49ers report card: Grades on offense, defense in 41-17 win vs. Bengals

49ers report card: Grades on offense, defense in 41-17 win vs. Bengals

CINCINNATI -- As the 49ers were filing into the locker room after their surprisingly easy 41-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, the enthusiasm was unmistakable.

“We’re going home!” 49ers linebacker Fred Warner yelled.

After spending the past 10 days in the Eastern time zone, the 49ers are heading back to the Bay Area with a 2-0 record with an impressive showing against the Bengals, who were 1.5-point favorites but looked thoroughly overmatched.

Coach Kyle Shanahan got the ball to his playmakers in space ... and Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and Deebo Samuel did not disappoint. The 49ers had 572 yards of total offense, their second-most since the 1992 season.

“When he gets in a rhythm like that, it puts everyone in a good position,” 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said of Shanahan.

The team that lost every road game a year ago opened the season with back-to-back wins at Tampa Bay and Cincinnati. On Sunday, they rolled up their second-most yards on the road in franchise history -- and their most since 1988.

The only negative of the day was left tackle Joe Staley's fractured left fibula, which is expected to keep him out of action for six to eight weeks.

Here is the 49ers’ report card from their Week 2 victory at Cincinnati:

Rushing offense

The 49ers were able to gash the Bengals’ defense in every imaginable way. Breida gained 121 yards on 12 rushing attempts, as he and Mostert got to the outside to tear off big chunks of yards. Mostert added 83 yards on 13 attempts. Jeff Wilson, called up from the practice squad on Saturday, scored the first two touchdowns of his NFL career. After struggling to run the ball in Week 1, the 49ers had no problems with Staley, Laken Tomlinson, Weston Richburg, Mike Person and Mike McGlinchey leading the way. The 49ers gained 259 yards on the ground with a gaudy 6.2-yard average.

Grade: A

Passing offense

Garoppolo threw an interception, and even that turned out OK for the 49ers, as they gained 27 yards of field position after the change in possession. Garoppolo had a good day, completing 17 of 25 passes for 297 yards with three touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 131.2. Samuel had five receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown. Marquise Goodwin had three receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown. And Mostert added three catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. George Kittle added three receptions for 54 yards.

The pass protection was spectacular, as Garoppolo was not sacked and rarely pressured. One of the few times Garoppolo felt some heat, he stepped out to pick up nine yards and a first down. The 49ers converted five of nine (56-percent) third-down attempts. 

Grade: A

Rushing Defense

The 49ers’ run defense really tightened the screws against Joe Mixon and the Bengals. Mixon gained just 17 yards on 11 rushing attempts. Giovani Bernard had even less success on the ground against the 49ers’ front seven with six yards on six rushing attempts. The 49ers had nine tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Ronald Blair had three tackles for losses, while Arik Armstead registered two. 

Grade: A

Passing Defense

Andy Dalton’s 66-yard touchdown pass to John Ross in the closing minute skewed the 49ers' statistical dominance. The 49ers kept the Bengals in check throughout the game, though nickel back K’Waun Williams had some difficulties in coverage, including a miscommunication with safety Jaquiski Tartt in the first quarter that resulted in a 47-yard pass play.

The 49ers registered four sacks in the game, but Dee Ford and Nick Bosa were not involved. Armstead, Blair, DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas came through with sacks. Linebacker Kwon Alexander, who dropped an interception in Week 1, held on this time for his first pick as a member of the 49ers. 

Grade: A-minus

Special Teams

Mitch Wishnowsky punted only two times, but one of them was caught by gunner D.J. Reed at the Cincinnati 3-yard line in the second quarter. Ultimately, Alexander intercepted a pass and the 49ers turned it into a field goal in the closing seconds of the first half. Kicker Robbie Gould made field goals of 33 and 38 yards, but missed from 39 yards. There were not many yards to be had in the return game. 

Grade: B-minus


The Bengals were actually favored to win this game, but the 49ers came out fast and showed a killer instinct to put the game away early in the third quarter. The 49ers improved in many areas that were problem spots in Week 1, but they can still clean up their penalties. The 49ers were flagged nine times for 75 yards. The offense rolled up 572 yards -- the sixth-most in franchise history -- and their 259 rushing yards were their fourth-most since 1995. Aside from giving up a couple big plays in the passing game, the defense was on-point from the beginning. 

Grade: A

Watch Kyle Shanahan's postgame speech after 49ers' win vs. Washington

Watch Kyle Shanahan's postgame speech after 49ers' win vs. Washington

Kyle Shanahan was quite pleased with his team's effort in San Francisco's 9-0 win over Washington on Sunday.

"We talked about making it our house, man," the 49ers head coach said during his postgame speech in the locker room. "That was our house!"

It wasn't pretty, and how could it have been, given the unrelenting downpour and the mud that covered U.S. Bank Stadium. But a win is a win, and Shanahan was happy to see his players get one last dip in the dirt after achieving victory.

"There was no cooler thing to me than watching 53 guys go sliding, doing angels across the field," he said of San Francisco's Slip-N-Slide procession.

The hard-fought win stood in contrast to previous successes, such as the 49ers' 24-point victory in Cincinnati in Week 2. Shanahan wanted his team to derive confidence from that knowledge, while also not losing sight of the ultimate goal.

"Guys we're just getting started, alright," Shanahan said in closing. "We can win a game in any way. We had seven starters out today. We bonded together, we'll get some back, but it doesn't matter. 

"This room, we've got something special. Let's keep this s--t going."

[RELATED: Panthers to start Allen at QB, not Cam, vs. 49ers in Week 8]

Next up for San Francisco is a home game against Carolina in Week 8. Safe to say, there won't be as much mud in that one.

Why Kyle Shanahan thinks 49ers' answers at wide receiver are on team

Why Kyle Shanahan thinks 49ers' answers at wide receiver are on team

Eight days before the NFL trade deadline, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday that he does not feel as much urgency to add a veteran receiver in the middle of the season than in his previous two. 

“I think less (urgency) than we’ve had in the last couple of years because I do see that there are guys in our building that I do think the answers are here,” Shanahan told reporters Monday in Santa Clara, amid reports that the 49ers are in the market to add a wide receiver.

The 49ers played Sunday without rookie receiver Deebo Samuel, who injured his groin a week earlier against the Los Angeles Rams. Marquise Goodwin played just seven snaps before leaving with an injury Sunday. He was evaluated for a concussion but was cleared. Goodwin is not in the NFL’s concussion protocol, Shanahan said.

San Francisco also hopes to get Trent Taylor and rookie Jalen Hurd back later in the season. Both players are on injured reserve. They are eligible to return after sitting out eight games from the time they went on IR.

“It was tough not having Deebo last week and Marquise being a little bit banged up, we’ll get both of those two back,” Shanahan said. “The guys we have I still think can continue to get better. We’re still holding out hopes, too, for Jalen and Trent Taylor that they can heal up and hopefully return later this year.

“We’re always looking to improve, but I do like the guys we have here.”

[RELATED: 49ers, Raiders stand pat in power rankings following Week 7]

Tight end George Kittle is the 49ers' top pass-catcher with 34 receptions for 376 yards and one touchdown. Samuel leads the wideouts in receptions with 15 catches for 168 yards, while Goodwin has 11 catches for 181 yards. Samuel and Goodwin have one TD apiece. Kendrick Bourne had his best game of the season on Sunday with three catches for 69 yards in the 49ers' 9-0 victory over Washington.

Dante Pettis, a second-round pick in 2018, has not produced up to expectations. He has nine catches for 83 yards and one touchdown.