49ers game grades from disappointing, mistake-filled loss to Browns

The 49ers offense came to a screeching halt, their defense allowed too many yards, and the feel-good start to the 49ers season ended. Niner Noise hands out grades from the 19-17 loss.

San Francisco 49ers v Cleveland Browns
San Francisco 49ers v Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Randy Gregory, PJ Walker, 49ers
San Francisco 49ers v Cleveland Browns / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

49ers Defensive Grades

49ers Rushing Defense

The 49ers rushing defense was mediocre, per the box score: 160 net rushing yards from the Browns is a non-starter, but it took them 34 carries, and removing an end-around from Marquise Goodwin, that average yards per carry drops substantially.

But watching the game, the Niners allowed yards at a semi-consistent clip. Efficiency metrics sometimes look good when offenses mix explosive plays with minimal gains, but the Browns were able to get 3 yards a carry almost always. it allowed their offense to stay ahead of the chains and took the edge off the 49ers pass rush.

The stats got inflated on the Browns' final drive, but up until then, they were still running the ball with ease.

Grade: D+

49ers Passing Defense

The 49ers should not have allowed 174 net passing yards to P.J. Walker and the Cleveland offense. That alone is unacceptable from a defense that had, just a week ago, thoroughly shut down the Dallas Cowboys offense.

Amari Cooper provided a big-play element for the Browns, and they screened the 49ers to death with an array of quick hitters that gained good yardage.

With all that said, though, the Niners passing defense played decently. Fred Warner's interception was textbook play by the middle linebacker, and Deommodore Lenoir's interception in the fourth quarter gave the 49ers the gasp of breath they needed.

Walker had to throw the ball 34 times for 192 yards, and he had a couple of lucky passes that could have been intercepted. Of course, his incompletion to Elijah Moore on 3rd-and-10, which was wiped away because of a penalty on Tashaun Gipson, would have almost ended the game.

But at the end of the day, the Browns made the plays the 49ers could not.

Grade: C-