Here are the grades for the San Francisco 49ers’ disappointing 19-16 overtime win over the St. Louis Rams. This win hurt the Niners’ draft position probably more than they know.
GABBERT: D. Did his best to lose the game during regulation, but gave away the loss with two nice throws during the final drive of overtime. Unacceptable in a must-lose game.
RUNNING BACKS: F. Starter DuJuan Harris led the team in rushing with 67 yards on 16 carriers, and receiving with 86 yards on eight catches. Who asked him to play so well?
WIDE RECEIVERS: B. Anquan Boldin tried to negate his 33-yard touchdown grab by pushing a cornerback to the ground before catching the ball, but the official didn’t throw the flag. Still a good effort by Boldin, though. Only so much he can do in that situation.
TIGHT ENDS: A-. Blake Bell was a non-factor, catching one pass for five yards. He did his part, as did Vance McDonald, who let a pass fly through his arms on 3rd-and-4 from the Rams 37-yard line with the game on the line in the fourth quarter. That drop should have lost the game, but the Rams’ kicker missed a 47-yard field goal as time expired.
OFFENSIVE LINE: F. Gave up only one sack. Bad week for this group to play its best game of the season.
DEFENSIVE LINE: B. Gave up 133 rushing yards and sacked Rams quarterback Case Keenum no times. That’s the spirit.
LINEBACKERS: B+. Ahmad Brooks made the play of the game. Someone pushed him, then he turned around, smacked a guy who didn’t push him, drew a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness and got benched for a couple of quarters. How come NaVorro Bowman can’t make a play like this? Some leader he is.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: F. Gave up only one deep pass during the entire game. It’s like they weren’t even trying to lose.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F-. Phil Dawson made all four of his field goal attempts and won the game with a field goal during overtime. All he had to do was miss a couple and the Niners would have lost. You don’t expect a veteran to make those mental mistakes.
COACHES: A. Don’t blame this win on the coaches—they put their players in position to fail. Geep Chryst called those third-down screens that almost never work, Eric Mangini called that safety blitz that almost never works (today the Rams beat it for a 54-yard gain), and Jim Tomsula punted from the Rams 37-yardline instead of attempting a game-winning field goal toward the end of the fourth quarter. That’s how you lose a game. Unfortunately, the players didn’t execute.
UPDATE: The 49ers fired Tomsula. Unclear if they fired him for winning or having a bad record.