49ers 17, Ravens 20: Grades

San Francisco 49ers defensive back Marcell Harris (36) strips the ball from Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) to cause a fumble in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Baltimore, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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.

This article has 90 Comments

  1. KS needs an OC like Roman.
    We would have a very creative offense.
    .
    Unfortunately FO would never hire a guy like Roman.
    sigh

    1. Jesus Christ, when Roman was OC here a couple of years ago, it was two yards and a dust of cloud per play. Never again.

  2. We are starting to see why Bellicheck was willing to let JG go.
    .
    His inconsistent and inaccurate throwing at times becomes a liability in the big games.

    1. These first 2 posts were my catfish.
      .
      KS would never hire Roman as his OC. He should should just promote Day or LaFleur.
      .
      Belichick traded away JG, instead of letting him walk in free agency, so he got a second round pick, instead of nothing. He also chose to trade JG out of the AFC. Finally, Belichick remembered what Denise’s parents did for his family, so he paid them back by letting JG go to a storied franchise.

    2. Not sure that’s true. I thought it was Kraft who wouldn’t let go of Brady; way I heard it if BB had his ‘druthers he would kept JG… who still needs improvement for sure, but he IS improving. I think too many of “the Faithful” lack the patience and wisdom to see it.
      No doubt you’d have been chanting, “we want Mira” with the rest of the Faithful fools if you go back that far. If not, “you could look it up”, to coin a phrase.

      1. JG knew that Brady wanted to play several more years. He was at the end of his rookie contract, so he was going to be a free agent, and he stated many times that he wanted to play, and would not be content sitting on the bench.
        .
        Belichick knew that JG was going to leave, so he pulled the trigger on a deal, so he got a second round pick, instead of nothing. That is a fact. Belichick called the Niners, because he did not want JG to play in the same division, or conference.
        .
        Sure, it is speculation that Belichick wanted to repay Marie Debartolo for all the help her family gave to the Belichick family, but Bill Belichick spoke for over 10 minutes, praising that help, during trying times, in those early years. BB spoke before the Patriot- Niner game at Levis. When was the last time BB spoke for over 10 minutes about anything? You could look it up.
        .
        Yes, there were also chants of – We want Brodie, We want Deberg, We want Montana, We want Young and We want Alex. That was nothing new.

  3. I would agree with all of the grades except the STs. Gould had his kick tipped. Wishnowsky had a decent game punting.
    .
    I would give the STs a C+.
    .
    I totally agree with the coaching assessment.

  4. I’m still not mad at the loss.
    I will be if they let the saints beat them Sunday.
    Neutral field with Better conditions Niners win.
    It just came down to who had the ball last.

      1. For sure it helped the Ravens and evidence of their passing game which is weak. The Niners get up a couple possessions and that’s forces Jackson to throw the ball which as we’ve seen is not his forte.

      2. I actually think it hurt them more than it helped. Jackson missed some wide open receivers and will be even faster and more elusive on a dry field.

  5. Difference is the Raven’s D got the crucial stop towards the end and we didn’t. It’s not like our failed 4th down conversion put them in FG range to win it… a great D finds a way to make a stop. Saleh needs to figure out how to stop mobile QBs if this D wants to be truly elite.

  6. Sad..we could have won it. Maybe we still don’t know how to win big games. We need to beat NO. By the way, no hits on the most important raven: Jackson? Bad defense.

  7. It was a white knuckle ride but still we’re 10-2.
    Two close losses from PO teams.
    Not bad for a team that was supposed to be 8-8 at best!

  8. Grades are mostly accurate I think. Like I said last thread, the Niners didn’t make enough plays to win a game that was there for them to win. They’ve let themselves down in this regard twice now, which is extremely frustrating. I will not be sleeping well tonight. Like I also said (which clowns will of course ignore) it’s not a reason to get too disheartened – the team just needs to learn from it. If they correct the mistakes and make sure they make the big plays in these games they are the best in the NFL. If they don’t they will be wasted potential.

      1. He mismanaged this one, the loss to the Seahawks three weeks ago 

        100% correct……

        Its freaking 4th and inches …….QB sneak the freaking ball…

      2. Truer words were never spoken. Why do “genius” coaches feel that they have to get artsy-fartsy with play calling instead of just doing what is working best- running the hell out of the ball on a bad, rainy field. We should have won this game. Letting 40 seconds run off the clock, and huddling up was just plain insane! And I made the same point in a different post that Kyle did the same thing and lost the Super Bowl for Atlanta with getting too cute. Big boy britches are required for big games and Harbaugh wore his pants better. We gotta beat the Saints.

  9. Before the game, I wanted the Niners to play Marcell Harris, because he was good against the run.
    .
    His strip/fumble recovery was huge.

  10. Grant= great job as always but please grade out the D coach and O coach…

    I give Saleh a B and Shanny and D….horrible clock, timeout management and play calls in their biggest test by Shanny

  11. Some of the comments about the Defense are nuts. The Raven’s have been putting 30-45 points on teams and barely score 20 against the Niners but that isn’t good enough.

    The Niners traveled to the east coast played the hottest team in the league in terrible weather and lost on the last play of the game. A little perspective would be helpful.

    1. No Shanny laid an egg….???? piss poor 4 minute and 2 minute drill time out management and playcalls at crucial times…period…..JimmyP still turns the ball over as well

      Rubber meeting the road

  12. QB grade is wrong, Grant your grade is a childish admission that you can’t admit your wrong. Name a QB who could have won this game under the same conditions.

      1. You make note of how JG had 60 passing yards in the second half while completely ignoring that the run game was dominating in that 2nd half.

        Please show us the run/pass difference in the 2nd half…

  13. The game was winnable. It came down to a couple of plays:

    Jimmy’s fumble.

    The missed Gould FG.

    The 3rd/4th down calls on the last drive.

    That’s on Shanny and Jimmy G.

    But other than that, I thought Garapolo played a good game.

    They weren’t embarrassed.

    But it sure would have been nice if they had left Baltimore with a W.

    1. Yes CS..this loss is on Shanny and JimmyP absolutely

      Team should have an OC….Shanny is a choke artist in crucial situations…prob is Shanny has a big ego and won’t let an OC dictate …

      Harb’s outcoached Shanny

  14. The Niner defense shut the Ravens out until the last 3 seconds of the second half.
    .
    Too bad the Niners only managed to score 3 points in the second half.
    .
    The Niner DEs should have faked tackling the RBs, and then hit Jackson.

        1. Please stop posting, you’ve proven yourself to be completely ignorant of the game.

          Theres zero time to fake tackle. That isn’t a thing. This is beyond stupid.

          1. If Jackson can fake a handoff, a defender can fake a tackle.
            .
            This game is built upon deception, but according to you, it is impossible to do a fake.

            1. The fake handoff happens because they are standing NEXT TO EACH OTHER!

              The fake tackle doesn’t work because once the defender commits to the RB or the QB, they are about 4 feet or more away from the other. The defender has to commit to one or the other, or he will be standing by himself going after neither. The RB in the RPO goes up the middle, the QB goes to the outside, if the defender goes to FAKE tackle the RB, the qb will run behind the defender…as they do when the defender goes to REAL tackle the RB. If the defender goes to FAKE tackle the QB, he will give the ball to the RB who will go up the middle and the defender will be on the edge FAKE tackling the QB.

              This is such a stupid idea.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VexFGYRKfkA
              Educate yourself.

              1. Armstead kept tackling the RB, when he was close enough to swerve and tackle Jackson.
                .
                Jackson, by keeping the ball, had free rein to run to the outside, breaking containment, because Armstead kept crashing inside, tackling the RB.
                .
                I wanted them to hit Jackson as much as possible, instead of letting him gallop for 101 yards.
                .
                Sure, it is not the easiest thing to do, but crashing inside and allowing Jackson to break containment, was a recipe for failure. That is why I wanted Armstead to FAKE tackling the RB, then swerving at the last second to hit Jackson. It was not impossible to do. However, it seemed like he was coached to tackle the RB, and ignore Jackson.
                .
                Instead of a Youtube video, watch the last game. Armstead was close enough to Jackson, to make him pay for keeping the ball.

              2. Now you just changed the goal post.

                If you wanted Armstrong, or Thomas, or whomever was setting the edge to hit Jackson then they would have had to engage him, no matter if he has the ball or not.

                If they do this, then its on the inside dline and lbs to make sure the RB, who should have the ball, is tackled after minimal gain.

                I was wishing they would do this and stop biting on the RB, which is just about the only time LJ runs did anything. Much rather see their RBs try to get tough yards up the middle then LJ having a wide lane on the outside.

                None of this is about fake tackling, thats something a 3rd grader would suggest.

              3. Being deceptive is the name of the game. Sure, I wanted more hits on Jackson, so if Armstead faked going after the RB, and at the last second, swerved to hit Jackson, maybe it would have surprised Jackson, and caused him to fumble the ball.
                .
                If Armstead advertised the fact that he was only going after Jackson, Jackson would just hand off the ball.
                .
                You must think that fakes are an unknown concept in football.

              4. You try hard, but should stop while behind.
                .
                It is not impossible to fake like you are going to tackle the RB, then swerve at the last second, and tackle the QB.
                .
                The problem was, the Niner coaches only instructed the DE to tackle the RB, letting Jackson break containment for 101 yards.

              5. Seriously, this is the most childish thing I’ve read.

                The next time you tackle someone will be the first time you’ve tackled someone.

                Trust me, as someone who’s played football and tackled, and attempted to tackle, fake tackling DOES NOT EXIST! Its P H Y S I C A L L Y impossible.

                This is just mindbogglingly stupid.

                Where the block button?

  15. “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.”

    Dude, you are such an ignorant tool. You were doing so well and then this stupid BS. Great game. 49ers played the hottest team in the NFL on the road and the game came down to a couple of plays. Ravens got 14 points on a personal foul and a fumble. Shanny coached a great game. You’re an idiot.

      1. I agree. I should be more urbane. Your criticism belies that of a truly erudite authority on 49er punditry. I’ll refrain from fully apologizing for my crass and unworthy commentary until you can fully appreciate the depths of my apology once Grant stops exploring the depths of your throat.

  16. Lots of yards given up to Jackson because folks responsible for outside run containment were jumping inside and losing containment. This happened at least 6 times.

    So, learn from that and I really like the chances 49ers have in a rematch. Ravens are a one trick pony and we saw the trick. I think Shanny has lots more tricks up his sleeve that Ravens have not seen.

    Finally, I kept hearing what a great passer Jackson is. I did not see that today. Many passes were wayyyyyyyyyyy off the mark for no reason. Make him throw the ball Robert!

      1. Spot on Grant.The Mike and Joe Show should be over. Brunskill is a better tackle for the niners and I hope that the finger injury gives the coaches the reason to let Joe retire. Clearly he’s been a great teammate and tackle but the time has come. The Seattle game still gives me nightmares and I don’t want to see that again! Skule or Coleman can be the swing tackle of the future.

  17. In a close game, there’s very few coaches better than Harbaugh. His teams rarely make mistakes or implode. Kyle is still learning how to win these close ones.

    I’m okay with the loss, if he gets something out of it.

  18. Looks like the Rams really took it to the Cards today. Murray played miserably. Curious to see what the Rams did to stop Murray.

  19. The only way to stop Jackson is to keep hitting him. Some team will eventually do it and he won’t be the same just like when RG3 was the rage. Jackson IS the Ravens. They expose him to hits too much and it will shorten his career. Niners need to do the same thing the Ravens did against Kaepernick back at the Super bowl. They hit him whether he had the ball or not. There were a bunch of times Armstead and others dived at the RB decoy while Jackson ran free with the ball. They should expect that ploy and chase Jackson instead and take him down. Til then the Ravens will have the edge.

    1. I am in total agreement with this. When Kaep was running the pistol, the league actually changed the rules so that when the QB commits to running the ball, he in essence becomes a running back and can be hit like a running back,

      I’m not sure they still define that play the same way since Kaep left the Niners. Seems like the QBs have an extra layer of protection now downfield by the zebras. Was very convenient in 2013.

      That said, that’s why Shanny was referencing Jackson as a running back, so that it could be established ahead of time and they could hit him.

      I think they did a pretty good job on him for the most part.

      They roughed him up more than any other team I’ve seen, save the Browns. For some reason, they and KC have his number,

  20. Which one is it Grant? Did Gould miss the field goal? Or did Shanahan mishandle the clock resulting in the blocked field goal. Impressive how you talk out of both sides of your mouth.

  21. Both Jackson and JimmyG lost a fumble. Grant focuses on the latter. I don’t get it. Just like a couple of weeks ago when Russell Wilson threw a pick in OT and yet he was a hero a few minutes later after his kicker, not ours, made a FG.
    I agree with Grant that JimmyG can get better, but to blame this game on him in any way is just short-sighted.

    Other than the boneheaded waste of :40 at the end of the first half, I thought KS called a pretty good game. I agree with Grant that overall his game management is not quite what it needs to be to win a Super Bowl, but I think the grade is harsh.

    I agree with the grades on the LBs. They played better than I thought they would, but still got lost at times when Jackson was moving around.

    1. The blame is that he did nothing special or out of the ordinary to help win this game. The TD throw was a calculated no risk Hail Mary on a fourth down that would either result is a big gain, incompletion, or a pick at the goal line. Just as good as a punt. The scoring pass to Bourne was basically checked down distance that Bourne even had to reach down to his shins to catch and a great RAC by him. His long gainers and TD were just great plays by the receivers and not good passes from him. The only great play I remember was the shuffle pass to Mostert.

      He did nothing special and did not protect the ball as he was being sacked. The Jackson fumble was a great play by the defender. Who pulled it out from him as he went by. No one hit the ball in JG case. He was just hit and brought down. He should have covered it and went down easy. You can not afford a fumble at hour own goal line, but JImmy always tries to make a play. It wasn’t a horrible type fumble but when balanced against what he didn’t do it becomes more weighted. . Especially considering he lost two key fumbles against Seattle. It was just one more of a pattern.

  22. Some of the comments about the Defense are nuts. The Raven’s have been putting 30-45 points on teams and barely score 20 against the Niners but that isn’t good enough.

    The Niners traveled to the east coast played the hottest team in the league in terrible weather and lost on the last play of the game. A little perspective would be helpful.

  23. I think Jimmy G needs to take a little heat for the loss–not a lot. But Shanny and the sequence at the end of the first half and the last drive, needs to clean that stuff up.

    The defense played well enough to win.

    But just like the Seattle game, it came down to the last possession and a wining FG.

    There’s a pattern there.

  24. • No such thing as a “good loss”, but nothing to be ashamed of either.

    • Either Gould is finally too old, or his leg as well as his heart is in Chicago… f**ks us either way.

    • The guys’ll be glad to get back to a non-mobile QB, even if he is another future HOF’er… don’t know if it’ll be an a** whipping like the Packers, but I don’t know that it won’t be either.

  25. It’s about closing out games. Kyle hasn’t quite figured out how to be a closer. It was an issue in the Super Bowl and in some ways, still is.

  26. Grant — You have gone from ragging on Jimmy to letting him slide and praising him for nothing. That pass to Debo was not a beautiful pass. It was a throw it up for grabs on a fourth down hoping Debo makes a play and if it is intercepted it would have been better than a punt. The ball was actually thrown so Peterson had a better shot at it, but Debo make a heck of a play.

    What Jimmy did well was be elusive in the pocket and he did throw a few accurate passes. But they were all short passes which any decent QB makes. However, both those long gainers were not because of him. I already described the Debo TD pass. Well the pass to Bourne was a simple check down which Bourne still had to reach down to his shins to catch.

    You are beginning to give him every benefit of the doubt like many fans do. The difference between how Jimmy is held accountable compared to the QB’s who came before him is ridiculous. Even accounting for the rain, not much was expected of him because his passes except for the Hail Mary were all short. Jimmy is what he is and the Niners are stuck with him for now. He is no franchise QB, far from it. He is basically what many fans accused some previous QB’s of being- a game manager.

    Reading between the lines of what Shanahan said this last week- Jimmy doesn’t have to take chances when the rest of the team is playing well. Well that is the definition of a game manager. He is telling him not to take chances.

      1. Come talk to me after one or two seasons and we will see who had this right. I see Jimmy as not ever getting better. He is what he is today.

          1. Do archive that sht, PT.

            Some “realist” was supposed to meet me mid season and tell me how right he was about the Niners sucking after a couple of initial wins. Funny, dude was a no show. Let’s see Will at the end of next season. If he’s not too embarrassed to show his face.

    1. Yes they the Patriots won’t go to the Superbowl……right now it looks like the Saints Ravens and possibly the Seahawks are the best of the best…

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