clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Position-by-position grades from the 49ers dominant showing against the Cardinals

The 49ers crushed the Cardinals 38-10 and nearly everyone got in on the action.

Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The 49ers are back atop the NFC West after crushing the Arizona Cardinals in a 38-10 beatdown on Monday Night Football. In the team’s most impressive performance of the season, the Niners dominated a division rival who gave them problems throughout last season.

Here are position-by-position grades for the 49ers big win:

Quarterbacks: A+

I didn’t think Jimmy Garoppolo would be on the 49ers this season, let alone playing the best football of his career, but here we are. The 49ers struggled to run the ball early and Kyle Shanahan made the right decision by putting the ball in Garoppolo’s hands. Jimmy G consistently gave his receivers opportunities to make plays, and most importantly, never put the ball in danger. He even had a pair of quality deep balls that were wasted by some mistakes by his receivers.

The margins in the NFL are razor thin, and as frustrated as I have been with Garoppolo over the years, he’s been a different guy in recent weeks. Whether the credit should go to new quarterback’s coach Brian Griese, the acquisition of Christian McCaffrey making checkdowns more rewarding, or some combination of the two, Garoppolo has shown more development at 31 than he had shown in the previous five seasons with the 49ers.

Running backs: A

Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell sure look like the best duo of running backs in the NFL right now. McCaffrey ran for 36 yards on just seven carries, but most importantly, has given Garoppolo an excellent outlet. McCaffrey hauled in all seven of his targets for 67 receiving yards. Then, in the second half, Mitchell’s powerful running helped the Niners seal the game. Mitchell led San Francisco with 59 rushing yards on nine carries.

Tight ends: A+

In his best performance of the season, George Kittle was the 49ers most productive pass catcher, hauling in a pair of touchdowns, including an improvised 39-yard touchdown reception.

Wide receivers: B

In his first 10-touch game since Week 3, Deebo Samuel racked up 94 combined yards (37 rushing and 57 receiving) and a touchdown. Otherwise, it was a fairly quiet game from the 49ers wide receivers. Brandon Aiyuk only caught two passes for 20 yards, but both receptions resulted in touchdowns. Jauan Jennings fell over on a beautiful throw from Garoppolo, and was unable to haul in another downfield target.

Offensive line: A+

The Cardinals defense did nothing against the 49ers offensive line. Garoppolo rarely faced any pressure, and while the rushing attack had mixed results early in the game, the Niners line took over in the second half and cleared some massive holes for Mitchell and McCaffrey to take advantage of.

Defensive line: A-

Colt McCoy was sacked three times, twice by the defensive line. Kevin Givens and Nick Bosa each recorded clean sacks, but the 49ers defensive line did the lion’s share of its work containing the Cardinals run game, holding Arizona to just 2.8 yards per attempt on 24 carries.

Linebackers: A+

Fred Warner was a beast, recording 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, a quarterback hit, and a sack over the course of the game. Dre Greenlaw still needs to clean up his aggressiveness after putting himself at risk of drawing another costly personal foul penalty hitting a sliding quarterback. With that said, Greenlaw was all over the field and finished with 9 tackles and a pass defended.

Cornerbacks: A-

Mooney Ward switched to right corner to focus on DeAndre Hopkins to mixed overall results, but the Niners cornerbacks showed off their physicality as tacklers. Ward and Deommodore Lenoir each recorded at least one tackle for loss. Overall, this unit earned a B grade, but Samuel Womack’s interception pushed them into the A-range.

Safeties: A-

Jimmie Ward got another interception, although it would be fair to credit that to the cornerbacks more than the safeties. Talanoa Hufanga and Tashaun Gipson had solid performances as the 49ers last line of defense.

Special teams: A+

Robbie Gould made all of his kicks and Mitch Wishnowsky nearly pinned the Cardinals inside their own five-yard line twice.