49ers Special-Teams and Coaching Grades
This grade would have been an A+ if the blocked field-goal attempt did not happen, which resulted in Seattle’s lone points.
That was inexcusable, and it could have changed the tide of the game if the 49ers defense didn’t dominate as it did. But beyond that, the Niners’ special teams has been locked and loaded. The forced fumble is always nice, but it’s the extra yards they clean up. Ray-Ray McCloud always getting 4 yards instead of 0 yards on a return, the coverage team stopping returners sooner. All these small things add up to big value.
This is a hard grade to hand out. DeMeco Ryans called a phenomenal game; his grade is an obvious A. But Kyle Shanahan’s offensive game plan is a fascinating and frustrating question on how to utilize a player like Trey Lance Lance and call an offense.
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The number of QB runs was unsustainable, that much is clear. But it is equally clear these runs were something Shanahan thought necessary to keep the offense on schedule. Part of it was Lance’s own development as a passer, and his rushing value was a legitimate part of why he could be played as a starter.
But to use him as such has now jeopardized Lance’s development for the future, which had looked potentially bright.
The 49ers offense was bland as it was effective when paired with this defense, but it came at a cost.