The 49ers lost the Super Bowl 34-31 on Sunday. Here are the grades for the offense.
Offensive line: A-. This group struggled in the first half when Haloti Ngata was healthy. They couldn’t open up any holes for Frank Gore, who had 11 carries for just 29 yards. And Anthony Davis gave up a sack on third and goal from the eight yard line.
But the 49ers’ O-line dominated in the second half, especially after Ngata hurt his knee and left the game. Gore rushed nine times for 81 yards, and Colin Kaepernick had all the time in the world to pass.
Running backs: C+. Frank Gore had an extraordinary second half, as I explained above. He finished the game with 19 carries for 110 yards. He set up the 49ers’ last stand at the Ravens’ seven yard line with a 33-yard run. He got better as the game went on. The 49ers rarely lose when Gore rushes more than 23 times. It’s a shame he didn’t run the ball more in this game.
He could have taken LaMichael James’ carries, who only rushed three times for 10 yards. James fumbled in the second quarter, and the Ravens scored a touchdown ten plays later.
Wide receivers: C+.
Michael Crabtree caught five passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. He caught a 24-yard pass on second and 10 from the 49ers’ 36 yard line to jump start their final drive.
He also dropped a pass and ran a poor route on the 49ers’ final offensive play of the game, the desperation heave to Crabtree in the corner of the end zone. Crabtree ran inside, right into the cornerback and got tangled up. He should have run outside to the back pylon.
Randy Moss made little to no effort all night. He either caught passes with his body, alligator armed them or watched them sail by. He confirmed that he is not the greatest receiver of all time, not even close.
No other 49er receiver caught a pass. First round pick A.J. Jenkins managed to go the entire 19-game season without catching a single pass. You have to wonder if he’ll even make the team next season.
Tight ends: A-. Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker were outstanding receivers and blockers Sunday night. Walker had the key block on Gore’s touchdown run in the third quarter. Both tight ends combined to catch nine passes for 152 yards. The Ravens simply were not fast enough to cover these guys. Most defenses aren’t fast enough to cover them.
Vernon Davis did drop a deep pass on the 49ers’ final offensive drive, but Crabtree caught a 24-yard pass on the next play, so Davis’ drop did not cost the team.