The San Francisco 49ers had their way with the New York Jets in Week 2, despite missing several key starters. That says more about the Jets, but the 49ers handled business. Let’s take a look at the five-best and worst-graded players from Sunday.
Jordan Reed - 92.1
Reed caught 7-out-of-8 targets for 50 yards and two touchdowns. Three other receptions went for first downs, and Reed also avoided three tackles. Reed is also holding up well as a blocker. He looks like the real deal, and Nick Mullens will be in good shape once George Kittle returns.
Jimmy Garoppolo - 90.3
Garoppolo passed the eye test with flying colors. He was seemingly being hit on every other dropback against the Jets. What stood out was that Garoppolo was not panicking or flinching under pressure. That was the biggest difference from Week 2, which allowed the offense to continue moving the chains.
Garoppolo completed 14 of his 16 attempts for two touchdowns and 131 yards. He was a perfect 8-for-8 against the blitz with five of those completions going for first downs. Mullens should watch how Jimmy performed in the pocket on Sunday. That was great teaching tape from Garoppolo.
Jerick McKinnon - 87.4
McKinnon carried the ball three times for 77 yards, including a long 55-yard gain on 3rd & the drive from San Francisco to Santa Clara. McKinnon scored on one of those attempts, and the other two went for first downs. McKinnon also avoided three tackles. Through the air, McKinnon did have an interception his way, though I wouldn’t fault him on the play.
Raheem Mostert - 83.5
Mostert scored on the first play from scrimmage. He went untouched and outran an angle from Jets safety Marcus Maye. Mostert finished the game with eight carries for 92 yards and had 11 yards after contact. Mostert also caught two passes for 15 yards. Hopefully, his mild MCL sprain is a Grade 1 that only forces Mostert to miss a week or two. Having Mostert on the field will take a lot of pressure off Mullens.
Kendrick Bourne - 77.3
Bourne had a couple of key blocks, and I know that had to make Kyle Shanahan smile from ear-to-ear. On Mostert’s touchdown, Bourne blocked the one defender that had a chance to tackle Mostert. Bourne caught four of his five targets for 67 yards, including three first downs and two forced missed tackles. PFF didn’t give him a drop, but that lone target down the sideline was a drop to me. It went through Bourne’s hands. With that said, he looks like a different player this season. Bourne is quicker and more precise in his routes. He’s not just winning on slants. He’s now winning on those “return” routes that Shanahan likes, as well as curls and even down the field occasionally. It’s nice to see Bourne continue to grow as a player.
Quarterback: Jimmy Garoppolo 32, Nick Mullens 29
Running back: Tevin Coleman 30, Kyle Juszczyk 29, Jerick McKinnon 13, Raheem Mostert 13, Jeff Wilson 5
Wide receiver: Kendrick Bourne 45, Brandon Aiyuk 44, Trent Taylor 28, Mohamed Sanu 13, Dante Pettis 10
Tight end: Ross Dwelley 39, Jordan Reed 28, Charlie Woerner 8
Offensive line: Mike McGlinchey 61, Laken Tomlinson 61, Daniel Brunskill 53, Trent Williams 53, Ben Garland 53, Justin Skule 8, Colton McKivitz 8, Hroniss Grasu 8
The 49ers coaching staff were wise to pull the starters midway through the fourth quarter. Pettis only played one snap through the first half by my eye. For as active as he was, Reed getting the type of production he had on 28 snaps is as efficient as it gets. The same could be said for McKinnon. Moving forward, despite the schedule, it’ll be tough for San Francisco to blow teams out, so expect an uptick in snaps for both players.
Five-worst graded players
Ben Garland - 61.1
Daniel Brunskill - 54.8
The offensive line did not play well on Sunday, and that includes Trent Williams. There were too many blown blocks against the run by all of the starters. Mike McGlinchey allowed three QB hits but isn’t on this list thanks to a run-blocking grade of 75.3. Laken Tomlinson was the only lineman that had an above-average grade.
Brunskill allowed a pair of QB hits as well. Both he and Garland made Quinnen Williams look like an All-Pro. The Jets defensive line overmatched the Niners offensive line, and that was concerning. Let’s hope the footing on the field had something to do with that as the 49ers looked much better during Week 1 upfront.
Trent Taylor - 60.4
When Deebo Samuel returns, I’d imagine Taylor is phased out of the offense. Taylor caught two of his three targets for 10 yards, but one of those went for nine yards. If Taylor isn’t using a “double stem” to get open, then he’s struggled to create separation. That extra gear is lacking with Taylor after the five foot surgeries, and it shows. I wonder if we see more of Mohamed Sanu in the slot over Taylor as the season goes along.
Nick Mullens - 51.7
Mullens came in off the bench and completed 8 of his 11 attempts for 71 yards with an interception. He took two sacks and did not look comfortable in the pocket. I’m not going to be too hard on a player in this position. One inexcusable thing is Mullens fumbling twice. Ball security will lose you a game.
If you remember the throw to Reed that was short of the first down, the pass was behind the tight end, causing Reed to turn back and be short of the first down marker. We’ll see how Mullens performs next week with a full week’s worth of practice. Mullens said after the game that “it’s my fourth year. There’s really no excuses to why I shouldn’t perform.
Ross Dwelley - 40.4
Dwelley’s pass-blocking grade was a 27.3. He had a penalty as well. Dwelley caught his only target for five yards. Going off memory, I don’t recall him standing in a good or a bad way, but 40.4 means you were missing quite a few assignments. Get healthy, George.