Offense - 73 snaps
Quarterback: Nick Mullens 50, C.J. Beathard 23
Running back: Jerick McKinnon 67, Kyle Juszczyk 22, Jeff Wilson 6
Wide receiver: Brandon Aiyuk 64, Kendrick Bourne 50, Trent Taylor 37, Deebo Samuel 25, Mohamed Sanu 7
Tight end: George Kittle 72, Ross Dwelley 13, Charlie Woerner 2
Offensive line: Laken Tomlinson 73, Ben Garland 73, Daniel Brunskill 73, Trent Williams 73, Mike McGlinchey 73
McKinnon received the bulk of the work Sunday night, which is a good sign that Kyle Shanahan trusts him. Aiyuk has quickly jumped Bourne, though that’s no surprise. Samuel’s usage was likely right in the range that the team expected, given that he had only practiced three times.
Five-highest graded players
Kittle caught all 15 of his targets for 183 yards and a touchdown. Seventy of his 183 yards came after the catch. Eleven(!) of Kittle’s 15 receptions went for first downs. As it turns out, he’s good at football.
Tomlinson allowed a sack but had the second-highest run-blocking grade on the line.
Beathard could not have played any better coming off the bench. He went 14-19 for 138 yards, and nine of Beathard’s completions went for first downs. Beathard went 6-for-6 from the 10-20 yard range, and that helped the 49ers move the ball quickly during the two-minute drill. Even his final pass that landed incomplete had plenty of loft to allow one of the receivers to make a play.
Samuel caught all three of his targets, with two of them going for first downs. Twenty of Samuel’s 35 yards came after the catch. On Samuel’s end around, he made a guy miss in typical fashion.
Five-lowest graded players on offense
Mullens completing 69% of his passes is a great reason why we should never use completion percentage ever again. He had two drops, sure, but the misses were inexcusable. Perhaps the most concerning part were how Mullens played when he wasn’t under pressure. Even if Jimmy Garoppolo can’t play next week, I imagine we’ve seen the last of BDN.
Defense - 62 snaps
Defensive line: Arik Armstead 48, Javon Kinlaw 47, Kerry Hyder 47, D.J. Jones 39, Dion Jordan 26, Kevin Givens 17, Ziggy Ansah 13, Kentavius Street 11
Linebacker: Fred Warner 62, Kwon Alexander 61, Azeez Al-Shaair 18
Defensive back: Jimmie Ward 62, Jaquiski Tartt 62, Jason Verrett 61, Dontae Johnson 59, K’Waun Williams 34, Jamar Taylor 10, Ken Webster 4, Tarvarius Moore 1
Armstead was on the field a lot, and that’s not going to change any time soon. The same could be said for both Kinlaw and Hyder. It’s the long drives that are killer, but the 49ers don’t have players who can sub in anymore. Ansah going down during the game was brutal for the depth.
Five-highest graded defensive players
Hyder was credited with four hurries and a sack. He also had two stops. He also had two missed tackles, and that’s a big reason why I think we should stop referencing “hurries,” even though the data tells us they do not make a difference. What good is crediting a player for getting in the backfield when he doesn’t finish, and the result of the play is a positive outcome for the offense? It happens far too often.
Armstead seemed to play his best game of the season from a pass-rushing standpoint. He had a sack, and he also had three quarterback hits. PFF credited him with four hurries as well as four stops. Armstead was relentless and lived in the Eagles backfield.
Jones had a sack where he came free, and the running back wanted no parts of him. Jones also had a stop.
If Johnson is one of the highest-graded defenders from last night, then I have questions. You can’t give up explosive passing plays to sixth-string receivers. You also can’t commit penalties that result in first downs. Johnson broke up a pass and had a stop, but he was not one of the five best players on defense Sunday night.
Kinlaw had a QB hit, a stop, and a batted pass—which are becoming a theme. Kinlaw needs to become more consistent, but his flashes come when the Niners need him the most.
Five-worst graded players
I don’t think the linebackers played nearly as poorly as their grades indicate. They are fantastic at filling their run gaps and doing their job. What area that has been a concern early on this season is Ward’s coverage. He’s playing more in the slot, and he is not playing well. Ward had two penalties, but he was lucky only to allow one reception for six yards. It seemed like Jimmie was beaten on a couple of plays. The 49ers need him to play better.