SANTA CLARA – Jed York can’t blame Vic Fangio for this one — the 49ers’ defense gave up just one touchdown. It was the offense that failed to show up for the third game in a row. Here are the grades.
KAEPERNICK: Z. Worst game of his career. His passes were inaccurate, his downfield vision was poor and he forced passes to covered receivers. Is there any doubt which team has the better quarterback?
RUNNING BACKS: F. Frank Gore looked old. The 49ers wish Carlos Hyde was Marshawn Lynch but he isn’t. Hyde runs angry but he doesn’t make people miss like Lynch does. I don’t care if Lynch refuses to talk to the head coach or the media — I’d want him on my team. He’s ferocious on game days and that’s all that matters. I saw him walking out of the stadium by himself listening to headphones and mouthing lyrics, which was sort of strange. I’d still want him on my team. The 49ers absolutely should sign him this offseason.
WIDE RECEIVERS: F. Stevie Johnson was supposed to be the Niners’ secret weapon against the Seahawks’ defense, something about him playing well against them in 2012. Johnson caught three passes for 28 yards. Some weapon. Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd combined for 34 receiving yards. Maybe the Niners should acquire a wide receiver who actually can beat one cornerback on the Seahawks? Too bad Trent Baalke whiffed on the greatest wide-receiver draft class of all time earlier this year.
TIGHT ENDS: F. Vernon Davis caught two passes and seemed to avoid getting hit at least once.
OFFENSIVE LINE: F. Dominated in every conceivable way. Jonathan Martin and Alex Boone both gave up sacks, and Joe Staley committed two penalties.
DEFENSIVE LINE: B. Gave up 4.6 yards per carry, but did not give up any rushing touchdowns. Justin Smith and Tony Jerod-Eddie each sacked Russell Wilson one time, and Tank Carradine recorded two tackles for losses.
LINEBACKERS: B-. The outside linebackers played well. Aaron Lynch and Ahmad Brooks both sacked Wilson one time. The inside linebackers weren’t great. Chris Borland made 15 tackles, but missed at least two, and was not fast enough to run down the Seahawks near the sideline. Neither Borland nor Michael Wilhoite could stop the passes to the running backs in the flat. NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis would have stopped those plays.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: B+. Shut down the Seahawks’ wide receivers. Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver made a heroic tackle in the second quarter, dragging Tony Moeaki down at the 1-yard line, and the 49ers’ defense ended up holding the Seahawks to a field goal on that drive.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F. Perrish Cox fumbled a punt in the second quarter. The 49ers should have replaced him weeks ago. He’s a bad punt returner.
COACHES: D. The defense gave up only one touchdown – always an outstanding accomplishment in the NFL. The offense had the worst game plan in the history of game plans, and the half-time adjustments were nearly as bad. Greg Roman kept calling deep passes for slow receivers. Every deep throw was a wasted down. The Niners’ best offensive plays were defensive penalties by the Seahawks. If not for those penalties, the Niners would have had just 11 first downs. And even with those penalties, the Niners couldn’t score a touchdown. Greg Roman is coaching himself out of the league.