Here are the 49ers’ grades after their 33-10 loss to the Eagles.
QUARTERBACK: D. C.J. Beathard is not the answer at quarterback for the 49ers. He has a weak arm and poor footwork. He’s a backup quarterback at best, which is what I wrote when the 49ers drafted him in the third round this year. I gave that pick an “F” and stand by the grade. Brian Hoyer is a better quarterback than Beathard and would have given the 49ers a better chance to win today.
All that being said, you can’t blame this loss on Beathard. Sure, he threw two interceptions, one pick-six, completed only 47 percent of his throws and averaged a miniscule 4.6 yards per attempt, but he got crushed by the Eagles defense. It must have hit Beathard 20 times. No quarterback will play well when he gets hit that much. Joe Montana would play poorly on this team. Same with Kirk Cousins.
Speaking of Cousins, why on earth would he would want to sign with the 49ers? I’m guessing he values his health more than the few extra million the Niners can offer him.
RUNNING BACKS: D. Carlos Hyde averaged 2.1 yards per carry and dropped three passes. Why do the Niners still play him? They benched their best quarterback – they might as well bench Hyde, too. They already know what he can do, and it isn’t much. He’s not part of the franchise’s future. Trade him now and make Matt Breida the starter. Breida scored the only touchdown of the game for the 49ers.
WIDE RECEIVERS: F. The 49ers’ five active receivers combined for 50 yards. That’s got to be some kind of record.
TIGHT ENDS: D. George Kittle made a nice one-handed catch, but he and Garrett Celek mostly were ineffective.
OFFENSIVE LINE: F. The Niners lost all three of their tackles. Trent Brown missed the game with a concussion, Garry Gilliam left the game with a knee injury and Joe Staley left with possibly a broken orbital bone. So the Niners played most of the game with backup guards at tackle. That’s all you need to know about this group.
DEFENSIVE LINE: A-minus. The defensive line played well against a very good offensive line. The Niners sacked Carson Wentz three times and held the Eagles to just 3.6 yards per carry. Leger Douzable recorded two sacks – he was fantastic, outplaying the 49ers’ rookie first-round pick, Solomon Thomas, who recorded only two tackles. Thomas started the game at defensive end, where he kept rushing directly into the chest of the Eagles’ backup left tackle. So the Niners moved Thomas to nose tackle on third-and-long, where he was slightly more effective. He beat the Eagles center once and hit Wentz in the red zone. For three weeks, I’ve said the Niners should move Thomas to nose tackle. I’m glad they’ve taken my advice. I’m here to help.
LINEBACKERS: B. Reuben Foster missed the game with an injury. That seems to be a theme for him. Eric Reid made his first start at linebacker and played decently. He made three tackles. Brock Coyle was much more effective, recording seven tackles and one tackle for loss.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: B-minus. Ahkello Witherspoon intercepted a pass, but also gave up a touchdown catch to Alshon Jeffery. Witherspoon’s day was a wash. Collectively, this group allowed a passer rating of just 84.2, which is impressive. But Dontae Johnson committed a pass-interference penalty in the end zone and the Eagles scored a touchdown on the next play. The game pretty much ended after Johnson’s penalty.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F. Robbie Gould missed a short field goal when the Eagles blocked his kick, Bradley Pinion shanked a punt, Rashard Robinson committed two penalties on special teams and the Niners allowed a punt to roll into the end zone for a touchback when they easily could have downed the ball inside the Eagles five-yard line. That’s bad coaching.
COACHES: D. Forget the comparisons to the 1979 49ers — that team didn’t lose its first eight games. This team is reaching new lows. Kyle Shanahan seems completely unprepared to be a head coach. He should quit and go back to the Falcons – I’m sure they’d take him.
Shanahan demoralized his players with his pregame speech about the 1979 49ers a week ago. Before the speech, the Niners were outscored by only 33 points in five games. They played hard. Since the speech, the Niners have been outscored by 53 points in two games and a lot of players have gotten injured. They won’t fight through aches and pains for Shanahan. Can you blame them?
One bright spot on the coaching staff was defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. He had an excellent game plan, featuring creative pressure schemes that bothered Carson Wentz most of the first half. Good for Saleh. He’s learning faster than Shanahan.