With the preseason out of the way, the report cards for this season will be as follows. There will be a report card on the offense and a second one for the defense and special teams. Coaching is also judged both offensively and defensively to differentiate between what Greg Roman and Vic Fangio have done throughout the game. Here are the grades on offense for Week 1's 34-28 victory over Green Bay:
Colin Kaepernick had to make plays through the air and did it all with a career high of 412 passing yards. Not only was he solid in yardage, but he was clutch in finding receivers on third down from Anquan Boldin to Vernon Davis. He didn't throw an interception (though he was close in the first quarter) and had three touchdown passes.
Running Backs: C-
Statistically this grade should be lower with the running game being mostly ineffective, but Frank Gore was amazing as a blocker. He was solid down field and picked up blitzes well in pass protection preventing this mark from being a D. Kendall Hunter had one notable run for 24 yards in the fourth quarter, but was mostly stuffed.
Wide Receivers: B-
If this was a grade for Anquan Boldin alone, it would be an "A+", but unfortunately this grade needs to take everything into account. Boldin had a tremendous day of being the go-to guy for the 49ers with 208 receiving yards and a touchdown. Kyle Williams only had three receptions for 32 yards, while Marlon Moore and Quinton Patton had minimal playing time. It was surprising the coaching staff chose to not play Patton as much in comparison to Moore and Williams after what happened in the preseason.
Tight Ends: A-
Remember when Randy Moss said the chemistry between Kaepernick and Vernon Davis was questionable? In this game that wasn't the case as Davis had six receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Davis lined up as a WR multiple times and proved to be a good distraction to make Boldin get open. Vance McDonald had one reception for 25 yards, but was mostly raw with a drop and poor blocking to prevent this grade from being an "A+".
Offensive Line: C-
There were a handful of boneheaded false start penalties with two of them being from Jonathan Goodwin and one from Anthony Davis. The pass protection for Colin Kaepernick was not the issue, but it was the run blocking. Even when Adam Snyder came on as an extra lineman, the Packers still stopped Gore and Hunter when Kaepernick handed the ball on the read-option.
Before everyone starts jumping on this grade, there were some questionable possessions where the 49ers started with a pass happy offense. On the first possession, they chose to not run the ball to Frank Gore and it only worked in the fourth quarter when the Packers defense was gassed. The read-option was useless as Kaepernick was tackled for loss two times when he chose to keep the ball. They finished well and credit is given to the staff for going for the first down on 4th and 1 where Boldin was open.
The 49ers also had an issue with calling time outs as the play clock was near zero three different times. They needed to be more organized with getting a play off so that timeouts don't need to be taken at unnecessary times. It only took 1:46 into the game for the team to use the first timeout. While Kaepernick had great offensive numbers, there were definitely mistakes that prevent this from being an "A".