The 49ers will receive weekly grades throughout the season. There will be one exception in the preseason where coaching will not be graded due to a simple playbook and reserves being used. Here are the grades for the 49ers in their 15-13 victory over the Chiefs.
This was a bad game for Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien with the former only making a few plays through scrambling. B.J. Daniels did well on the final drive and showed promise by improvising on the fly. Colin Kaepernick was on the field for four snaps and missed a wide open Chad Hall in the first quarter.
Running backs: C-
Frank Gore's opening 52-yard run prevents this grade from being lower. LaMichael James had only five carries for 17 yards while Jewel Hampton did little until the late fourth quarter. The 49ers gave Hampton most of the playing time in the second half and he wasn't effective minus two carries of 8 and 12 yards.
Wide Receivers: C-
The starters only played on the opening possession and it took a long time for the wide receiver to have a reception in this game. It took 28 minutes until Chad Hall broke the ice and caught a pass from Scott Tolzien late in the second quarter. Hall was the best receiver on the night and could have had more if a few passes were on target. Chuck Jacobs and Lavelle Hawkins were decent in the fourth quarter against the Chiefs' scout team defense.
It wasn't fun for A.J. Jenkins as he had a 21-yard reception called back by a holding penalty and he remained shutout for the second consecutive preseason game. He covered by Sean Smith for the entire night.
Tight Ends: C-
Vernon Davis was only on the field for handful of plays while Garrett Celek received most of the snaps. He had minimal contributions to the passing game, but struggled in blocking. MarQueis Gray had a 13-yard reception during the game-winning drive at the end.
Offensive Line: D
Mike Iupati allowed a sack in the first quarter, but the first-team offensive line was good in pass protection. They struggled throughout the game in giving holes for the running backs with minimal yardage on the ground. The second team offensive line was penalty prone as well as almost allowing a safety in the third quarter. A handful of cuts will most likely happen from this unit when the roster is trimmed to 75.
Defensive Line: A-
The starters in Justin Smith, Ray McDonald and Ian Williams did well at getting to the backfield. Out of the reserves, Mike Purcell did well in the second half while Glenn Dorsey was invisible for the night.
The inside linebackers were good at stopping the run. Michael Wilhoite had another standout performance in both coverage and tackling in the box. Nick Moody was also a tackling machine and prevented anyone from passing him.
The outside had good pass rushing from Corey Lemonier and even Cam Johnson. Parys Haralson also beat the Chiefs' first overall pick Eric Fisher for a sack.
There were only a few minor mistakes by Tramaine Brock which prevented this grade from being perfect, but he had a solid game overall. The Chiefs' passing game did not throw deep and keep going underneath to the running backs and tight ends, which mean no receptions for a wide receiver in the first half. Nnamdi Asomugha had a good game in coverage while Perrish Cox was doing everything from blitzing to defending passes.
The safeties were not tested with anything thrown their way which meant the coverage was great. Eric Reid blitz when the Chiefs were in the red zone and forced Alex Smith to throw an incomplete pass on third down.
Special Teams: D+
The kick return coverage ended up being a problem this game when the 49ers allowed a 104 return on the kickoff for a touchdown by Quintin Demps. There was also a bad penalty by Trenton Robinson for running out of bounds and not coming back in play while running down the sidelines during a punt. The team also allowed a 53-yard punt return by Devon Wylie which won't make Brad Seely happy.
Andy Lee was below average with two shanked punts, but Colton Schmidt did well when under pressure from his own end zone. Phil Dawson went perfect making three out of three attempts, including two 55-yard field goals. Parys Haralson also prevents this grade from being lower with a blocked punt.