SANTA CLARA — Here are the 49ers’ grades after their 20-10 loss to the Cardinals.
QUARTERBACK: F. C.J. Beathard isn’t starter material – that’s clear – but he may not be backup material, either. He misses easy throws even when he’s not under pressure. The 49ers should draft a quarterback at some point during the first three rounds of next year’s draft.
Beathard threw a pass that bounced off the back of Trent Brown’s helmet and got intercepted. That was an all timer. To be fair, Beathard got hit more than 20 times in this game, and most quarterback don’t play well when they get hit that much.
Do you think Jimmy Garoppolo is eager to play and sign a contract extension after watching Beathard take those hits?
RUNNING BACKS: C. It’s hard to judge Carlos Hyde as a runner – he carried the ball only 12 times. More on that below. He did catch a team-high nine passes for 84 yards. But, he let a pass bounce off his face during the fourth quarter, and he got thrown out of the game for fighting. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk fumbled and left the game with a neck injury.
WIDE RECEIVERS: F. Who are these guys?
TIGHT ENDS: F-minus. George Kittle dropped two passes. He’s a disappointment.
OFFENSIVE LINE: Ω. Worst offensive line in the league. Giving these guys an F-minus would be too kind. I had to go Greek alphabet for them.
DEFENSIVE LINE: C-plus. The left side of the line was solid against the run. The right side was not. The Cardinals figured that out and ran that direction most of the game. But in the fourth quarter, defensive tackle Tony McDaniel forced a fumble and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner recovered the ball. That’s why I gave this group the “plus.”
LINEBACKERS: B. Reuben Foster recorded 14 tackles and made Adrian Peterson work hard to average 4.3 yards per carry. Brock Coyle was awful.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: B. Eric Reid intercepted Drew Stanton in the end zone. Backup free safety Adrian Colbert made a nice play to sprint across the field and break up a deep pass along the sideline. And Ahkello Witherspoon gave up a touchdown catch for the second game in a row.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C. Punt returner Victor Bolden Jr. never had room to run, because the 49ers couldn’t jam the Cardinals gunners.
COACHES: F. Kyle Shanahan has three jobs – head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive play caller – and he stinks at all three of them. He can’t win a game, his offense can’t score more than 10 points and his play calls make no sense. Today, he called passes 78 percent of the time even though his offensive line can’t protect the quarterback. What a genius!