The 49ers were shut out in their second preseason game of the year 34-0 against the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. It was the first football game to take place in Levi's Stadium and the 49ers are now 0-2 in the preseason.
Here are the grades for yesterday's performance with the coaching grade excused:
All three reserve quarterbacks had a turnover and Blaine Gabbert was the biggest disaster of the bunch. He failed to rebound from his first outing and only made the situation worse. Colin Kaepernick making solid decisions on the first two drives prevented this grade from being a an "F".
Running Backs: D-
The ground game was mostly stuffed with the exception of Frank Gore in the first quarter. Even in garbage time at the very end, the 49ers were unable to score on the goal line which kept them shut out with a goose egg. One positive was the blocking from Jewel Hampton.
Wide Receivers: D
The passing game was completely dead until the fourth quarter. Brandon Lloyd, Stevie Johnson, Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin made some brief appearances, but the reserves had no help with the backup quarterbacks. Bruce Ellington made a few strides near the end of the game showing off his speed in short passes.
Tight Ends: Excused
Vernon Davis played only a handful of snaps, but it was good that Vance McDonald did not have a drop for the second game in a row. Derek Carrier had a few receptions late, but no tight ends were tested as blockers throughout the game.
Offensive Line: C-
The pass protection was improved from last week from Joe Looney and Jonathan Martin. However, the run blocking was still suspect as some players missed assignments making it easy for the Broncos to tackle the running backs. Another positive was Marcus Martin, who was adequate as a pass protector.
Defensive Line: D-
Unlike last week vs. Baltimore, the running defense was pounded up the middle by the Broncos ground attack. The stats in garbage time evened out the boxscore, but Ronnie Hillman would have been on pace to have 100 yards if given the opportunities.
Chris Borland looked better than last week, but in coverage he was still a problem. Whoever was playing OLB was ineffective as a pass rusher for majority of the game. There were also two large penalties by Aaron Lynch and Michael Wilhoite that resulted in keeping Denver's drives alive.
If Kenneth Acker was graded alone, he would have gotten an "A" for his efforts which included an interception that was negated by a penalty. Denver's quarterbacks completed 30 out of 38 passing attempts and each of them had a touchdown pass of their own. The larger concern is Antoine Bethea, who suffered a concussion and left the game in the second quarter.
Special Teams: B+
The kick return team was solid whether it was Bruce Ellington or Quinton Patton fielding the kick. Andy Lee and Colton Schmidt both averaged more than 50 yards per punt. Unfortunately, Phil Dawson failed to put the 49ers on the board with two missed field goals.