49ers

49ers report card: Grades on offense, defense in 38-27 loss to Chiefs

49ers report card: Grades on offense, defense in 38-27 loss to Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Things couldn't have gone much worse for the 49ers in their 38-27 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday.

But the most devastating moment occurred late in the game when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down with what the team believes is a torn ACL in his left knee. He is scheduled for an MRI on Monday to confirm the season-ending diagnosis.

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

Rushing offense

Matt Breida and Alfred Morris again proved to be a good 1-2 punch, as both players enjoyed productive days. Breida followed his 138-yard performance against Detroit with a 90-yard day against Kansas City -- and he did his damage on just 10 rushing attempts. Morris gained 67 yards on 14 carries.

The offensive line did a good job of creating holes and cut-back lanes for the backs.

Grade: A

Passing offense

There were a couple of dropped passes, and Garoppolo missed a couple of throws, but the passing game still had a statistically productive day. Garoppolo completed 20 of 30 passes for 251 yards, with TD throws to Kyle Juszczyk and Marquise Goodwin. The 49ers struggled with the silent count, though, as the Chiefs' defensive front seemed to often beat the offensive line off the ball. Right tackle Mike McGlinchey gave up back-to-back sacks in the fourth quarter.

The 49ers also weren't very good on third downs, converting just two of nine opportunities.

Grade: B-minus

Rushing Defense

There still were way too many missed tackles, but overall, the 49ers’ run defense was very good. Kareem Hunt averaged just 2.4 yards per rushing attempt, as he gained 44 yards on 18 carries. However, the 49ers' run defense allowed Patrick Mahomes to convert a fourth down with a 2-yard run on the first drive of the game, and Hunt scored untouched on 1-yard runs in the first quarter. After that, the 49ers did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage in the run game, allowing inside linebackers Fred Warner and Reuben Foster to combine for 18 tackles.

Grade: B-plus

Passing Defense

The 49ers have plenty of excuses with all of their injuries in the defensive backfield, but we grade performances here and don't soften the grade when starters are out of the lineup.

The pass rush wasn't very good, and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was able to pick apart the 49ers' defense for 314 yards and three TDs. Tight end Travis Kelce caught eight of the 10 passes thrown his way for 114 yards. Cornerback Richard Sherman left the game near the end of the first half with a calf injury. But even before that, the 49ers’ secondary wasn't playing with confidence.

Grade: F

Special Teams

The 49ers’ strategy was simple: Punt the ball away from Tyreek Hill. Some of Bradley Pinion’s punts sailed out of bounds well shy of the intended mark. Hill returned just one of four punts and managed only 5 yards. Pinion’s net average was 35.8 yards. Conversely, Kansas City punter Dustin Colquitt produced a 43.0 net average. Robbie Gould made two field goals but also missed an extra point.

Grade: D

Overall

The 49ers made a second-half push to sort-of, kind-of get back in the game. But there simply was no coming back from a 35-7 deficit after the Chiefs scored touchdowns on each of their five first-half offensive possessions. Not only did Mahomes lead the Chiefs into the end zone every time they touched the ball in the first half, they made it look absurdly easy. The Chiefs took their foot off the gas with the big lead, and the 49ers made the final score respectable.

But the worst part of this game for the 49ers wasn't the 11-point loss. It was the many injuries they endured along the way.

Grade: D

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Richard Sherman scheduled for MRI on calf area

 

 

 

NFL preview 2019: How 49ers' defense stacks up against NFC West rivals

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AP

NFL preview 2019: How 49ers' defense stacks up against NFC West rivals

Does defense still win championships?

Based on the way the NFL has evolved over the last several years, with new rules emphasizing the protection of quarterbacks, one has to wonder. It's a different game now. Scoring is at an all-time high. Last season, NFL teams combined for 1,371 touchdowns, the most in a single season in the 99-year history of the league.

What realistic chance does a defense have against modern offenses, under modern rules? That depends on the contents of each respective defense, but one thing is clear: it's not a fair fight.

The NFC West likely will exemplify that fact this coming season. One could make the case that the strength of each team in the division is its offense, and if the critical players remain healthy, they're bound to put up huge numbers.

Still, though, it's not like the NFC West lacks for defensive talent. There are numerous Pro Bowlers and future Hall of Famers on the defensive side of the ball, and several promising young players making the ascent to that level.

Based on the offseason developments, here's how the NFC West defenses rank with training camp only weeks away:

1. Los Angeles Rams

When it comes to the Rams' defense, everything starts and ends with Aaron Donald.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year is a one-man wrecking crew. He led the league with 20.5 sacks last season, and his 113 total pressures led all interior linemen by a wide margin. With all the double and triple teams he faces, it allows the other members of the defense to thrive.

Ndamukong Suh and Lamarcus Joyner are gone, but Los Angeles acquired veterans Clay Matthews and Eric Weddle in free agency. Weddle will join a defensive backfield that includes former standouts Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, rising safety John Johnson and second-round draft pick Taylor Rapp.

Matthews and Dante Fowler -- who was brought back on a one-year deal -- both have double-digit sack potential, roaming in Donald's wake.

2. San Francisco 49ers

Since 2015, the 49ers have used four first-round draft picks on defensive linemen. Additionally, they traded a second-round pick to Kansas City for Dee Ford. It's time to put up or shut up.

Based on talent alone, one could make the case San Francisco has the best defensive line in the NFL. Even if it's not the best, it certainly has the potential to be up there. Ford is coming off a season in which he recorded 13.0 sacks and seven forced fumbles and led all edge rushers in quarterback pressures. Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner made the leap last season, leading the 49ers with 12.0 sacks. Add in former first-round picks Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas, as well as 2019 No. 2 overall pick Nick Bosa, and it's easy to see why opposing quarterbacks should be very, very afraid.

San Francisco will need that defensive line to live up to its potential, though, because the rest of the defense has quite a few question marks.

The 49ers' biggest defensive free-agent acquisition came in the form of linebacker Kwon Alexander, who offers lots of promise at the position, but is coming off a torn ACL. If he can stay healthy, Alexander and Fred Warner could form a near-ideal linebacking duo for the modern NFL.

[RELATED: These three players are most important to 49ers' success]

Richard Sherman has one cornerback spot locked down, but the rest of the defensive backfield seems to be in constant flux. At safety, neither Jaquiski Tartt nor Jimmie Ward has proven the ability to stay healthy, and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon took a step back in his sophomore campaign.

If the 49ers' defensive line fulfills its promise, it'll make life a lot easier on everyone else.

3. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals' defense wasn't as bad last season as their record indicated. When you're the worst team in the league, your defense faces a lot of short fields. That's something new head coach Kliff Kingsbury and new defensive coordinator Vance Joseph hope to change this coming season.

They've got some talent to work with. Linebacker Chandler Jones has recorded more sacks (41) than any other player since 2016. The Cardinals added former Arizona State legend Terrell Suggs in free agency, and he can still get after the quarterback after totaling 7.0 sacks last year.

The defensive backfield might be the strength of the team, with future Hall of Famer Patrick Peterson holding down one cornerback spot, and 2019 second-round draft pick Byron Murphy manning the other. D.J. Swearinger and Budda Baker form a quality safety duo.

4. Seattle Seahawks

My, how times have changed.

After years after possessing arguably the top defense in the league, the Seahawks took a step backward last season, and they might take another this year.

Bobby Wagner is still one of the best linebackers in the league, but there's a significant talent dropoff after him. Seattle traded away defensive end Frank Clark, who notched 32 sacks over the last three seasons combined. L.J. Collier was drafted in the first round as an eventual replacement, but it would be wildly unfair to expect him to make the same kind of impact in his rookie season. Free-agent signee Ziggy Ansah has a bunch of talent, but health is a constant concern.

With Earl Thomas departing for Baltimore and Kam Chancellor retiring, the "Legion of Boom" era is officially dead. And, looking at their current defensive backfield, it's going to be a while before it is revived.

49ers legend Joe Montana re-selling 500-acre Calistoga ranch for $28.9M

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AP

49ers legend Joe Montana re-selling 500-acre Calistoga ranch for $28.9M

Earlier this month, 49ers Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana put his 87-acre Northern California ranch on the market for $3.1 million.

This property is located next to his 500-acre ranch with a 9,700-square foot main residence, which he also owns. The estate is relisted and is for sale at $28.9 million. The property originally floated for $49 million a decade ago.

The France and Italy-inspired home began to take shape in the late '90s and finished in 2003.

You can access the property by a bridge over a moat, naturally. It also holds three bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, large tapestries, antique marble floors and a collection of European imports, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Photos are courtesy of Compass.

PROPERTY GALLERY HERE