By now, I hope you understand that PFF grades are one piece of the puzzle, and more often than not, these grades don’t tell us the full story of what happened during the game. For example, last year, Fred Warner was the 44th-highest-graded linebacker. Jaquiski Tartt was graded as a below average player. I could go on and on, but I understand that PFF helps those who don’t have an opportunity to rewatch the game to explain how the players did. Let’s get into the grades from Week 1.
Five-highest graded 49ers
- Trent Williams- 88.6
If you haven’t seen this clip by now, Williams decapitated the Cardinals linebacker on Sunday:
Trent Williams smh pic.twitter.com/Hl80X4dS5C— hyphy + condensed. (@_Trapitalism) September 13, 2020
It’s no surprise that Williams was the best player on the offense on Sunday, but man is he impressive. PFF credited Williams with giving up one hurry.
2. Raheem Mostert- 69.0
Mostert had that long touchdown catch, but he also had three first downs through the air. I thought the 49ers could have leaned on him even more during the game. Mostert only averaged 3.7 yards per carry on the ground, but I thought his usage wasn’t great. That’s not making excuses for him, but calling it like it is. Just because Mostert has world-class speed doesn’t mean all of his carries need to go to the outside.
3. Kyle Juszczyk- 68
Juszczyk had a seven-yard carry on a nice trap design. He also had a 41-yard reception. That came after his QB missed him on Shanahan’s patented “leak” play during the previous quarter. Kudos to the coaching staff for going back to the same type of play.
4. Laken Tomlinson- 67.3
Tomlinson was credited for giving up one QB hit and one pressure. In fact, the offensive line allowed three total QB hits. Kittle gave up one sack, but the other two were on Jimmy Garoppolo.
5. Jerick McKinnon- 67.2
McKinnon had three carries for 24 yards, and one went for 16 yards. He made some nice cuts and looked agile. Even better, McKinnon didn’t blow any blocks in the passing game, and he caught two first downs. He did have a drop, but McKinnon was well short of the first down marker.
Five-worst graded offensive players
5. Kendrick Bourne - 58.7
Bourne’s numbers would have looked better with that touchdown at the end. He did only manage to catch two of his five targets, though both resulted in first downs. It’s difficult to be too tough on both Bourne and Taylor as they’re not supposed to be your top targets in a game.
4. Mike McGlinchey - 58.7
McGlinchey is the lone player to allow multiple QB hits and pressures on the offensive line. It wasn’t a great start to the season for a player that we had hoped to improve as a pass blocker. McGlinchey will be someone that I’ll be focused on when I rewatch the game.
3. Trent Taylor - 57.2 2
Taylor, like Bourne, caught two of his five targets. Unlike Bourne, Taylor didn’t create after the catch. Two receptions for seven yards isn’t going to cut it. Again, he was open on fourth down and would have had a critical conversion on third down had Garoppolo found him. That doesn’t excuse Taylor. He has to be better.
2. Jimmy Garoppolo - 52.9
Speaking of improvements, Jimmy. It’s been quite the “Monday Morning Quarterback” on social media, as people continue to jump through hoops to excuse Garoppolo’s performance. Why is it so difficult to acknowledge that good players can have bad games independent of their surroundings? The offensive line did not play poorly. Instead of looking at Garoppolo’s box score, look at his decision making. He threw the ball into triple coverage but was bailed out with a pass interference. On throws outside of the numbers, Garoppolo was 5-for-13. Some of the worst decisions came when Garoppolo chose not to throw the ball to an open receiver. If you are going to hold Garoppolo to a high standard, you can’t make excuses for him when everything around him isn’t perfect.
More importantly, he looked frazzled in the pocket. Too often, Garoppolo was in a hurry when he didn’t have to be, which led to mistakes. Should we panic after Week 1? Of course not. Should we be worried? That’s fair. The same issues that were there last year showed up in Week 1. We’re looking for progress, and we didn’t see that on Sunday.
1. Dante Pettis 50.4
Oh, Dante. You have to step up. It’s as simple as that.