49ers grades, analysis from injury-influenced Week 6 loss to Falcons

MyCole Pruitt #85 of the Atlanta Falcons catches a touchdown over George Odum #30 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
MyCole Pruitt #85 of the Atlanta Falcons catches a touchdown over George Odum #30 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Jimmy Garoppolo, Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers hands the ball off to Jeff Wilson Jr. #22 (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

49ers offensive grades vs. Falcons

Interestingly enough, the Niners actually outgained Atlanta from 346 yards to 289. Yet the Falcons engineered far more methodical drives, which was going to be their approach in an attempt to wear down San Francisco’s defense.

It worked, and the 49ers didn’t adequately respond enough on the offensive side of the ball to pick up the shorthanded defense.


Jimmy Garoppolo certainly wasn’t terrible in the outing, going 29-of-41 for 296 yards with two touchdowns against two interceptions for an 87.0 passer rating. And one of those interceptions was effectively a desperation throw with mere seconds remaining in the second half, so that’s forgivable.

However, the Niners are generally in trouble when Garoppolo is tasked with trying to throw more than 30 times in a game.

And while Garoppolo wasn’t overly aided by his receiving targets, who dropped some key passes in key moments, he still showed he doesn’t have the ability to carry the offense on his shoulders either.

Grade: C+

Running back

Jeff Wilson Jr. imposed his will against the Carolina Panthers in Week 5, amassing 120 yards in that game.

Atlanta completely held him in check, though.

In total, San Francisco’s offense managed only 50 yards on the ground, averaging just 3.1 yards per carry. And Wilson’s first-quarter fumble, which the Falcons recovered, ended up turning into one of the oddest touchdowns the 49ers have allowed this season:

The Niners falling behind early didn’t aid head coach Kyle Shanahan in his attempt to get the ground game going, but it’s safe to say this element of the offense failed to make much of an impact.

Grade: D

Wide receiver

If there was a notable bright spot on offense, it was Brandon Aiyuk, who finally had one of those breakout-kind of games fans have been eagerly awaiting.

Aiyuk’s two-touchdown first half helped get San Francisco back into the game, and this game-tying route was exceptional:

Along with the scores, Aiyuk finished with eight catches for 83 yards and the two scores, while Deebo Samuel managed seven catches for 79 yards and added 11 yards on the ground.

However, Garoppolo was hindered by some key drops, including one by the speedy Ray-Ray McCloud, which could have gone for a much-needed touchdown had he held onto the ball.

Not a terrible outing for this group, but there’s still room for improvement.

Grade: B

Tight end

It’s nice seeing George Kittle getting back involved in the pass-catching game after a sluggish start after he missed time with a groin injury to begin the year.

He tied Aiyuk with 83 yards to lead the 49ers in that department, while No. 2 tight end Charlie Woerner dropped his only target.

Grade: B+

Offensive line

It’s becoming clear the Niners don’t have a starting-caliber center in Jake Brendel.

The fill-in option who ultimately replaced now-retired Alex Mack entering 2022 was flagged for multiple penalties, and upgrading this particular spot on the offensive line is going to be a need heading into the offseason.

The Niners also watched right tackle Mike McGlinchey exit with a calf injury, although it’s good they have the versatile reserve in Daniel Brunskill.

Overall, Garoppolo was kept clean in the pocket, but San Francisco wasn’t able to garner much effort on the ground.

Grade: C+