Sunday was the worst game I’ve seen from a Kyle Shanahan-coached team. Both sides of the ball didn’t look prepared. I know there were injuries, but the San Francisco 49ers didn’t look competitive. That was troubling. Let’s take a look at the best and worst-graded players from PFF.
Top-5 offensive graded players
Raheem Mostert - 90.2
Mostert had 11 carries for 90 yards with three first downs and two gains over 10 yards. Mostert also had 49 yards after contact and forced five missed tackles. Every time he touches the ball, it feels like Mostert has a chance to score. As a receiver, Mostert caught all three of his passes, including one for a first down. He also had a few nice blitz pickups. Mostert was arguably the best player on the field on both sides of the ball for San Francisco.
Trent Williams - 86.3
Williams was a monster in the running game and paved quite a few holes. There were still communication issues in pass protection, and even on the ground, which led to free runners. PFF charged Williams with one sack, where he was the only lineman that didn’t slide in a certain direction.
Mike McGlinchey - 78.0
Laken Tomlinson 70.0
Daniel Brunskill 67.5
If all of the top-graded players are the lineman, then I wonder who could be to blame. Hmm.
PFF charged McGlinchey with a sack and a QB hit but gave him an 87.5 run-blocking grade. Brunskill gave up one QB hit, while Tomlinson didn’t allow either, but his run-blocking grade was 63.7. There are two plays that come to mind where Tomlinson is blocking a defensive tackle, but Ben Garland is expecting him to block another defender, and, yet again, a free runner. The issues seem endless.
Five-worst graded players
George Kittle 56.4
Kittle seemed frustrated after the game and said, “our veterans need to play better, including myself.” He caught four of his seven targets for 44 yards but did have a drop. PFF gave Kittle a 50.4 run-blocking grade, and he’s quietly struggled in that area this season. Further proof that everything has been off for the offense this year.
Deebo Samuel 56.2
Kyle Shanahan said they couldn’t do much on offense after the game because their guys were out of breath. It’s obvious Kyle is referring to Samuel, who has practiced four times since the Super Bowl, per Kittle. Samuel is going to have to play himself into shape, and I’m not sure how long that’ll take. Samuel only caught two of his eight targets and also had a drop.
Jerick McKinnon 48.2
McKinnon’s pass-blocking grade for this game was a 13.7. There was one play where I thought he had a great blitz pickup, but this grade is an indication of McKinnon either whiffing or not knowing where to go during his other pass pro opportunities. Jet caught two of his four passes for only five yards. The throw down the field that resulted in an interception wasn’t his fault. On the ground, McKinnon had one carry that went for zero yards.
C.J. Beathard 40.3
Jimmy Garoppolo 31.3
When your quarterbacks are the worst-graded players, it’s unlikely that you won the game. The Dolphins only blitzed six times on Sunday, but you’d have no idea with how often the quarterbacks were under pressure. That led to holding the ball, dropping of the eyes, and not looking comfortable for both quarterbacks.
My biggest issue is the lack of anticipation. That’s to be expected from C.J., but there are no excuses for Garoppolo. Those same excuses are popping up on Monday morning. Jimmy’s ankle has nothing to do with double-clutching, waiting for a receiver to be open before you throw it, or throwing the ball into double coverage, pushing the ball down the field? Having extra zip on your throws? Those are fair points to bring up with an ankle injury, but the decision-making continues to be an issue.
Top-five graded defenders
D.J. Jones 87.6
Jones was poked in the eye but did return. That was the lone injury the 49ers suffered on Sunday if you’re looking for victories. Jones had a stop and continued his excellent run defense.
Fred Warner 80.0
Warner had 10 tackles—six of them were stops—a QB hit, and only allowed 25 yards on five targets, including one where he was in perfect position in the end zone. Warner did have a penalty, but he’s the best player on this defense.
Kevin Givens 76.7
Givens played 35 snaps, which is great to see. He continues to impress. PFF credited Givens with two stops, though he did not have a good pass rush grade. I’ll be curious to see how many “wins” he had.
Kerry Hyder 74.0
Hyder had a hustle sack, but his best play was where he kept contain and forced Miami into a giant loss on a reverse. Hyder is everything and more than what the 49ers expected. He had two QB hits and added another stop. Hyder is making a strong case for a raise this next offseason.
Kwon Alexander 73.0
Kwon is starting to get his groove back. First off, he didn’t miss a tackle on Sunday, and that’s usually where people are the hardest on him. Alexander had a sack and was in the backfield on a few other pass rushes. He finished with three stops in the run game as well.
Five-worst graded defenders
Dion Jordan 58.4
Kentavius Street 54.3
It’s tough to be too down on these guys as the 49ers didn’t enter the season envisioning either Jordan or Street would play much. Thanks to injuries, there’s no choice to throw both players on the field. Neither registered a pass-rushing stat, while both did have a stop in the running game.
Javon Kinlaw 41.6
The same case cannot be made for Kinlaw, who remains a work in progress. Kinlaw finished the game with two stops, one missed tackle, and PFF credited him for a hurry, but no sacks or QB hits. It’s not fair to Kinlaw, but he has to play like a first-rounder for this 49ers defense. The learning curve for a defensive lineman is always steep, as they’re now facing the best of the best. We were spoiled by Nick Bosa last year. Get that out of your head. That’s now how most rookies perform. We’ll need to see Kinlaw begin to turn the corner sooner than later.
Jamar Taylor 32.0
Brian Allen 27.6
The same can be said for Taylor and Allen, as we just did with Jordan or Street. Not in a million years would anyone have guessed Allen would start a game at cornerback this early in the season for San Francisco. Taylor looked completely lost on his downfield target. The two combined to give up eight catches on nine targets for 217 yards. We don’t have to kick them while they’re down. We all know those two struggled, but we all acknowledge neither should have been on the field. I refuse to believe that Tarvarius Moore, who practiced at nickel during training camp, can’t give the team more than Allen or Taylor.