Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Giants vs. 49ers: Full San Francisco position grades & analysis from Week 10

Nov 12, 2018 at 9:24 PM0



The San Francisco 49ers hosted the New York Giants in a battle of last-place teams on Monday Night Football in Week 10, losing 27-23 in the prime-time bout amid yet another fourth-quarter collapse.


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens went through his expected regression on Monday Night Football against the New York Giants, not quite having the same kind of easy success he enjoyed during his NFL debut against the Oakland Raiders in Week 9.

Yet Mullens isn't entirely to blame for the Niners' fourth-quarter collapse to the previously one-win Giants, who used a confused and penalty-riddled San Francisco defensive stand late in the fourth quarter to take a 27-23 lead over the 49ers. And despite a desperate comeback attempt by Mullens, head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad ultimately fell short and has now dropped its fourth fourth-quarter lead this season.

Let's grade the positions out, shall we?

Quarterback


Mullens' ill-advised throw in the first half, which was deflected and fell into the hands of Giants defensive back B.J. Goodson, eventually led to seven points for New York. San Francisco's quarterback doesn't have the arm strength to make that kind of toss across his body.

Mullens tossed another interception early in the fourth quarter, although the pass intended for wide receiver Marquise Goodwin deflected off the receiver's hands for the pick.

Hard to peg the second one on Mullens. And one has to point out he bounced back nicely after the first pick.

Overall, Mullens had a stat line of 27-of-39 for 250 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions -- all for a passer rating of 73.7. It wasn't his best performance, but it's impossible to pin the loss on Mullens either.

Grade: C+

Running Back


It's great to see running back Matt Breida fully healthy, as he was able to rip off huge chunks of yards like he was doing frequently earlier this season. Breida finished the night with 17 carries for 101 yards and a rushing touchdown. And his 11-yard touchdown reception at the 8:09 mark of the third quarter was an excellent mismatch fully exploited by San Francisco:


Fullback Kyle Juszczyk added 10 yards through the air on two catches. It's time for San Francisco to move on from veteran running back Alfred Morris, who has zero speed to get to the outside in Shanahan's outside-zone system.

Grade: A

Wide Receiver


Goodwin's night probably was one to forget, especially considering Mullens' second pick went right through the hands of the wide receiver and into the hands of Goodson again:


Goodwin appeared to suffer a head injury on the play after being cleared from an apparent concussion earlier. He was the Niners' leading wide receiver with four catches for 69 yards. But that drop, along with another deflected would-be catch by fellow receiver Kendrick Bourne, goes a long way in having determined the eventual outcome.

There weren't exactly any other major contributions from this struggling offensive group.

Grade: D-

Tight End


It shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but tight end George Kittle continued his budding rapport with Mullens and solid overall season. As Mullens' favorite target during the game, Kittle finished with nine receptions for 83 yards.

New York did a good job bottling Kittle up later in the second half, proving just how much the 49ers need a complementary pass catcher.

Grade: B+

Offensive Line


San Francisco's run blocking was OK, as evidenced by Breida's big game on the ground. And pass protection wasn't much of an issue either, as Mullens wasn't sacked and took just three quarterback hits.

The Giants had only 10 sacks coming into the game, though, so it's not a massive achievement there.

That penalty on center Weston Richburg in the second half sure hurt.

Grade: B

Defensive Line


So, the pass rush. Against a Giants team coming into Week 10 having allowed the most sacks in the NFL (31). Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and linebacker Dekoda Watson combined for San Francisco's first and only sack of the game at the 9:44 mark of the fourth quarter.

Before that, the 49ers pass rush was virtually non-existent. Giants quarterback Eli Manning came into the game with a passer rating over 100 when he didn't have to face pressure. Manning faced hardly any in Week 10, and his three-touchdown, 110.7 passer-rating performance tells you all you need to know.

At least New York running back Saquon Barkley was held to just 3.4 yards per rush. What was EDGE Cassius Marsh doing in coverage on him, though?

Grade: F+

Linebacker


Rookie linebacker Fred Warner made his presence felt with the 49ers short fellow backer Reuben Foster, who was absent from the game with a shoulder injury. Warner was in coverage frequently, covering the intermediate part of the field and finished the game with four tackles and two passes defended.

Yet Warner's promising performance was completely negated by that of fellow linebacker Malcolm Smith, whose illegal-contact penalty on the Giants' game-winning drive came on 3rd-and-long and ultimately gave New York a first down en route to the go-ahead touchdown.

Smith isn't a coverage linebacker. At all.

Grade: D+

Secondary


With a lack of a pass rush up front, the Niners secondary looked a lot like it did in previous weeks before the Raiders game. Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon gave up a 20-yard touchdown reception to Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham in the third quarter. It wasn't completely on Witherspoon, though, who was banking on over-the-top help from safety Jimmie Ward.

Witherspoon's pass-interference call late in the fourth quarter, even if it was iffy, only helped reinforce the issues San Francisco's secondary has had this season.

The 49ers defensive backs ultimately were tagged with just 188 New York passing yards throughout the game, but they all came at the worst possible moments in the second half. And this group looked more like the vulnerable unit that has been on display for most of 2018. Confusion, missed assignments and coverage gaffes have been a common theme for almost all of the season.

Grade: D-

Special Teams


Well, at least kicker Robbie Gould hit all three of his field goals. And it was nice to see punt returner Richie James rip off a 23-yard return early in the game.

But, oh. Rookie defensive back Tarvarius Moore's hit on Giants punt returner Quadree Henderson -- one of 10 Niners penalties for a total of 97 yards -- sure was costly.

Grade: C
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers' Kyle Shanahan respects Chris Simms' analysis but tells his friend nothing

By David Bonilla
Mar 29, 2021

NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms seems convinced that the San Francisco 49ers traded up to the No. 3 spot to select quarterback Mac Jones. Of course, as is the case with many analysts, that is just an educated guess. However, it held more weight and created some chatter because of Simms' relationship with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. The two are close friends. Simms has admitted that he doesn't have any real insight into Shanahan's thinking regarding this year's draft. He knows how the coach has looked at the quarterback position in the past, which led Simms to his conclusion about Jones. "I think it's Mac Jones. I do," Simms said on PFT Live today. "I don't know



Jason Verrett on re-signing with 49ers: 'My heart was always with San Fran'

By David Bonilla
Apr 5, 2021

Jason Verrett enjoyed dipping his toes into the free-agency waters. The veteran cornerback ended up re-signing with the San Francisco 49ers on a one-year deal, but it wasn't due to a lack of interest from other teams. He opted to bet on himself again, as he did last offseason, and prove to skeptics that he can stay healthy while playing at a high level. It also feels good to stay with something familiar. "[Free agency] was a good experience," Verrett told reporters via Zoom on Monday. "It always feels good to be wanted, but my heart was always with San Fran. I love the comradely we've got with the team, the coaches, staff, training staff, the amazing fans, the whole nine yards. I was happy that we [were] able to get a deal done, and I'm just excited to see what



McShay: Mac Jones won't start over Jimmy Garoppolo Week 1 if 49ers draft him

By David Bonilla
Apr 1, 2021

The argument for Mac Jones over some other quarterback prospects at No. 3 overall is that the former Alabama player might be among the most ready to step in and play. Some feel that Justin Fields of Ohio State or Trey Lance of North Dakota State could benefit from sitting and learning for a year. Much of that has to do with the system within which Jones played last year. Fields and Lance are viewed as having higher ceilings than Jones, though. They may be better long-term prospects. ESPN's Todd McShay released his latest mock draft and has the San Francisco 49ers selecting Jones with their top pick. That



49ers Mock Draft Roundup: Fields, Lance, or Jones? Oh My!

By Justin Wong
Mar 31, 2021

The 2021 NFL Draft is a three-day event from April 29th to May 1st that will be hosted in Cleveland, Ohio. A select number of draft prospects will be invited to Cleveland to walk across the stage and shake hands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The NFL Draft will also feature draft prospects participating remotely across the country. Last Friday, the 49ers arguably made their most aggressive move since trading Joe Montana, as they gave up multiple picks to jump from No. 12 to No. 3 in this year's NFL Draft. In comparison to last week's Mock Draft Roundup, which featured primarily defensive players, the NFL pundits have now shifted their 49ers mock drafts to


Featured

More by Peter Panacy

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone