49ers position grades, analysis from sloppy Week 7 loss vs. Colts

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Michael Pittman, Dre Kirkpatrick, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman (11) against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (13) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers Secondary: F

The Niners are paying the price for investing so little in young cornerbacks the last couple of seasons.

Even so, rookie corner Deommodore Lenoir was a surprise scratch, opening the door for the veteran, Dre Kirkpatrick, to be active for the game. And all Kirkpatrick did was allow Indianapolis’ final touchdown of the game on a play where Kirkpatrick could have at least deflected the ball:

Kirkpatrick isn’t part of San Francisco’s future. Lenoir could be. It’s time to let the rookie play and see where things go.

If that was it, the 49ers’ secondary efforts wouldn’t have been terrible. But the Niners were flagged for three defensive pass-interference calls during the game, and the Colts scored on all three plays, two of which came on 3rd-and-long situations. In a sense, Indianapolis’ third-down game plan was to simply try throwing it deep and hope for some good luck.

Well, that happened.

The weather was a factor, yes. But San Francisco’s defensive backfield had zero answers and made even less an impact. Making things worse, starting strong safety Jaquiski Tart exited with a knee injury.