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49ers vs. Raiders offensive grades: Brock Purdy faces struggles, but 49ers score 37 in win

Rohan Chakravarthi
Jan 3, 2023 at 5:45 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Las Vegas Raiders in a 37-34 overtime thriller, extending their winning streak to nine in a game that ended much closer than anticipated.

Despite the losses of defensive players Chandler Jones and Denzel Perryman, as well as the benching of quarterback Derek Carr (which moved the line to -9.5 in favor of San Francisco), the Raiders battled, leading for several portions of the game, although they came up short at the end.

The 49ers now have control of the No. 2 seed in the NFC, while they could potentially secure the No. 1 seed with a win over the Arizona Cardinals and a Philadelphia Eagles loss to the New York Giants.

Here are the grades for the 49ers' win over the Raiders.

Quarterbacks: C-

Brock Purdy had his fair share of struggles against the Raiders' defense, leading to several missed opportunities for the offense and forcing them to come from behind in the second half to tie, and eventually win the game.

One of Purdy's main issues early? A reluctance to make downfield throws to open receivers, as the rookie quarterback instead chose to throw check-downs.

In the first half, Purdy was primarily lifted by the 49ers' running game, which was excelling on all levels with superior blocking from the offensive line and elusiveness from Christian McCaffrey.

However, Purdy continued to extend plays with his legs, which led to a first down conversion on the 49ers' first drive, and a touchdown pass in the red zone on the 49ers' second drive.

Early in the second half, Purdy appeared to learn from his mistakes on several instances, hitting an intermediate curl route to Jauan Jennings after bypassing the throw twice in the first half, while also hitting a deep crosser to the 6'3 receiver after overlooking two similar throws to an open George Kittle.

The rookie seemed to connect on slant routes with good timing to Brandon Aiyuk in the second half, especially on San Francisco's last drive prior to overtime.

However, Purdy had several deep misfires in the second half, underthrowing Jauan Jennings on a potential touchdown before missing George Kittle on an underthrown wheel route that he also bypassed earlier in the game.

The Iowa State product also threw an interception on a pass intended for Kittle. The QB should've led the tight end up the seam, but instead underthrew the pass which allowed the defensive back to make a play.

Overall, Purdy struggled, but once again showed a propensity for fixing mistakes which allows for cautious optimism heading into the last week of the season.

Running Backs: A

Christian McCaffrey had an efficient game on the ground with 121 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, benefitting from massive holes created by his offensive line, while showcasing his elite elusiveness to avoid several tackles in the open field.

McCaffrey was also a vital member of the passing game, posting six catches for 72 yards on nine targets, trailing only Brandon Aiyuk in all three categories.

McCaffrey was the reason why several of Purdy's ill-advised check-downs turned into positive plays, with the running back consistently gaining yards after the catch.

Jordan Mason had the go-ahead 14-yard touchdown on his second carry of the game, powerfully running behind his blockers as he plunged into the end zone, fighting through tacklers.

Mason also nearly had a touchdown opportunity, gaining a step on his defender on a wheel route, but Purdy elected to throw elsewhere.

Tyrion Davis-Price earned only one carry, but made it count, getting a first down as he saved a busted play with some improvisation.

Wide Receivers: B

Brandon Aiyuk led all 49ers' receivers with nine catches on 12 targets for 101 yards and a touchdown.

Aiyuk put on another strong display of route-running, seemingly getting open on every slant and quick post route, giving Purdy a reliable target in the passing game.

However, the receiver had a drop and a penalty early, minimizing his initial impact, before he essentially served as the 49ers offense as they rallied back on their last two drives of regulation.

Jauan Jennings had two catches for 46 yards, while Ray-Ray McCloud took a screen pass for 42 yards, once again displaying his explosiveness with the ball in his hand.

Danny Gray saw action for the first time in a while, taking an end-around to the edge for nine yards.

Tight Ends: A-

George Kittle had just four catches for 23 yards and a touchdown, but his impact went much further than what the stat sheet indicated.

Kittle was open on two deep crossers that Purdy didn't pull the trigger on, not to mention the deep crosser that Purdy underthrew for his lone interception.

With better execution, Kittle could've had a similar day to his previous performances, where he eclipsed 90 receiving yards and averaged two touchdowns a game.

Kittle and fellow tight end Tyler Kroft had a great blocking day, setting up several McCaffrey runs, which helped the offensive line with execution in the running game.

Offensive Line: A-

The offensive line continued their string of good performances in this game, holding their ground against one of the NFL's better pass-rushers in Maxx Crosby.

Right tackle Mike McGlinchey especially had a good day, lining up against Crosby several times, denying the young edge rusher any sacks on the day.

McGlinchey also set up a long Christian McCaffrey run, while impressing with a well-rounded performance.

Still, the 49ers continued to favor the left side of the offensive line in the run game, which continues to be the more efficient side.

Trent Williams didn't have the best game, committing a false start and a holding penalty on the same drive, but was effective as a run-blocker for the most part.

Not a single 49er gave up a sack, continuing a strong year in pass protection.

There were only two negatives in the game: the 49ers still struggle to win at the line of scrimmage along the front, especially in the red zone, and Aaron Banks left with what may be a sprained MCL, according to Kyle Shanahan.

Still, it was a great performance by the offensive line in maintaining a good run game and keeping Brock Purdy clean.
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.

1 Comment

  • Dietrich
    C-? This is the NFL and he put up 37.. sure he missed throws but he hit some great ones.. B- at worst. He led the team to what should have been 2 late scores at the end of regulation. I don't think Jimmy or Lance wins that game
    Jan 7, 2023 at 3:53 AM


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