The 49ers crushed the San Diego Chargers 41-6 in their final preseason game of the year. Here are the grades from their victory:
There wasn’t anything flashy from Colin Kaepernick, but he completed three simple passes which included the touchdown by Quinton Patton on the opening drive. Colt McCoy had an adequate game where he didn’t throw an interception and he led the 49ers into field goal range once. He also had a touchdown drive where a turnover gave the offense a short field to work with.
B.J. Daniels had two touchdown passes against the Chargers scout team in the fourth quarter. He had an exciting 41-yard run down the left sideline which set up the touchdown pass to Chuck Jacobs.
Running Backs: C-
LaMichael James was tough to watch in his short time on the field. He had no vision and had trouble running between the tackles. Kendall Hunter looked solid on the opening possession while Jewel Hampton showed flashes in the third quarter. Anthony Dixon caught a touchdown but did little in the running game.
Wide Receivers: B+
Quinton Patton and Lavelle Hawkins had the highlights of the night with two unique catch and run touchdowns. Patton showed he will get significant minutes with how he ran down the field and the offense being smooth. He could be a consistent slot receiver for the team.
Jon Baldwin was inconsistent with two drops, but also had two short receptions. The wide receivers had their action in spurts with Chuck Jacobs catching a touchdown and Marlon Moore only seen on the opening possession being used for a screen play. Austin Collie was below average against the Chargers scout team in the fourth quarter.
Offensive Line: D+
The run blocking struggled the entire night. It wasn’t until Jewel Hampton came into the game for the second half where the offense became alive on the ground. Kenny Wiggins was the biggest reason why the pass protection was struggling for the night. Carter Bykowski showed some promise and could earn a spot on the practice squad.
Defensive Line: B+
Ian Williams played great throughout the game as he was the only defensive starter to participate. Glenn Dorsey was average while the reserves Demarcus Dobbs and Will Tukuafu struggled against the run. Fozzy Whittaker had space in the third quarter which lowers this grade a tad.
It was a great day for the outside and inside linebackers. Cam Johnson had multiple sacks and delivered pressure which set up an interception by Michael Wilhoite. Nick Moody also laid a couple hard hits in the game, keeping everything in front of him. Corey Lemonier and Dan Skuta both had a sack and they were adequate in coverage. Even Nate Stupar was all over the field racking up nine tackles for the game.
The safeties had to do little beyond the first quarter. Craig Dahl allowed a few receptions early on, but the Chargers passing game was flat from Charlie Whitehurst and Brad Sorensen. Credit goes to Perrish Cox, Michael Thomas and Tramaine Brock for allowing only a few short receptions on occasion, but no major mistakes. Brock was also credited with an interception right before the third quarter ended.
Special Teams: A-
The kick returns by Patton and Hawkins were decent while Perrish Cox was able to do something out of nothing on two punt returns. Dawson converted two field goals, but missed the long 52-yard attempt in the fourth quarter. Andy Lee didn’t have an amazing game with his “knuckle punts,” but still had a solid day.
Coverage units were solid throughout the night both on punts and kickoffs. No kickoffs went for more than 30 yards while only one punt return went 15 yards. Cam Johnson’s blocked punt which was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown was another highlight of the night. Kevin McDermott nailed all 14 snaps, including one where he was on his own two-yard line.