphins and Cardinals, Garoppolo has essentially come out to average at best.
It’s looking more and more likely that the starting quarterback for the SF 49ers in 2021 is not on the roster.
The running game for the SF 49ers never got going, despite Kyle Shanahan’s attempt to get it going. With only 2.4 yards per carry, it was a frustrating performance.
JaMychal Hasty got considerable action but never was able to break a run loose. Meanwhile, Tevin Coleman flashed a bit before hurting his knee and eventually leaving the game for good. All in all, the run game never truly materialized, not even through whatever minimal reverses Shanahan ever called.
The entire offense fell apart, and a lack of a rushing attack is a major reason why. The running backs never could get free, and whether it’s because of scheme or performance, that’s just the reality of it.
Again, a non-F-grade?
Well, I think the wide receivers out of all the positions got the most affected by the failures of the quarterback position. It’s not Brandon Aiyuk or Kendrick Bourne’s fault Garoppolo couldn’t get them the ball.
In fact, when the offense finally opened up, Aiyuk and Bourne both started to produce. Aiyuk flashed his receiving prowess against a bad secondary, finishing with 91 yards on eight receptions with a touchdown. Bourne finished with 81 yards on eight receptions. Slot receiver Trent Taylor had some terrific reps in the fourth quarter.
Essentially, it became two games, and the receivers played as well in both. They just finally got the targets in the second stanza.
This is not on George Kittle or Ross Dwelley for their performances, but it’s a pure indication of how the offense functioned as a whole. Kittle was somehow not a focal point for the offense this game, and it showed with only two receptions, one of which was a 25-yard bomb that resulted in an injury.
Dwelley also played OK, though he also didn’t get much of a chance. So again, a C-rating for a position group that never got a chance to perform.
There are no good things I could say for the offensive line this game, so I’ll leave it there.
Terrible protection, inability to pick up blitzes, bad run-blocking, it was a nightmare performance that fed into and exasperated the performance of the starting quarterback.
Only three sacks allowed, but it felt like so much more.