Here are the grades for the San Francisco 49ers’ 29-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
GABBERT: B. Played better than he did during his first start for the Niners two weeks ago against the Atlanta Falcons. This week, Gabbert faced a top Seahawks defense, threw for 264 yards and a touchdown while making no major mistakes and getting sacked only twice even though he had no running game.
RUNNING BACKS: F. Starting tailback Shaun Draughn fumbled once and rushed 12 times for only 37 yards. He played better as a receiver, making eight catches for 40 yards, although once he stopped running his route and almost caused Gabbert to throw an interception.
WIDE RECEIVERS: B. Anquan Boldin dominated Seahawks slot cornerback DeShawn Shead – five catches for 93 yards. Offensive coordinator Geep Chryst should have attacked this matchup much more often.
TIGHT ENDS: B. Vance McDonald had his best game as a pro, making four catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. McDonald seemed to have bad hands when Colin Kaepernick was the quarterback, but maybe the problem was Kaepernick’s laser passes, not McDonald’s hands.
OFFENSIVE LINE: B. Faced one of the best pass rushes in the league and gave up only two sacks. Both times, Erik Pears got beat around the edge by speed-rusher Cliff Avril. Chryst should have helped out Pears by chipping Avril with a tight end or a running back.
DEFENSIVE LINE: F. Gave up 255 rushing yards and made undrafted rookie running back Thomas Rawls look like Barry Sanders only better.
LINEBACKERS: F. NaVorro Bowman played his worst game of the season, making plays only that were directly in front of him. Michael Wilhoite, the other starting inside linebacker, made no plays, not even the ones that were directly in front of him. Seahawks players didn’t have to juke him – they just ran around him.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: F+. Gave up a completion percentage of 82.3 and a quarterback rating of 138. It’s tough to say which defensive back was the worst, although Jimmie Ward definitely is in the conversation. He was flat-out awful in man coverage. Still, this group gets an “F+” and not a flat “F” because free safety Eric Reid was the only player on the defense who played hard.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F. Penalties during punt returns hurt the Niners’ field position early.
COACHES: F. The 49ers outscored the Seahawks after the six-minute mark in the second quarter. But, the Niners offense started the game with three three-and-outs on their first-four drives, and the defense started the game by allowing three-straight touchdown drives. The game was over before the Niners woke up. Head coach Jim Tomsula couldn’t get his team ready to play a full game even after a bye week. The Niners should fire Tomsula tonight.