SAN FRANCISCO – Here are my grades for the 49ers’ 34-3 demolition of the entire Texans’ franchise.
KAEPERNICK: F+. He gets the plus for hitting a wide-open Vernon Davis on a 64-yard touchdown pass. Besides that play, Kaepernick completed 5-of-14 passes for 49 yards. That’s a 46.4 passer rating and that’s dreadful. At least he didn’t turn over the ball. He’s still hardly looking to throw the ball to anyone but Anquan Boldin or Vernon Davis. Occasionally, Kaepernick throws to Bruce Miller. As a result, Kaepernick keeps missing open receivers. On one play, Kaepernick missed a wide open Kyle Williams deep down the field.
RUNNING BACKS: B. Frank Gore had two 26-yard runs and a 16-yard run. He gets credit for those runs. Besides those runs, he gained 13 yards on 14 runs. He gets credit for those runs, too. Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James both rushed well in the fourth quarter. Bruce Miller caught a pass and blocked well.
WIDE RECEIVERS: F. Anquan Boldin caught two passes for 21 yards in six targets. No other receiver caught a pass. So far this season, 49ers’ wide receivers not named Boldin have caught 13 passes for 112 yards. That’s an average of 2.6 catches for 22.4 yards a game.
TIGHT ENDS: B. Vernon Davis caught a deep touchdown pass and converted two third downs on the 49ers’ first drive. He also got open deep in the third quarter but Kaepernick under threw him. Kaepernick did not throw a pass to Vance McDonald or Garrett Celek.
OFFENSIVE LINE: B. They only gave up very little pressure and just one sack. Anthony Davis gave up a few tackles for losses to J.J. Watt. The O-line created some big holes in the run game, especially on power runs off tackle and on whams. But overall, the 49ers’ O-line struggled to move the Texans’ defensive front in the run game.
DEFENSIVE LINE: B-. They got pressure on Matt Schaub once, maybe twice. The one sack Schaub took was a coverage sack – he held onto the ball forever because his receivers were covered. The D-line gave up 131 rush yards on 30 carries – 4.4 yards per carry. An average performance, but Tony Jerod-Eddie’s fourth quarter interception bumps up the D-line’s grade.
LINEBACKERS: B. NaVorro Bowman had 13 tackles and Michael Wilhoite had 11. Ahmad Brooks had just 3, but he hit Schaub once.
SECONDARY: A. Tramaine Brock was outstanding. He picked off Schaub twice, returning one for a touchdown on the third play of the game. Tarell Brown knocked away two passes. Eric Reid dropped an interception but he did a good job jumping the route on the play. He also missed a tackle in the first quarter. Donte Whitner stripped Ben Tate in the third quarter.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A. C.J. Spillman made two tackles inside the Texans’ 15-yard line on kick returns. Phil Dawson made both his field goal attempts.
COACHING: B. Right away, Matt Schaub handed the 49ers the lead prompting Greg Roman to call the most conservative game plan possible. It worked. After the Texans fell behind, the only way they could win the game was if the 49ers handed it to them. Still, it would have been beneficial for the 49ers if Roman had used the game as an opportunity to establish a No.2 receiver and to get Kaepernick back in a rhythm. Not counting the first game of the season against the Packers, Kaepernick has completed 47-of-93 passes (51 percent) for 557 passing yards (139 passing yards per game, 6 yards per attempt), 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions and a 66.5 passer rating the past four games.
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