Here are the grades for the San Francisco 49ers’ 26-20 overtime win over the Chicago Bears.
GABBERT: B+. Clutch. Made three huge runs in the fourth quarter, including a 44-yard touchdown run with the game on the line. Then, made a perfect 71-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith in overtime for the win. Gabbert didn’t do much in this game other than those plays, but he didn’t make any mistakes, either. He showed he should be the starting quarterback next season. Whichever quarterback the Niners draft this offseason, he can sit and develop. Good news.
RUNNING BACKS: C. Shaun Draughn averaged only 2.8 yards per carry, but scored a touchdown and caught five passes for 50 yards.
WIDE RECEIVERS: B. Torrey Smith was open deep more than once, but Gabbert didn’t see him until overtime. Gabbert was fixated on Draughn and Anquan Boldin, who caught five passes for a measly 37 yards.
TIGHT ENDS: D. Vance McDonald made a nice first-down catch early in the game, but suffered a concussion on the play. Blake Bell, McDonald’s replacement, was ineffective, catching just one pass for five yards.
OFFENSIVE LINE: F. Gave up four sacks. Rookie beard nose tackle Eddie Goldman bullied Niners center Marcus Martin, and Niners left tackle Joe Staley probably had the worst game of his career. He couldn’t even get the snap count right.
DEFENSIVE LINE: C-. Generated no pressure, and allowed 170 rushing yards to an offense that came into the game ranked 16th in rushing yards.
LINEBACKERS: D. NaVorro Bowman seemed to miss three or four tackles, but wasn’t the Niners’ worst inside linebacker on the field. That was Gerald Hodges, who replaced Michael Wilhoite after Wilhoite suffered a sprained ankle. Hodges was directly responsible for the Bears rushing for 12 yards on third-and-10 toward the end of regulation. Hodges filled the wrong gap and and an offensive lineman walled him out of the play.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: A. Gave up zero touchdown passes, and a passer rating of just 64.2. Jimmie Ward intercepted Jay Cutler and returned the pick for a touchdown.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C. Bradley Pinion averaged 48.1 yards per punt—he was fantastic. But, the 49ers’ kickoff coverage team gave up a 74-yard return to Deonte Thompson, and that should have set up the game-winning score for the Bears. But, Robbie Gould missed a chip shot from 36 yards out.
COACHES: B. Eric Mangini outcoached Adam Gase, Geep Chryst outcoached Vic Fangio down the stretch and Jim Tomsula finally got his players to show up for a road game. Get ready for another season of this trio.