49ers report card: Grades on offense, defense in 30-27 win over Lions

49ers report card: Grades on offense, defense in 30-27 win over Lions

The 49ers held on for a 30-27 victory over the Detroit Lions in their home opener Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers had reason to be frustrated that they did not finish off the Lions. But they also could feel fortunate to just hold on for the win after taking a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Here is a look at this week’s 49ers grades.

Rushing offense

It was The Matt Breida Show. The second-year pro from Georgia Southern had a career day with 138 yards and one touchdown on just 11 rushing attempts. Alfred Morris got some tough yards, managing 48 yards on 14 carries.

Right guard Mike Person played despite a foot injury, and he made a huge block on Breida’s 66-yard touchdown run. Receiver Pierre Garçon put on a downfield blocking clinic on the same play.

Grade: A

Passing Offense

Jimmy Garoppolo's passing numbers were very good. But they don’t necessarily tell the entire story.

Garoppolo completed 18 of 26 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, but he held the ball too long at times, and he was sacked six times for 50 yards. One of the key plays in the game was an interception that was nullified by a defensive holding penalty late in the game.

Grade: B

Rushing Defense

The 49ers’ run defense allowed the Lions to average 5.4 yards per carry, but it was not a key element of the game because Detroit’s running backs, Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount, ran the ball just eight times apiece. After a slow start, inside linebackers Fred Warner and Elijah Lee combined for 22 tackles.

Grade: C-plus

Passing Defense

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had a bounce-back game after a four-interception disaster against the New York Jets on Monday night. Stafford, who mostly avoided throwing toward Richard Sherman’s side of the field, completed 34 of 53 passes for 347 yards and three TDs with no interceptions.

The 49ers managed just two sacks -- one from Lee (forcing a turnover) and one from DeForest Buckner.

Grade: D-plus

Special Teams

Rookie D.J. Reed supplied one of the key moments of the game with a kickoff return that appeared to go for a 101-yard touchdown. However, Reed was flagged for a facemask penalty on his stiff arm. Officially, it was a 90-yard return, but it did set up Garoppolo’s TD pass to tight end Garrett Celek.

The Lions had a long punt return nullified by a penalty, which enabled Bradley Pinion to post a net-43.2-yard average on five punts. Kicker Robbie Gould was nails, as usual, making field-goal attempts of 45, 42 and 36 yards.

Grade: A


Sherman said it felt like a loss, and we know what he means. The 49ers nearly blew a 30-13 lead in the fourth quarter.

While there's still plenty to clean up -- and there was some questionable play-calling in the fourth quarter as the 49ers tried to protect their lead --but  it's still a win. Therefore, the 49ers can be assured of a passing grade. It also shows that this organization has made some progress. No longer is a win, regardless of how it looks, completely acceptable.

Grade: B-minus

49ers place receiver Marquise Goodwin on season-ending injured reserve


49ers place receiver Marquise Goodwin on season-ending injured reserve

The 49ers placed wide receiver Marquise Goodwin on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season and, possibly, his time with the organization.

Goodwin did not play in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints after being listed as questionable with knee and foot issues.

“He’s dealing with some chronic stuff,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday. “We’re evaluating treatment options right now.”

Goodwin, 29, appeared in nine games this season with six starts. He had just 12 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown.

The 49ers signed Goodwin on the first day of free agency in 2017. After four seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Goodwin had a breakout season in his first season with the club. Goodwin posted career-best numbers with 56 catches for 962 yards and two touchdowns.

Goodwin appeared in 36 games with the 49ers over the past three seasons, catching 91 passes for 1,543 yards and seven touchdowns.

[RELATED: Jimmy G putting up historic numbers among 49ers QBs]

Goodwin is signed through the 2021 season, but it appears unlikely the club will bring him back next season due to his contract, which has exceeded his production. He is scheduled to make $4.5 million in salary and bonuses. Goodwin has also stated his intention of trying to qualify for the Olympics next year in the long jump.

After winning the U.S. Olympic trials in 2012, Goodwin competed in the 2012 London Olympics. He placed 10th after heading into the final as the No. 1 qualifier. Injuries derailed his bid for a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team that competed in Brazil.

Jimmy Garoppolo putting up historic stats among 49ers quarterbacks

Jimmy Garoppolo putting up historic stats among 49ers quarterbacks

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is putting up one of the most prolific passing seasons in 49ers history, despite the team relying heavily on a running game while playing in the lead for much of their 11-2 start.

Only the Baltimore Ravens have attempted more running plays than the 49ers this season, which has cut into the number of passing attempts for Garoppolo. But he also has benefited from the balance of the team’s offense, which has kept opposing defenses honest.

At 249.6 yards passing per game, Garoppolo is on pace to throw for 3,993 yards this season. The 49ers have produced only three 4,000-yard passing seasons in franchise history. Steve Young did it twice, and Jeff Garcia threw for a team-record 4,278 in 2000.

“The more Jimmy gets to play, the more experiences he has, I think the more wisdom he has out there and the more consistently he plays,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

Among 49ers quarterbacks who have thrown for 3,500 or more yards in a season, there only have been five passer ratings of better than 100. Steve Young did it three times, while Joe Montana did it twice.

Garoppolo’s passer rating is 103.9. Six of his past seven games have featured ratings of 110 or better. During that seven-game stretch, Garoppolo completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 1,931 yards with 18 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Garoppolo ranks 12th in the NFL with 3,245 yards passing. Of quarterbacks who have attempted 300 or more passes this season, Garoppolo ranks tied for second, along with Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes, at 8.3 yards per attempt. Kirk Cousins leads the league at 8.4 yards per attempt.

He leads the league with 40.5 percent of his pass attempts being completed for first downs. Garoppolo has led fourth quarter comebacks and game-winning drives this season against Pittsburgh, Arizona and New Orleans.

Garoppolo engineered three go-ahead drives on Sunday in the 49ers’ 48-46 victory over the Saints. He enabled the 49ers to kick a field goal in the fourth quarter, giving the 49ers a 45-40 lead, when he scrambled for 2 yards on a third-and-2 play to the San Francisco 35-yard line.

[RELATED: What 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo did to impress Kyle Shanahan]

“That was huge,” Shanahan said. “Jimmy made a lot of plays in that game that there were some looks that you expect him to be automatic on and throw good balls, and he did.

“He didn’t miss any of the open ones, but there was a number of plays where he didn’t have a good play and he’d keep it alive and made some plays out there that weren’t necessarily there in rhythm.”