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49ers preseason grades vs. Chargers

Glenn Winston
Glenn Winston
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The 49ers won their first preseason game of the 2014 preseason against the San Diego Chargers by a score of 21-7 on Sunday afternoon.

The "coaching" grade is excused for an exhibition, but here are the grades for both the offense and defense:

Quarterbacks: D

This was an unwatchable outing for the QBs, starting with Colin Kaepernick. He took several hits and made some good decisions, but it was a lackluster outing overall until his last drive. Blaine Gabbert had one solid possession before halftime, but there was nothing impressive from neither Josh Johnson nor McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Running Backs: C

Carlos Hyde had one carry which went 20 yards, but it was an otherwise slow day for the running backs. Glenn Winston dominated the fourth quarter, but LaMichael James had a putrid nine yards on seven carries. One positive is how James picked up the blitzes when blocking in pass protection.

Wide Receivers: B-

Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Quinton Patton had a brief cameo in the beginning with the latter playing with the second-team offense as well. There were contributions from the starters which included one pass to Boldin on third down. Stevie Johnson didn't play until the second half.

Tight Ends: A-

One small blemish from the game was a drop by Vernon Davis. Otherwise, he had one 16-yard reception before Vance McDonald came in. Once McDonald was playing, he contributed offensively with three receptions for 29 yards including one touchdown.

Offensive Line: D

It wasn't until the fourth quarter where the running game was looking productive with Glenn Winston. Mike Iupati had a rough outing which led to multiple hits on Colin Kaepernick with a forced fumble to show for it. Joe Looney was adequate when playing RG and Jonathan Martin was serviceable at RT.

Defensive Line: C-

Ryan Matthews and Danny Woodhead had their ways with the starting defensive line, but it wasn't a disaster. The 49ers weren't able to generate pressure on Philip Rivers nor Kellen Clemens and it wasn't until the third string defense dominated.

Linebackers: C

The pass rush was poor, but Michael Wilhoite did well against the run, making a huge tackle on 4th and 1. Patrick Willis returning the lineup helped stop anything up the middle. Aaron Lynch was productive against the reserves.

Secondary: C-

Philip Rivers dominated the secondary whether it was to Antonio Gates or a running back in Donald Brown. Keenan Allen was limited to one reception, but Rivers completed nine out of 10 passing attempts. The reserves did a good job at limiting Kellen Clemens and Brad Sorensen with the latter having two interceptions.

Special Teams: A-

The punt and kick coverage units were outstanding when limiting the Chargers return game. Phil Dawson made two short field goals, redeeming himself from last week's shutout. Andy Lee and Colton Schmidt both averaged at least 45 yards per punt.

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