Season ending report card

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Overall grade: D. Even without beating the Seahawks we should be in contention for a wc spot. Dropping winnable games to Chicago, Oakland, St. Louis, and San Diego killed our chances of making the playoffs. Win 2 of those 4 and we could be playing Ari for the last spot. That being said my expectations weren't extremely high this year. Add in an unusually high number of injuries and it's easy to see how 9-7 was the baseline. A breakout year from Kaepernick could have made us a serious contender but that sure didn't happen. I'll give most of our roster grades relative to my expectations. I won't grade guys who missed too much time to injury or suspension. Despite the general awful-ness there were a few bright spots and fortunately most of those were young guys.

exceeding expectations:

Antoine Bethea- he's the team MVP, right? I can't remember him being responsible for any break downs and he had many highlights including a pick 6 last week. You don't expect too much from guys acquired at a relative bargain in free agency but he's been fantastic. A

Chris Borland- could have challenged for team MVP and defensive rookie of the year if he played more. The guy might have been the steal of the draft and will make for a strange conundrum at middle line backer next year. A

Perrish Cox- it wasn't a certainty that he would make the team, let alone start, let alone lead a strong defense in interceptions and passes defended. There were a few mistakes here and there but overall a very strong year. Hope he's not too expensive to re-sign. A

Aaron Lynch- who would have thunk that he would be our best pass rusher this year? Another guy who was far from a lock to make the team. He slowed a bit late in the season but overall made a fantastic first impression. A

Dontae Johnson- my expectations were low and he exceeded them. A solid performance for a rookie who has played an increasing role as injuries piled up. B

Met expectations:

Justin Smith- my expectations were slightly muted for this border line hall of famer in the twilight of his career. He was generally solid against the run and pass but not spectacular. I hope he doesn't retire. B

Dan Skuta- he had mostly flown under my radar before this year. Didn't necessarily expect him to make the team. Glad he did. B

Joe Staley- a good but not great year. It's hard to shine on the offensive line when the other guys around you falter. B

Anquan Boldin- a work horse but he did suffer a case of the dropsies in the middle of the season. B

Chris Culliver- quietly had a solid year. My expectations were that he would be solid and he was. B

Eric Reid- high expectations and he barely met them. The head injuries are a serious concern. B

Frank Gore- for him it's been a mediocre year, but we sort of expected that didn't we. He kept fighting and he still can occasionally break one. His pass blocking was reliable too. Maybe I'm being too generous? B

Michael Wilhoite- my expectations were modest and he just fell short of exceeding them. Solid but nothing special. A good backup player but an average starter. C

Quinton Dial- played out of position at nose tackle. Did decently and even had 2 sacks. I'd like to see more. C

Carlos Hyde- a decent rookie year that showed flashes of potential greatness. My expectations were fairly high and he basically met them. C

Bruce Ellington- lower expectations than Hyde, lower production. Hope he blossoms next year and there were flashes. C

Tank Carradine- I almost put him in the disappointment category but maybe I expected too much? Even on an injury depleted team he struggled to see the field. C

Stevie Johnson- early in the year he was exceeding expectations but he's been slowed by injury and now shut down. C

Marcus Martin- decent for a rookie. I expected more. C

Jonathan Martin- played a lot more than we would want. Did poorly as a starting tackle but nobody thought he'd be a great starting tackle. As a reserve he's passable. C


Colin Kaepernick- I could write an entire fan post and I think I'd end up arguing with myself. A bad year by any standard and the expectations were high. The offensive line and coaching were mitigating factors. We need him to be much much better. D

Michael Crabtree- this is what you give us in a contract year? He's a shell of his peak. D

Alex Boone- apparently didn't deserve more money. D

Mike Iupati- bad relative to his lofty standards. Bad for a contract year. Flashed his run blocking prowess at times but pass blocked poorly. D

Joe Looney- played quite a bit for a guy expected to be a reserve. Played poorly enough to be a healthy scratch this last week. The 2012 draft was worse than the 2014 season yet we can Harbaugh and keep Baalke? D

Jimmie Ward- injury shortened season but was bad when he played. We found much better players in rounds 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8. So Baalke isn't all bad. Ward gets an incomplete but he was playing at the level of a D.

Ahmad Brooks- how could someone be so good one year and so terrible the next? F

Vernon Davis- see Brooks. Colin missed him long a few times but was that because of a bad pass or was Vernon jogging? F

Quinton Patton- hardly played. gets an F for fumbling in overtime. F

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.