49ers Special Teams and Coaching Grades
49ers Special Teams Grades
The 49ers covered kickoffs well and punts exceptionally well, including a gem of punt coverage that allowed them to down the ball at the 1-yard line. Mitch Wishnowsky was great, and Jake Moody hit all his extra points.
But for the second time this season, the 49ers kicked the ball out of bounds on a kickoff. That happening one time in a season is already unacceptable, but twice?
Perhaps it is a growing pain for rookie Jake Moody, but that is a mistake that is easy to avoid and can prove costly against the right opponent.
In a game where special teams were not majorly called upon, that play sticks out like a sore thumb.
49ers Coaching Grades
Not much to say for coaching, but the game against the Cardinals showed a fascinating comparison between Kyle Shanahan and Jonathan Gannon.
Shanahan went for it on fourth down, converting with a completion to George Kittle, but Gannon was aggressive throughout, including a conversion for 7 yards at the midfield line, and a conversion on a fake punt inside his own 25-yard line. Shanahan's aggressive decision was subdued and rooted in confidence in his team to overcome the negatives, while Gannon's decision was a gamble to gain an edge against a more talented team.
Though Gannon's decisions worked out (as did Shanahan's), realizing the Niners are a team that can cover up its own mistakes, in contrast to the Cardinals who needed that boost to keep pace, helps explain how conservative the 49ers can be since they don't need to find that extra edge against most teams.