49ers report card: Grading offense, defense in 33-30 loss to Packers

49ers report card: Grading offense, defense in 33-30 loss to Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. – What looked as if it might be an uplifting victory for a team in need of a little good news, instead turned into another heart-wrenching loss for the 49ers.

The Green Bay Packers have Aaron Rodgers. He was the best player on the field, and he made plays in the clutch when the 49ers were looking for someone to step up. The Packers rallied for 10 points in the final two minutes to pull out a 33-30 victory over the 49ers on Monday night at Lambeau Field.

Here are the 49ers’ final grades for the evening.

Rushing offense

Clearly, the 49ers thought they had a speed advantage against the Packers, who proved to be susceptible to the outside zone runs. Matt Breida was banged up with a problematic ankle, but he still managed to gain 61 yards on 14 rushing attempts. Speedster Raheem Mostert had a career game with 87 yards on 12 carries, as he replaced Alfred Morris as Breida's sidekick.

But the 49ers did not get the yards on the ground when they were needed. On the final two drives, Mostert had one carry for minus-1 yard.

Grade: B-plus

Passing offense

C.J. Beathard was very good for most of the game, but he made two costly mistakes in the fourth quarter. He failed to hit a wide-open George Kittle on a third-down play that would have extended a drive deep in Green Bay territory. The 49ers ended up settling for a field goal.

Beathard’s only interception came on his final pass of the game against an all-out blitz. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said Beathard could have chosen other, better options.

Grade: B

Rushing Defense

The Packers averaged 5.5 yards on their 21 rushing attempts. Rodgers had three big scrambles that picked up a combined 34 yards, including a 21-yarder on the game-winning drive.

Grade: C-plus

Passing Defense

As well as the 49ers played in some stretches, they also played very poorly at other parts of the game. Rodgers barely completed 50 percent of his passes, but he threw for 425 yards and two touchdowns. The 49ers also did not generate any takeaways for the second game in a row.

There were still too many blown coverages, and Richard Sherman was called for an illegal contact penalty that kept Green Bay’s game-winning drive alive. After Jimmie Ward left the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury, Rodgers went after his replacement, Greg Mabin.

Grade: D

Special Teams

Rookie D.J. Reed lost a fumble in the first quarter on a kickoff return after the Packers tied the score at 7-7. Green Bay scored a field goal off James’ turnover. He was benched in favor of Richie James for the remainder of the game. James had a 32-yard return late in the game, that could have been big if the offense had put together a couple of first downs and moved into position for a game-winning FG attempt.

Robbie Gould made all three of his field-goal attempts, and Bradley Pinion averaged a respectable 40.0 net on three punts.

Grade: C


Few expected the 49ers to be competitive. They were, and, frankly, they should have won the game. Instead, it was another agonizing loss for the 49ers, who fall to 1-5 on the season.

Again, the 49ers lost the turnover battle. They had three giveaways and no takeaways. The defense, at times, played well, and, at times, appeared confused. One could make a case that Shanahan should have gone back to the run game on the final drive, especially after a 7-yard pass to George Kittle on first down near midfield.

This could be a difficult one to brush aside. And, next up, the Los Angeles Rams come to Levi’s Stadium.

Grade: C-minus

NFL trade deadline: Assessing 49ers' options to acquire wide receiver

NFL trade deadline: Assessing 49ers' options to acquire wide receiver

A veteran wide receiver who has a history with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is moving to one of the NFL’s two unbeaten teams.

The New England Patriots on Tuesday acquired wide receiver Mohamed Sanu from the Atlanta Falcons for a second-round draft pick.

Sanu, 30, is in his eighth NFL season. He has 33 receptions for 313 yards in seven games this season. His best year came last season when he caught 66 passes for 838 yards and four touchdowns with the Falcons.

With a week before the NFL’s trade deadline, Sanu was one among a handful or more wide receivers around the league that is available in a deal. Sanu is signed through next season.

Some of the other options, as talked about on The 49ers Insider Podcast, have contracts that expire at the end of this season -- so the 49ers would be getting only a half-year rental.

The 49ers do not have a second-round pick in next year’s draft. The club would not be expected to pay a big price for such players as Denver’s Emmanuel Sanders or Cincinnati’s A.J. Green because both are scheduled to be free agents at the end of the season.

Sanders, 32, has 30 catches for 367 yards and two touchdowns in Rich Scangarello’s offense. Scangarello served as quarterbacks coach on Shanahan’s staff with the 49ers inte past two seasons.

Green, 31, is an immensely talented player who has not suited up for a game this season due to an ankle injury. It’s not known when he will be available to play this season. He has six 1,000 yard seasons in his career.

[RELATED: Why Shanahan believes 49ers' answers at WR are on team]

Other receivers who could be available are Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs, Keenan Allen of the Chargers, Chicago’s Taylor Gabriel and Miami’s DeVante Parker.

Diggs probably is the least-likely to change teams after signing a five-year, $72 million extension last year. In the past two weeks, he has 309 yards receiving a three touchdowns, and the 5-2 Vikings are in the thick of the NFC playoff picture.

Patriots acquire 49ers receiver trade target Mohamed Sanu from Falcons

Patriots acquire 49ers receiver trade target Mohamed Sanu from Falcons

So much for reuniting Mohamed Sanu with Kyle Shanahan in Santa Clara. 

The 49ers are down a possible wide receiver trade target as the Falcons reportedly sent Sanu to the Patriots Tuesday morning for a second-round draft pick. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport was first to report the news. 

Sanu made plenty of sense as a player the 49ers should try to acquire before the Oct. 29 NFL trade deadline. He played under Shanahan for two years in Atlanta when the 49ers head coach was the Falcons' offensive coordinator, and averaged nearly 700 yards receiving. The 30-year-old slot receiver would have become an instant favorite for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as an imposing 6-foot-2, 215-pound slot receiver. 

Instead, Sanu will be catching passes from Tom Brady in New England, and the two seem quite happy about the news. 

If the 49ers do indeed wish to add a receiver before the trade deadline, they have to turn their attention to different options now. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora linked San Francisco to players such as DeVante Parker, Taylor Gabriel, A.J. Green and Emmanuel Sanders -- as well as Sanu -- on Sunday in a report that the 49ers are "highly motivated" to add a wide receiver. 

While it makes plenty of sense for the undefeated 49ers to add a receiver to the mix, Shanahan made it clear Monday that he trusts his in-house options

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

[RELATED: Ranking five wide receivers 49ers could acquire]

One name is off the board, with plenty options left. In the case the 49ers stand pat, Shanahan has instilled confidence into this group.

Remember, winning cures all.