Defensive Line: D+
Ahmad Bradshaw didn't have 100 rushing yards but don't be fooled. The 49ers had trouble for majority of the game stopping the run when playing in a nickel defense. Justin Smith had one sack, but the defensive line couldn't contribute to helping the pass rush. Andrew Luck was protected well for majority of the game.
Aldon Smith had one tackle for loss, but was mostly ineffective or countered by blockers for the most part. The Colts were averaging 4.6 yards on the ground per carry and this unit was unable to stop Andrew Luck on the ground when he scrambled. Trent Richardson was stopped for the most part, but Bradshaw continued to grind for gains of seven or eight yards.
The secondary didn't give up a lot of yardage, but they did keep drives alive with back breaking penalties. Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown were flagged for defensive holding, one of which was on third down. Brown had an awful game when covering Reggie Wayne and gave up several plays to the veteran receiver. Eric Reid looked okay at tackling and Donte Whitner struggled in coverage. Whitner was wrongfully penalized 15-yard for a helmet-to-helmet hit when using the crown of his helmet, but replays indicate that he used his shoulder.
Special Teams: F+
The only thing that prevents this grade from being an "F" is the 14-yard punt return by Kyle Williams. He had no fair catching the ball when he needed to. The kickoff returns by Kendall Hunter and Quinton Patton had the 49ers buried inside the 20-yard line three times, which ruins this grade. Andy Lee was below his typical average with 43 yards per punt and his protection on special teams was poor when Bubba Ventrone left the game. Phil Dawson made his only PAT attempt and Kevin McDermott had no issue with the long snapping.
To be fair, the defense didn't get any help from the offense as they were not moving the ball. They allowed only 13 points halfway through the third quarter but the offense gave no life for the defense. Patrick Willis also went down which gave the team a tough situation to be in. The bruising penalties from the secondary still falls on coaching, but they weren't horrible like last week's game against the Seahawks. Stopping a run was a problem, but the 49ers didn't budge until late in the third quarter where the momentum was all on the Colts.
For those who were looking for the offensive grades, click here.