Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Position grades, takeaways from 49ers’ Week 7 win vs. Redskins

Oct 20, 2019 at 6:03 PM


The San Francisco 49ers are still undefeated after beating the Washington Redskins 9-0 in an ugly, rain-soaked bout at FedEx Field. Not surprisingly, the top-ranked Niners defense grades out well in our Week 7 takeaways.


The San Francisco 49ers are proving they can win the ugly games, too, not solely needing to blow out opponents with a strong running game and a smothering defense.

That defense was on point, for the most part, during the Niners' 9-0 Week 7 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday. And as a result, head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. still find themselves undefeated on the season, improving to 6-0 ahead of a home bout against the 4-2 Carolina Panthers next week.

As far as Sunday's game, though, let's break down each position's grades and see what some of the top takeaways are.

Quarterback: C-minus


Jimmy Garoppolo wasn't at his best, although it's tough to overly criticize his efforts when both quarterbacks, including Washington's Case Keenum, struggled to deliver the ball amid bad conditions.

Overall, Garoppolo went 12-of-21 for 151 yards, zero touchdowns against an interception, posting a passer rating of 59.8. At the end of the first half, Garoppolo actually had 20 rush yards compared to just 10 yards passing. His tossed pick, which was an underthrown attempt towards wide receiver Dante Pettis, ultimately landed in the waiting arms of Redskins safety Troy Apke:


"[The rain] made the ball heavier," Garoppolo told reporters after the game. "But you practice for that stuff, and I've played in rain my whole life. So it wasn't anything crazy."

Garoppolo made up for it with a couple of nice passes on a subsequent scoring drive, which included a 40-yard completion to wide receiver Richie James. While Garoppolo didn't have his best game, the ultimate fact is San Francisco picked up the win.

Running Back: B


Again, the weather has to play a factor here. Footing can be extremely difficult, and it hampered San Francisco's foursome of running backs. So did the Redskins' defensive front seven, which held the Niners rush attack to an average of just 3.5 yards per carry.

Running back Tevin Coleman finished with a team-high 62 yards on 20 attempts, while fellow back Matt Breida managed 35 yards on eight carries before exiting the game with head and eye injuries. Late in the game, second-year tailback Jeff Wilson picked up some crucial yardage, which helped San Francisco run down the clock.

Wide Receiver: B-minus


James and Kendrick Bourne made some key plays when they needed to, and the former ended up leading all 49ers pass catchers with 69 receiving yards on four receptions.

Yet the overall grade is downgraded a bit, thanks mostly to second-year receiver Dante Pettis not exactly fighting for the ball on Garoppolo's interception -- an aspect not lost on NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco:


Pettis was in position to have a big game, especially with rookie widout Deebo Samuel out with an injury. Instead, Pettis was held off the stat sheet aside from two targets.

Tight End: B


George Kittle is good at football and was one of Garoppolo's best friends on third down. But Garoppolo also got backup tight ends Levine Toilolo and Ross Dwelley involved.

Dwelley had a key fourth-down diving grab in the game, too.

Offensive Line: C-minus


Garoppolo was relatively well protected, yes, although backup tackle Daniel Brunskill surrendered a sack to Redskins EDGE Ryan Kerrigan. Garoppolo had to evade pressure often throughout the game, which led to him picking up his 20 rush yards. But one could argue the bigger problem was the lack of push up front in run support for this unit.

Granted, the lack of footing was going to be difficult. And Washington's defensive front did a good job to close off rush lanes before they opened.

Still, Week 7 looked more like the 49ers were starting two backup tackles, which they were.

Defensive Line: B-plus


The only major aspect keeping the Niners defensive line from getting an A-grade was the impressive run-heavy start from the Redskins on their opening possession. San Francisco initially had a tough time containing veteran running back Adrian Peterson, who eventually finished with 81 rush yards on 20 carries. But, just like its effort last week against the Los Angeles Rams, the defense clamped down throughout the rest of the game, despite two penalties being called against defensive end Solomon Thomas.

Defensive linemen Arik Armstead, Dee Ford and Nick Bosa all recorded sacks, with Bosa's to close out the game as time expired. And Bosa, who led the defense with seven tackles, also picked up four of those for a loss.

The D-line was a key reason why Keenum was held to just 77 yards passing.

Linebacker: A-minus


Like the D-line, San Francisco's linebackers get dinged a bit because of Washington's opening possession. Also like the D-line, the linebackers bounced back nicely over the rest of the game.

Kwon Alexander has proven to be one of the best offseason pickups in recent franchise history, and he punched the ball free from Peterson on what was arguably the Redskins' best threat to claim the lead late.

Secondary: A


Keenum only attempted 12 passes, so San Francisco's defensive backfield wasn't exactly tested this way.

Nickel cornerback K'Waun Williams plays bigger than his size, and he made his presence felt on this play:


Washington's longest pass play of the game was only 19 yards.

Special Teams: B


Kicker Robbie Gould missed his first attempt from 45 yards out, although he later attributed the miss to sliding underneath the ball during the attempt. Gould converted his final three field-goal tries, counting for all of the 49ers' scoring in the contest. But he's also missed a total of seven tries on the year after missing only one last season.

Punter Mitch Wishnowsky also had some long boots, too, and the Niners managed to win the battle of field position.

Give some credit to return specialist Richie James for not muffing any punts amid the slick weather. San Francisco's coverage units were on point as well.
  • 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 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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