Here are the 49ers’ grades after losing 38-27 to the Kansas City Chiefs.
GAROPPOLO: C-. Played well most of the game. Completed 67 percent of his throws. Passed for two touchdowns. Fumbled once, but didn’t turn the ball over. Almost led the 49ers back from a 28-point deficit until he made one terrible decision that could ruin the 49ers season. On third-and-goal from the 20, Garoppolo scrambled up the sideline for 13 yards, and should have jogged out of bounds to protect himself. Instead, he planted hard on his left foot to cut back toward the field, injured his knee and took a vicious hit to the helmet. The 49ers fear Garoppolo suffered a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee. He has only himself to blame. He could have avoided the injury.
RUNNING BACKS: A-. Alfred Morris scored a touchdown in the red zone. He and Matt Breida combined gained 157 yards on the ground and averaged 6.5 yards per carry. But, they ran only 24 times, because the 49ers had to pass to get back in the game. Kyle Juszczyk caught a 35-yard touchdown pass, but also committed an offensive pass interference penalty that negated a touchdown catch by George Kittle.
WIDE RECEIVERS: D. Marquise Goodwin caught a touchdown pass in the red zone, but finished the game with just 30 receiving yards. He was the 49ers most productive receiver. Kendrick Bourne had 27 receiving yards. Trent Taylor had 24. Pierre Garcon had 11. Dante Pettis had zero. The 49ers need better receivers.
TIGHT ENDS: B. George Kittle had five catches and 79 receiving yards – both team highs. He also dropped a pass. He seems to drop one every week.
OFFENSIVE LINE: C+. Mike McGlinchey gave up a sack. Joe Staley committed a false start and gave up a sack. And Mike Person committed a chop block and a hold and gave up a sack. Still, this group wasn’t terrible. It blocked well in the run game.
DEFENSIVE LINE: D. The 49ers recorded only two sacks, and one wasn’t really a sack – Patrick Mahomes just ran out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage. The other sack came from strong safety Antone Exum when he blitzed. Whiich means the defensive line was a non-factor against the pass. It also couldn’t stop the run during the Chiefs’ final drive. DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas were invisible. Arik Armstead committed an illegal-use-of-hands penalty. Cassius Marsh jumped offside.
LINEBACKERS: D. Missed a ton of tackles. Couldn’t stop a screen pass. And Reuben Foster knocked himself out of the game for a couple of plays, as he almost always does. He also committed an unnecessary roughness penalty.
SAFETIES: D. Backup strong safety Antone Exum forced a fumble, but also committed pass interference and unnecessary roughness. Starting strong safety Jaquiski Tartt missed the game with a shoulder injury, and starting free safety Adrian Colbert left the game early with a right-leg injury. The defense seemed to improve after Colbert left. His replacement, D.J. Reed, covers more ground in centerfield, but is undisciplined. He committed a horse-collar penalty.
CORNERBACKS: D. Jimmie Ward started and made zero plays. Richard Sherman left the game in the first half with what the 49ers call a “calf/heel” injury – the same injury that kept him out of Thursday’s practice. It could be related to his surgically repaired Achilles. His replacement, Ahkello Witherspoon, committed a holding penalty and a pass interference in the second half.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D. Robbie Gould missed an extra point, and Bradley Pinion averaged only 35.8 net yards per punt.
COACHES: D. They didn’t let the team quit at halftime, and they get credit for that. Both Kyle Shanahan and Robert Saleh made good halftime adjustments. But, neither coach had the 49ers ready to play. It was over before the 49ers woke up. They had no answer for Andy Reid’s script, which was brilliant. He blew them out of the water. Exposed them for the undisciplined team they are. The 49ers struggle with the basics, like tackling and scoring in the red zone. Now, they may not have their franchise quarterback for the rest of the season. Garoppolo was the 49ers’ deodorant. He masked everything that was wrong with them. Without him, they stink again. Shanahan’s honeymoon officially is over.