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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

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49ers vs. Chiefs offensive grades: Execution issues continue to plague offense

Rohan Chakravarthi
Oct 25, 2022 at 3:00 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers dropped below .500 once again, losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in a 44-23 blowout where they were outmatched on all three facets of the game: offense, defense, and special teams.

Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense continued to display execution woes that piled up, limiting the offense to just 23 points against a high-powered Chiefs team.

Here are the offensive grades against the Chiefs:

Quarterback: C

Jimmy Garoppolo had another up-and-down performance, completing 25/37 passes for 303 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.

Now, the statistics may indicate that Garoppolo had a superb performance, but the game film indicated otherwise, as the quarterback routinely missed open throws, while making mistakes at the most inopportune times.

On his first touchdown pass, Garoppolo threw a floater toward the endzone and was bailed out by Ray-Ray McCloud, who somehow turned around and located the ball.

The veteran quarterback had a costly interception, where he should've hit Jeff Wilson Jr. due to the coverage, but instead threw a jumpball in the direction of George Kittle that fell well short and San Francisco lost yet another touchdown opportunity.

That play was the momentum changer of the game, as the 49ers never led following the mistake and had to operate down two scores for the majority of the second half, which took away their ability to run the football and kept them at arm's length throughout.

Garoppolo took another inopportune safety, where he should've stepped up in the pocket and delivered a throw, costing the 49ers another possession and essentially the game at that point.

The 30-year-old quarterback did operate the quick game well at times, driving the 49ers down the field, but his mistakes, be it taking sacks, turnovers, or missed throws, came at vital points in the game, amplifying their impact, hence the average grade.

Running Backs: A

Christian McCaffrey's inclusion into the offensive gameplan changed the course for the 49ers, as he rushed for 38 yards on eight carries, while catching two passes for 24 yards.

McCaffrey's vision is unlike any other back on the 49ers' roster, and his ability to extend plays is a game-changer.

While his usage was limited in Week 7, both due to the short acclimation period and San Francisco's negative game script in the second half, it's clear that he provides something different, which was much needed at the halfback position for the 49ers.

Jeff Wilson Jr. was a positive factor on Sunday with his cutting ability, as the veteran rushed for 54 yards on seven carries, which primarily came in the first half when San Francisco was consistently moving the ball offensively.

With a full week of practice for McCaffrey, the 49ers could reach their old bounds on the ground, which would be a much-needed spark to a struggling offense that has especially been hindered in the run game.

The running backs were most definitely the best unit on offense during Sunday's game, even with the limited volume.

Wide Receivers: B+

Brandon Aiyuk was the 49ers' second-leading receiver, catching seven passes for 82 yards, while being targeted on a team-high 11 throws.

Aiyuk has continued to blossom, with the main difference this year being his usage. He's been this type of receiver for the past season with his route-running ability, but has finally begun to reap the benefits with the adequate targets for his skillset.

His ability to consistently get open has provided Jimmy Garoppolo with an easy target in the quick game, allowing for the offense to keep moving down the field.

However, Aiyuk dropped another crucial pass, this time coming on a 1-on-1 slant route on San Francisco's first drive deep in the redzone, where the receiver was unable to haul in the throw on a tough play. As a result, the 49ers were forced to kick a field goal instead of score a touchdown.

Deebo Samuel had five catches for 42 yards, including a nice 22-yard high-pointed catch to set up a redzone opportunity for the 49ers on a deep hitch.

But, Samuel dropped a pass as well on 2nd & long to set up a tough third down conversion against an aggressive defense(which was eventually converted), while committing a holding penalty of his own.

Ray-Ray McCloud had a solid performance, catching four passes for 65 yards, including a miraculous touchdown catch that bailed out a questionable Jimmy Garoppolo throw.

The receivers are the bread and butter of San Francisco's offense and continue to make plays that help the 49ers drive down the field, however; they need to stop dropping the football, especially in crucial situations, as the lack of execution spirals into more poor execution, which takes the team out of competitive games.

Jauan Jennings had two catches for 24 yards as well, but committed an unnecessary roughness penalty on a bonehead play, giving the Chiefs amazing field position off a kickoff.

Additionally, Jennings had a crucial holding penalty that pushed the 49ers out of field goal range and led to a number of poorly executed plays, costing the 49ers another chance at a score.

Tight Ends: A-

George Kittle had his best game of the season, catching six passes for 98 yards and a touchdown, serving as San Francisco's leading receiver.

Kittle made a number of nice plays, including a 15-yard touchdown catch on third down where he mossed defensive back Justin Watson to keep the 49ers within five.

Kittle continues to be an important member of the 49ers' run-blocking unit as well, while the improved health of the offensive line has increased the number of routes run, which is why his productivity in statistical form has seen an uptick.

However, like Aiyuk and Samuel, Kittle dropped a vital third-down pass as well, which could've extended the drive and given the 49ers another shot to inch closer in Chiefs territory.

Instead, his drop resulted in a declined penalty before Jaylon Moore committed a false start to take the 49ers out of field goal range. San Francisco has a habit of continually piling bad plays on top of each other when failing to execute and it's cost them several offensive opportunities in 2022.

Offensive Line: C+

When initially watching the game, I believed the offensive line play was porous, given that Jimmy Garoppolo was sacked five times and pressure seemed to be getting there.

My reaction changed when re-watching the offensive film.

The offensive line did not play well, contrary to previous weeks, due to the number of penalties they committed, but they weren't as bad as previously insinuated.

Overall, the offensive line had five penalties, which can't happen, but in general, they held up fine in pass protection against an aggressive defense that consistently sent blitzes and extra pressure to confound quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

The 49ers had several plays that took longer to develop, given the longer second and third downs, where Jimmy Garoppolo had to make decisions to throw the football, but instead held the ball too long, which allowed the pressure to get to the quarterback for sacks.

Those sacks shouldn't be against the offensive line, but rather against the quarterback who didn't throw the ball away or find his receivers in time.

Mike McGlinchey gave up two penalties and four pressures, but played well in the running game, while Trent Williams committed two penalties of his own in an up-and-down return from injury.

Aaron Banks continued his strong play, not allowing a single pressure, while whiffing only once in the running game.

Spencer Burford and Daniel Brunskill continued their rotation at right guard, which shouldn't be happening. Brunskill doesn't provide a significant advantage, while Burford played well against the Chiefs.

The penalties must come down, but the offensive line was not as bad as anticipated against the Chiefs.
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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