The Ravens beat the 49ers 20-17 in rainy Baltimore Sunday afternoon. Here are the 49ers’ grades:
GAROPPOLO: C. He completed 71.4 percent of his passes in the pouring rain, which is impressive. And he threw a beautiful 33-yard touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel. But, Garoppolo didn’t make the plays he normally makes on third down, so the 49ers converted only 33 percent of those plays. And he threw for only 64 yards in the second half, plus he fumbled deep in 49ers territory during the first quarter and gave the Ravens the ball in field-goal range during a game the 49ers lost by three points. His mistake was the difference in the game. Garoppolo still must prove he’s mature and seasoned enough to win the Super Bowl this season. His record in big games is 1-2.
RUNNING BACKS: A-MINUS. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk blocked well for the first time since returning from a knee injury. Starting running back Tevin Coleman tiptoed into holes and gained only six yards on five carries. He seems injured. Backup running back Raheem Mostert ran full speed into holes, took most of Coleman’s playing time and gained 146 yards on 19 carries — a whopping 7.7 yards per carry. For the season, Mostert is averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He was the 49ers’ best offensive player in this game, he is the 49ers’ best running back and he deserves to start next week when the 49ers play the New Orleans Saints.
WIDE RECEIVERS: B. Deebo Samuel had two catches for 41 yards and a touchdown, plus one carry for an additional 20 yards. Kyle Shanahan should have called more plays for Samuel. Emmanuel Sanders had 41 receiving yards as well, and Kendrick Bourne had 42. All three were solid.
TIGHT ENDS: C-PLUS. George Kittle blocked extremely well and was a big reason the 49ers rushed for 174 yards and six yards per carry. But, the Ravens made him a non-factor in the passing game. He caught just two passes for 17 yards.
OFFENSIVE LINE: A-MINUS. They gave up two sacks early when Garoppolo scrambled and extended plays. When Garoppolo stopped scrambling, the offensive linemen stopped giving up sacks. And they blocked well in the run game. Daniel Brunskill started at left tackle and made a case that he should keep the job. He seems like the best left tackle on the team — even better than Joe Staley, who’s 35 and injured.
DEFENSIVE LINE: B-PLUS. The 49ers abandoned the Wide 9, packed the defensive linemen tightly together and held the Ravens running backs to just 3.5 yards per carry. And although the 49ers sacked Lamar Jackson only once, the defensive line pressured him on third down and the Ravens converted just 30 percent of those plays.
LINEBACKERS: B. Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw combined to make 19 tackles, and Warner broke up a game-high two passes. Those two played particularly well in pass coverage, and the 49ers gave up just 105 yards through the air. But, they also gave up 101 yards on the ground to quarterback Lamar Jackson, primarily because the young linebackers ran the wrong direction or weren’t fast enough to chase down Jackson.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: A-MINUS. They gave up a passer rating of just 86.3. Richard Sherman played with tremendous courage and toughness, and made seven critical tackles. Jaquiski Tartt left the game with a rib injury, but his backup, Marcell Harris, stripped the ball from Jackson and recovered it. This was the play of the game for the defense.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D. Robbie Gould missed a 51-yard field goal. He has missed all four of his field goal attempts from at least 50 yards out this season.
COACHES: C. Robert Saleh didn’t have his starting weakside linebacker (Kwon Alexander), pass-rush specialist (Dee Ford), or strong safety (Jaquiski Tartt), and still held the NFL’s top scoring offense to 20 points on the road. He couldn’t find a way to stop Jackson from running — who can? — but, Saleh stopped everything else. He stopped the Ravens’ running backs and their passing game. Saleh’s stock is up.
Kyle Shanahan The Head Coach’s stock is down. Shanahan The Offensive Coordinator coached well, as his offense averaged an impressive six yards per play. But, Shanahan The Head Coach mismanaged the game three times. At the end of the first half, he wasted 40 seconds between plays and didn’t leave his offense enough time to drive the field. The best the 49ers could get was a 51-yard field-goal attempt, which the Ravens blocked. In the second half, on a critical fourth-and-one play, Shanahan called a pass from the shotgun, and the Ravens bated it down. This call was too cute. The identity of the 49ers’ offense is their running game, and their running back, Mostert, was averaging 7.7 yards per. The 49ers should have put Garoppolo under center made him hand the ball to Mostert. They should have been themselves. Finally, Shanahan wasted his three second-half timeouts and couldn’t stop the clock after 2:23 in the fourth quarter when the Ravens were driving for the game-winning field goal. Shanahan still must prove he’s mature and seasoned enough to manage big, close games. He mismanaged this one, the loss to the Seahawks three weeks ago and the Super Bowl in 2017.