SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers lost to the Rams 16-13. Here are the grades for the 49ers defense.
Defensive line: A. Justin Smith may have had the best game of his season. He had a team-high 8 tackles, including three for losses, 1 sack and 1 QB hit. Isaac Sopoaga and Ray McDonald helped limit Steven Jackson to 48 yards on 21 carries.
Linebackers: A-. Aldon Smith had a sack and two QB hits. NaVorro Bowman had seven tackles. Willis had four, and he gave up the 7-yard two-point conversion pass from Bradford to Kendricks.
Secondary: B. They didn’t give up any points, but they couldn’t stop rookie wide receiver Chris Givens, either. Givens caught 11 of the 14 passes Bradford threw his way, including some key catches at the end of the game. None of the 49ers cornerbacks could stop him.
Special teams: D. Everyone played well except David Akers, who missed a 51-yard field goal that would have won the game in overtime. He has been awful on kicks longer than 40 yards this season, and he is currently the player who is the weakest link on the team. It’s going to be hard to win a Super Bowl with Akers missing every other kick.