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49ers vs. Falcons offensive grades: Execution issues result in a disappointing 28-14 loss to Falcons

Rohan Chakravarthi
Oct 20, 2022 at 1:00 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers suffered a disappointing loss at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons, dropping to 3-3 on the season after an offensive showing in which Jimmy Garoppolo and Co. could only muster 14 points, despite outgaining the Falcons by 57 yards during the game.

Here are the offensive grades for the 49ers against the Falcons.

Jimmy Garoppolo: B+

When the 49ers lose games, the blame is often primarily placed on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and deservedly so at times.

However, Garoppolo was far from the reason why the 49ers lost on Sunday against the Falcons, as the quarterback showcased accuracy and a willingness to push the ball downfield on several occasions.

Garoppolo wasn't asked to operate a tough game script, as the 49ers dialed up several screen plays and quick passes, but when his number was called, the veteran quarterback executed for the most part.

There were several plays that will turn up as incompletions on the box score, but could've had a different outcome had the execution occurred on all fronts.

Garoppolo aired a nice deep pass, which was perhaps the best of his career, over the middle, leading receiver Ray-Ray McCloud to the open space, but the newly-signed wideout stumbled and was unable to complete the play.

On the following drive, Garoppolo delivered a nice throw over the middle to Charlie Woerner, who saw the pass go straight through his hands on another missed opportunity for the offense.

In the fourth quarter, the starting quarterback made a nice play on a shot play, hitting Brandon Aiyuk on a deep corner route, but the play was negated by a holding penalty on Jake Brendel.

On that same drive, Garoppolo had driven the offense down the field and located a nice touch pass to George Kittle in the endzone, but the tight end didn't go to the open space, resulting in an incompletion on the miscommunication.

The quarterback certainly had a couple of throws he would like back, but his interceptions weren't entirely poor plays either, while he had a sense of precision on his throws, allowing the offense to move efficiently through the air.

If the pieces around Garoppolo execute, there's a different narrative around the 49ers this week. But, don't get it twisted. Jimmy Garoppolo was nowhere near the main reason that San Francisco lost this week.

Running Backs: C

The running game was essentially non-existent on Sunday, as the 49ers running backs got just 50 yards on 16 carries.

Jeff Wilson Jr. was the lead back and only rushed for 25 yards, while having a costly fumble that changed the outcome of the game early, as Atlanta scored a defensive touchdown on the play.

Tevin Coleman managed just three yards on four carries, including a failure to convert an easy 3rd & 1 with a poor decision to cut back inside, costing the 49ers in the fourth quarter as they attempted a comeback.

Currently, the 49ers don't have a diverse backfield, which has made their rushing attack one-dimensional and extremely limited, resulting in a lack of efficiency over the past few weeks.

They would benefit from new faces being incorporated, be it Tyrion Davis-Price or Jordan Mason, to provide a new spark for the offense on the ground until Elijah Mitchell returns, but currently, the personnel isn't doing San Francisco any favors on the ground.

Wide Receivers: B+

This was the Brandon Aiyuk breakout game, as the third-year wideout was targeted early and often, catching eight passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets.

Aiyuk was consistently paired against star defensive back A.J. Terrell and managed several impressive routes that led to completions downfield.

The Arizona State product could've had a significant increase to that total on two plays, but Jimmy Garoppolo didn't lead his receiver downfield on the first, allowing the defensive back to catch up and make a questionable play. Then, Aiyuk and Garoppolo connected for a deep pass near the sidelines, but the play was brought back due to penalty.

Deebo Samuel had a much more efficient outing compared to last weekend, catching seven passes for 79 yards on ten targets, while being a regular threat in the screen game.

However, the biggest miscue of the game came on a Ray-Ray McCloud missed opportunity when the receiver stumbled on a deep route and couldn't corral a perfectly-placed ball from Jimmy Garoppolo.

With the attention on Deebo Samuel and George Kittle, had Brandon Aiyuk run that route, it would've been crisper, gaining more separation, and likelier a better outcome.

Tight Ends: B

George Kittle had a breakout game as well, catching eight passes for 83 yards on ten targets, while being utilized in a variety of ways.

Kittle saw targets in the screen game, while also running several routes that resulted in catches downfield. With the run game not surfacing as much, Kittle saw more action in the passing game, resulting in more offense for the 49ers.

However, his backup Charlie Woerner had a huge miscue as well, dropping a wide-open downfield pass over the middle that halted the momentum on that drive.

With Woerner acting as a receiver on that play instead of an inline blocker, it raises questions as to why Ross Dwelley wasn't in on the play.

Dwelley, who has surefire hands in comparison to Woerner, had a minimal role instead.

Additionally, Kittle himself had a miscue in the game, as the tight end didn't adjust to the back of the endzone on a route in the fourth quarter, resulting in miscommunication and another missed opportunity offensively.

Offensive Line: B-

With Mike McGlinchey departing at halftime, the 49ers took a hit along their front five as his backups, Daniel Brunskill and Blake Hance, allowed six pressures combined.

Additionally, left tackle Jaylon Moore gave up three pressures of his own, while Spencer Burford let up a pressure as well.

However, the 49ers played relatively well in pass protection, giving Jimmy Garoppolo enough time to operate, while the quarterback made impressive throws when the offensive line had a miscue.

In the run game, however, the 49ers' offensive line did struggle, failing to create the holes they'd made during the previous weeks for their running backs.

But, on a positive note, left guard Aaron Banks has been strong, especially in pass protection, showcasing why the 49ers moved on from Laken Tomlinson in the offseason.

Without their tackles, the 49ers have managed well enough along the offensive line, but should gladly welcome the return of tackle Trent Williams in Week 7, as the veteran has practiced this week.
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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