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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

PFF’s highest- and lowest-graded 49ers players vs. Cardinals, plus snap counts

Jan 9, 2023 at 12:55 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers finished their 2022 campaign with a 13-4 record after a 38-13 win against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 18. Today, Pro Football Focus released its grades from the game. Which Niners played well, and who has more work to do?

Below are Pro Football Focus' five highest-graded 49ers players on offense against the Cardinals.

Below are the five highest-graded 49ers players on defense.

Below are the three lowest-graded 49ers players on offense.

  • Daniel Brunskill, LG, 52.6, 62 snaps
  • Nick Zakelj, RG, 53.4, 11 snaps
  • Tyler Kroft, TE, 53.9, 23 snaps

Below are the three lowest-graded 49ers players on defense.

Quick Takeaways

George Kittle was the game's highest-graded player. The tight end caught four passes for 29 yards and two touchdowns against the Cardinals. Kittle's career-high touchdown total on the season increased to 11. That's the third-most by a 49ers tight end in a single season, behind only Vernon Davis, who hauled in 13 in each of the 2009 and 2013 seasons.

Kittle's 5,254 receiving yards surpassed Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (5,236) for the third-most receiving yards by a tight end through his first six seasons in NFL history. In addition, Sunday marked the fourth game this season that Kittle has earned an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 89.8 or higher.

Just behind Kittle was running back Elijah Mitchell, who earned a career-high overall grade of 89.1. Mitchell finished the game with five carries for an impressive 55 yards and two touchdowns. They were his first trips into the end zone of the season, giving the running back seven touchdowns in his career.

Linebacker Fred Warner recorded his fifth game with a grade of 87.1 or higher. His coverage grade of 86.0 against the Cardinals was a season-high. Warner allowed 21 receiving yards on three catches. The linebacker finished the season with 130 tackles, leading the team for the fifth consecutive season.

Charvarius Ward's 80.2 overall grade was his highest since Week 5 (90.6 at Panthers) and his third-highest of the season (81.7 at Broncos, Week 3). The cornerback was targeted once, not allowing a catch. He missed just one tackle this season.

Rookie Samuel Womack earned his best overall grade since Week 3 (97.8 at Broncos) and his second-highest grade of the season.

Defensive back Jimmie Ward recorded season-high overall and coverage (74.2) grades against the Cardinals. He allowed three receptions for 27 yards. Ward also had a pressure and a quarterback hit, earning a season-high pass-rushing grade of 76.1.

Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk recorded grades of 74.7-or-higher in four of his last five games. He registered four receptions for 59 receiving yards. Aiyuk surpassed 1,000 receiving yards (1,015) in a single season for the first time in his career.

Running back Christian McCaffrey has earned a grade of 71.1-or-higher for the fourth time in the past five games and the seventh time this season. He registered 10 carries for 45 rushing yards and had three receptions for 34 yards and a receiving touchdown. McCaffrey's 1,210 all-purpose yards with the 49ers are the most by a midseason addition in NFL history.

Rookie quarterback Brock Purdy earned his second-highest grade of the season (79.7 in Week 16 vs. Commanders). He finished the game 15-of-20 for 178 passing yards, three touchdowns, and a 141.2 passer rating. His passer rating is a career-high. Purdy became the first quarterback in franchise history to win his first five starts and the third rookie quarterback in NFL history to win at least his first five starts.

Offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill's 52.6 overall grade is his lowest since Week 5 (48.6 at Panthers). Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw's 33.6 overall grade was the lowest of his career.

Snap Counts

62 - Daniel Brunskill (LG), Spencer Burford (RG)
51 - Brock Purdy (QB), Jake Brendel (C), Mike McGlinchey (RT)
45 - Brandon Aiyuk (WR), Trent Williams (LT)
44 - George Kittle (TE)
42 - Deebo Samuel (WR)
30 - Christian McCaffrey (RB)
27 - Kyle Juszczyk (FB)
26 - Jauan Jennings (WR)
23 - Tyler Kroft (TE)
17 - Danny Gray (WR), Jaylon Moore (LT)
14 - Jordan Mason (RB)
12 - Charlie Woerner (TE), Ray-Ray McCloud III (WR)
11 - Colton McKivitz (RT), Josh Johnson (QB), Nick Zakelj (RG)
10 - Elijah Mitchell (RB)
8 - Tyrion Davis-Price (RB)

52 - Deommodore Lenoir (CB)
48 - Azeez Al-Shaair (LB)
44 - Talanoa Hufanga (SS), Tashaun Gipson Sr. (FS)
40 - Jimmie Ward (CB)
35 - Charles Omenihu (DE), Charvarius Ward (CB), Fred Warner (LB)
28 - Samson Ebukam (DE)
26 - Jordan Willis (DE)
25 - Nick Bosa (DE), Oren Burks (LB)
22 - Arik Armstead (DT), Javon Kinlaw (DT)
18 - Michael Dwumfour (DT)
17 - Janoris Jenkins (CB)
16 - Kerry Hyder (DT), T.Y. McGill (DT)
8 - George Odum (FS), Samuel Womack (CB), Tarvarius Moore (FS)

Special Teams
24 - Charlie Woerner
21 - Tyler Kroft
20 - George Odum, Oren Burks
19 - Samuel Womack
18 - Jordan Mason
16 - Tarvarius Moore
14 - Jordan Willis
13 - Janoris Jenkins, Robbie Gould (K)
11 - Mitch Wishnowsky (P), Taybor Pepper (LS)
6 - Colton McKivitz, Daniel Brunskill, Jake Brendel, Jaylon Moore, Nick Zakelj, Ray-Ray McCloud III, Spencer Burford
5 - Azeez Al-Shaair, Kerry Hyder
4 - Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, Kyle Juszczyk, Talanoa Hufanga, Tyrion Davis-Price
3 - Jimmie Ward
2 - Charles Omenihu, Danny Gray, Deommodore Lenoir, Fred Warner, Samson Ebukam, T.Y. McGill, Tashaun Gipson Sr.
1 - Charvarius Ward

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