49ers grades from Mexico City domination of Cardinals (lots of A’s)

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates with Jimmy Garoppolo #10 (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates with Jimmy Garoppolo #10 (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Jimmie Ward, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jimmie Ward (1) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers defensive grades vs. Cardinals

For the third week in a row, coordinator DeMeco Ryans’ defense pitched a scoring shutout in the second half.

Arizona might have had some momentum in the first two quarters by involving DeAndre Hopkins, but that was entirely stymied in the second half. And while the Cardinals would have preferred to start Kyler Murray at quarterback instead of the perennial backup, Colt McCoy, Niners fans can recall too well how McCoy dominated San Francisco a year ago in embarrassing fashion.

No repeat of that effort this season.

Defensive line

Still shorthanded and without Arik Armstead (foot) and Samson Ebukam (quad, Achilles), the defensive line nevertheless commanded the effort at the line of scrimmage. And while McCoy stressed getting the ball out quickly, EDGE Nick Bosa was still able to pick up a sack and added three more quarterback hits:

In tandem with the linebackers, the D-line was a major reason why Arizona couldn’t move the ball on the ground, averaging just 2.8 yards per rush and also having a whopping six plays that went for a loss of yards.

Excellent effort in the trenches.

Grade: A


One of the three sacks the 49ers got on McCoy, one of them went to Fred Warner, who also picked up two tackles for a loss.

Fellow backer Dre Greenlaw, who exited the game late with what appeared to be a wrist injury, boasted nine tackles of his own but added a pass broken up along with a forced fumble, too.

Quality work from a quality unit.

Grade: A-


The Cardinals did manage to gain some yardage through the air, particularly during the first half when McCoy was regularly hitting DeAndre Hopkins, who finished the game with nine catches for 91 yards.

Yet it was fellow wideout Greg Dortch who ended up leading Arizona with 103 yards on nine catches, including that broken coverage on which he ripped off 47 yards on one play.

That cuts both ways, suggesting the Niners succeeded in taking Hopkins out of the game plan in the second half, but Dortch shouldn’t be the X-factor.

Oh, and cornerback Charvarius Ward led San Francisco with 10 tackles, while rookie corner Samuel Womack picked up a meaningless garbage-time interception.

Safety Jimmie Ward’s interception earlier in the game mattered a lot more.

Grade: B+