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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Elijah Mitchell, Darius Leonard, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts
San Francisco 49ers running back Eli Mitchell (25) breaks away from Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard (53) Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images /

49ers Running Backs: B-

Elijah Mitchell looked to be on pace to take over the game early on, getting off to record those 57 yards on San Francisco’s opening drive that included in one 20-yard long of a run and culminated in the opening touchdown that looked easy:


During the second half, though, Kyle Shanahan seemed to get away from Mitchell and focused more on passing than anything else despite the early successes on the ground.

Even though it took a while to get there, Mitchell finally finished the game with 107 rush yards on 18 carries and averaged 5.9 yards per carry. He’s clearly the 49ers’ No. 1 running back on the roster, even though that’s come at the expense of the Niners’ other rookie rusher, Trey Sermon, who wasn’t a healthy scratch but nevertheless didn’t get in on the ground action at all.

Instead, Shanahan went with fellow running back JaMycal Hasty, who was mostly bottled up at the line of scrimmage, averaging just 0.3 yards per rush, and was scantly a factor in the receiving game with just 15 yards on three catches.

If the rushing game is San Francisco’s primary method of operation, Mitchell needed to play a bigger role than he already did.