Grading offense, defense in 49ers' injury-plagued win vs. Jets


On the field, there was not much to nit-pick from the 49ers’ 31-13 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.

The 49ers were dominant. And a lot guys stepped up and showed their mettle under some difficult circumstances. They earned good grades across the board.

The worst grade, however, goes to the newly-installed artificial-surface field at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

Both teams sustained a long list of troubling lower-body injuries. The 49ers were hit the hardest with star defensive end Nick Bosa’s presumed season-ending ACL tear and, likely, the same fate for Solomon Thomas.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and running back Raheem Mostert (knee) sat out the second half with injuries, too.

Here’s a look at the 49ers’ grades from Week 2:

Rushing offense

This game was basically over after the first play from scrimmage, when Mostert took a toss from Garoppolo got to the sideline and raced 80 yards for a touchdown. Mostert had 92 yards rushing on eight carries.

Jerick McKinnon added 77 yards on three attempts. He picked up a third-and-31 (that’s correct, third-and-31) with a 55-yard run. McKinnon later added a 16-yard touchdown run. Even with Nick Mullens’ two kneel-downs at the end of the game, the 49ers averaged 6.3 yards per attempt.

Grade: A

Passing offense

Garoppolo gets high marks for staying in the game despite being in obvious pain with a high right ankle sprain from Quinnen Williams’ first-quarter sack. Garoppolo was on point, completing 14 of 16 passes for 131 yards and two touchdown tosses to tight end Jordan Reed.

One of Garoppolo’s incomplete passes came on a catchable downfield pass that Kendrick Bourne did not haul in. Bourne had a team-high 67 receiving yards on four receptions, while Reed had seven catches for 50 yards.

Mullens entered in the second half and complete eight of 11 passes for 71 yards and an interception.

Grade: A-minus

RELATED: 49ers could be down nine starters in Week 3
Rushing defense

The Jets were making a bid to gain momentum toward the end of the first half, so coach Adam Gase went for it on a fourth-and-1 situation from the 49ers’ 20-yard line. Fred Warner, who had a game-high 12 tackles, broke through to stop running back Josh Adams for no gain.

The 49ers’ defense held Frank Gore in check. Gore, the 49ers’ all-time leading rusher, gained 63 yards on 21 rushing attempts.

Grade: A-minus

Passing defense

Dee Ford (neck) did not suit up. Nick Bosa went out early with a likely season-ending ACL tear. And Solomon Thomas was sidelined two plays later with a serious knee injury of his own. The 49ers were also playing without cornerback Richard Sherman.

Arik Armstead registered the team’s only sack of the game. He also had three quarterback hurries. This was not a formidable offense the 49ers went against, but there never seemed to be a sense that the Jets could get anything going against this defense.

Grade: B

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Special teams

Punter Mitch Wishnowsky had a good day with a 44.8 net average on four punts. Kicker Robbie Gould made a 46-yard field goal and was good on all four extra points. Neither team was able to get much going with their return game.

Grade: B


Coach Kyle Shanahan and his offensive staff came up with a plan to help compensate for the absence of George Kittle, the team’s best offensive player. The ball was spread around on offense, as eight different players caught passes and four different running backs carried the ball.

Clearly, Shanahan dialed up the perfect play on which to open the game. He saw something he could exploit with the Jets’ defense, and Mostert got the 49ers going with an 80-yard touchdown run.

Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s plan was to play it safe and not allow any plays get behind the secondary. With all the injuries early in the game, 49ers had to find a way to stay focused and get through the game. Despite the adversity, the focus was good to take care of business.

Grade: B-plus

RELATED: Trent Williams heartbroken over Bosa's injury

The Jets are not a good team. The 49ers maintained a significant advantage with their talent – not only with their starters but with their backups, too. Even after the crushing injuries the 49ers experienced in the first half, the club did a commendable job of mashing the accelerator and never allowing the Jets to gain an ounce of confidence that they could actually compete against the 49ers.

Grade: A-minus

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