The 49ers defeated the Vikings 34-14 on Sunday evening. Here are the grades for the offense, defense and special teams:
This was a decent outing from Colin Kaepernick on his second possession when he was 6 for 6 and finished the drive with touchdown pass to Quinton Patton. Colt McCoy had a mixed day with an interception, but he rebounded well in the late second quarter and third quarter keeping plays alive. He showed good awareness and avoided sacks if possible. With the first-team offensive line, he looked more comfortable in the pocket when finding Anthony Dixon, Jon Baldwin and later Vance McDonald.
B.J. Daniels showed his mobility again and played well against the reserve defense of the Vikings. The most impressive highlight from him was a 22-yard pass to Lavelle Hawkins on third and 11. Seneca Wallace was only used on the final possession.
Running Backs: D+
The Vikings controlled most of the 49ers running game until late in the third quarter when the reserve defense came in. Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter were mostly stopped minus a few plays. LaMichael James showed his ability to keep plays alive, but he lacked vision in finding the open space and was held to only 15 yards on nine carries.
Jewel Hampton prevents this grade from being an "F" as he ran 45 yards on eight carries, averaging more than five yards per rushing attempt. He was rewarded with a touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter. Anthony Dixon did well in the second half.
Wide Receivers: A-
Almost everyone was involved in the passing game and Quinton Patton showed he belonged on the team. Patton had two clutch catches on third down which included a touchdown from Colin Kaepernick. Marlon Moore struggled most of the night against Xavier Rhodes, but he still had three receptions for 32 yards. Jon Baldwin showed he can be a big play receiver when he had a 19-yard reception in the third quarter.
Chad Hall would've been wide open for a touchdown had Colt McCoy not overthrown the ball at the end of the second quarter. Lavelle Hawkins even contributed with a 22-yard reception. Austin Collie and Chuck Jacobs saw limited action.
Tight Ends: B+
Vernon Davis was impressive in a short amount of playing time with back to back receptions on Kaepernick's touchdown drive. Vance McDonald had one highlight reel reception by leaping a defender for 15 yards. Garrett Celek prevents this grade from being an "A" as he struggled in blocking dropped a pass.
Offensive Line: C-
The second-team offensive line showed why they're reserves. Kenny Wiggins was called for penalties and the interior of the offensive line lost to the Vikings in the trenches. The running game was not good until Jewel Hampton faced the second and third team defenses of the Vikings. With the exception of Daniel Kilgore and Adam Snyder, the reserve linemen as a whole are not up to NFL standards.
Defensive Line: A
The Vikings running game was shut down for the most part as Adrian Peterson didn't play. Justin Smith made a monster hit on Toby Gerhart showing he is ready for the regular season. This was a decent outing for both Glenn Dorsey and Ian Williams, whom had a significant amount of split playing time at nose tackle. Tony Jerod-Eddie also had a solid game.
He didn't play much, but Ahmad Brooks looked great as a pass rusher and did everything well in this game. Brooks forced a fumble as well as knocked down pass besides bringing pressure on Christian Ponder. The interior of the inside linebackers did well at keeping everything in front of them. While most of the defensive plays were vanilla, they didn't allow any major mistakes.
This was a solid day for Nnamdi Asomugha as a team's third CB. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio made it clear there was separation between Asomugha and Tramaine Brock for the nickel cornerback position and it showed on the field that the former is leading the way. Brock was penalized for pass interference and allowed a few passes.
For the safeties, Eric Reid played well at not allowing anything deep in coverage. Like the linebackers, he kept everything in front of him when needed making two keys tackles in the middle of the field. There was one blooper where Michael Thomas should have had an interception, but it bounced off his hands and into a Viking's arms for a reception.
Special Teams: A
Coverage was solid all night long as they didn't give up any long returns on the punts or kickoffs. Phil Dawson nailed 30 and 50-yard field goal attempts even after Garrett Celek's holding penalty made the latter attempt 10-yards longer than before. Lavelle Hawkins scored a touchdown on a kickoff for 105 yards. As a bonus, Kevin McDermott did well as the reserve long-snapper on at least three plays.