Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

49ers at Cowboys offensive player grades

Rohan Chakravarthi
Jan 19, 2022 at 11:40 AM--

The 49ers defeated the Dallas Cowboys in thrilling fashion Sunday, as the game went down to the wire, with San Francisco ultimately winning 23-17.

The offense was no slouch, as the team rushed for 170 yards, had exceptional blocking, and overcame Jimmy Garoppolo's late game miscues to hold on and defeat their longtime rivals.

Here are the player grades for Sunday's matchup:

Jimmy Garoppolo: C

Perhaps the most polarizing player on the field Sunday, Garoppolo started the game on a roll, completing 11/13 passes for 91 yards, having San Francisco in full control of the game.

But, his late game errors cannot be excused, as he overthrew multiple receivers, while also giving the Cowboys seven points off his interception.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that Garoppolo suffered sprain of his throwing shoulder in the second quarter, perhaps being the reason why his play spiraled in the second half.

While Kyle Shanahan believed that the shoulder wasn't a factor on his two overthrows, including the interception, Jimmy Garoppolo himself shared that "every throw was affected." Strange.

His first half certainly put San Francisco in a position to win from the start, but he needs to play better next weekend to give the 49ers a good shot at continuing their postseason hopes.

Running Backs: B

Elijah Mitchell had another strong workload, rushing 27 times for 96 yards and a touchdown, but was less efficient than his usual 4.7 yards per carry against a weaker Dallas run defense.

Regardless, Mitchell and his improved vision dictated game pace for the 49ers Sunday, which was significant towards the victory.

He'll face a similar challenge next week, as the Packers rank 30th in yards per carry, 28th in rush DVOA, 31st in stuff rate, and 28th in explosive rushes allowed.

Wide Receivers: A

Deebo. Freaking. Samuel.

San Francisco's third-year receiver was stepped into the spotlight on the biggest stage Sunday, and he not only rose to the occasion, but smashed it out of the park.

Samuel had three catches for 38 yards, along with 10 rushes for 72 yards and a touchdown, completing another well-rounded performance as the focal point of the 49ers' offense.

Complementary pieces Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings had five catches for 66 yards and three catches for 29 yards, respectively.

In addition, both Aiyuk and Jennings had significant blocks in the running game, specifically on Elijah Mitchell's touchdown run.

Hell of a performance from San Francisco's receiver trio.

Tight Ends: C

For the second week in a row, George Kittle's value came primarily as a blocker, rather than as a threat in the passing game.

Sure, he served as a decoy on offense, but he had just one catch for 18 yards on three targets.

While his contributions were helpful—the 49ers allowed zero sacks despite facing an elite Dallas pass rush—Kittle's services may be needed more next week as San Francisco aims to upset Green Bay at Lambeau Field.

Kittle followed the gameplan, so the grade doesn't really matter too much, but this offense flourishes when Kittle's used as a multi-dimensional weapon and gets to unleash his combination of strength and speed in the open field.

Offensive Line: A

Zero sacks allowed against this pass rush? With Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback? That should tell you all you need to know about how well this unit played on Sunday.

NOTE: Center Alex Mack has allowed zero pressures in his last four games. Not bad for a "35 year old washed center."

The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

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