49ers vs. Seahawks offensive grades: Offense finally moving, but bad news continues for SF

The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 27-7, earning their first victory of the 2022 campaign, but it came with bad news, as second-year quarterback Trey Lance is expected to miss the rest of the 2022 campaign with an ankle fracture.

Here are the offensive grades for the 49ers in Week 2:

Quarterbacks: B

The 49ers’ offense was moving immediately with Trey Lance at the helm, with Kyle Shanahan drawing up a gameplan that opened up the run game early and often, which made sense given that the Seahawks gave up 5.1 yards per carry in Week 1 against the run .

On the 12 rushing plays in which Lance was at quarterback, the offense gained nine yards per carry, as the offense gained 143 yards on the two drives before Lance’s injury.

Many have argued that the gameplan for Lance was too rush-centric, however; that’s what the game pace dictated and credit to head coach Kyle Shanahan for sticking with what was working: the rushing attack, rather than shying away and overthinking the situation.

Unfortunately, Lance suffered the season-ending injury in a freak accident during a quarterback-option, meaning that Jimmy Garoppolo, who was expected to be moved all offseason, is now the signal-caller for the 2022 season.

Based on his performance on those two drives, I would’ve graded Lance at an A-. I believed that there were some plays where he made the incorrect read when running the quarterback option, which is something he’ll need to work on with more repetitions.

With Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm, the 49ers’ offense initially was strong, as head coach Kyle Shanahan drew up wide-open receivers for easier throws en route to a four-play, 78-yard touchdown drive.

However, following that drive, the offense simmered, as the run game failed to re-establish itself without the threat of a rushing attack at quarterback. On the 33 plays where the 49ers ran the ball following Lance’s departure, the team gained just 81 yards of offense, rushing at a 2.45 yards-per-carry clip. If you take out Kyle Juzczyk and Jimmy Garoppolo’s carries, that number only increases to 2.78 yards-per-carry.

Garoppolo finished the game by completing 13/21 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown in the air and on the ground. However, following that early touchdown drive, Garoppolo went just 9/17 for 84 yards, raising concerns as to how this offense will function without top running back Elijah Mitchell and whether opposing teams will dare Kyle Shanahan to throw the football by stacking defenders in the box.

Overall, Garoppolo’s performance included some nicely-placed throws, including a 40-yard deep pass to Brandon Aiyuk on a well-thrown back-shoulder fade that the receiver couldn’t corral in. However, there were several misses as well, and the offense looked stagnant for periods of time when the veteran was out on the field.

Garoppolo does get a pass in my eyes, given that he’s coming off shoulder surgery and hasn’t been practicing with the first-team offense as he’s the scout-team quarterback, even though he’s been with the organization for five seasons in this system. Still, the offense will need to be better if the 49ers are to make a run in the playoffs.

Running Backs: B

After an underwhelming performance in Week 1, where he rushed for just 24 yards on nine carries, Jeff Wilson Jr. had a bounce-back week, earing 84 yards on 18 carries. Wilson Jr. looked good in the early part of the game, making nice cuts and being a primary reason that the offense was moving as it did on the first two scoring drives.

Tyrion Davis-Price, the backup to Wilson in Week 2, did not have a great statistical performance, rushing 14 times for just 33 yards. But, Davis-Price’s explosion was on display at the line of scrimmage, especially on his early 20-yard run, giving a reason for intrigue.

However, Davis-Price suffered a high-ankle sprain in the game, head coach Kyle Shanahan said, meaning that the rookie third-rounder will miss the next few weeks of the season.

As mentioned above, the run game did fluctuate when Garoppolo entered the game, averaging under three yards per carry, which will be something to monitor as the 49ers transition to a new (but not really) quarterback.

Overall, with a bounce-back week and a mid-game adjustment due to Lance’s injury, the running backs get a B grade.

Wide Receivers: A-

Even with Jimmy Garoppolo in the fold, receiver Brandon Aiyuk was the leading receiver for the 49ers, hauling in a team-high eight targets, five catches, and 63 yards.

Aiyuk did have a big drop on a 40-yard back-shoulder fade from Garoppolo on a tough, but catchable, ball.

Deebo Samuel’s versatility continued to be on display as the newly-extended receiver caught five passes for 44 yards on six targets, while rushing four times for 53 yards, including a spectacular 51-yard play on a rush that appeared stuck from the beginning.

Ray-Ray McCloud and Juan Jennings had one catch and two targets a piece, with the former running a nice route to the outside for a 16-yard gain on a third down.

While Jennings didn’t have as big of an impact in the passing game in Week 2, he appeared to get into the heads of several Seattle defenders towards the end of the game with some ferocious run-blocking.

Danny Gray, San Francisco’s other third-round pick, was not on the same page as Garoppolo, with the duo misfiring on both of their attempted connections.

On the first play, it appeared that safety Quandre Diggs sat on Gray’s deep route on 4th & 9, forcing him closer to the boundary, making the throw a tight window to which Garoppolo could not get it over the top.

Tight Ends: B-

Once again, the tight ends did not have as big of an impact on the day, with the lone target to the group going to Ross Dwelley on his 38-yard touchdown where Kyle Shanahan schemed him wide-open on the play.

However, in the running game, Charlie Woerner made some nice blocks that allowed for the completion of certain runs, boosting the production and grade of the unit.

Still, the 49ers faced some more bad news at the position as Kyle Shanahan announced that Tyler Kroft would miss weeks with an MCL sprain, depleting the unit even further.

Hopefully, the 49ers will return star tight end George Kittle in Week 3 when they face the Denver Broncos. It’s currently unclear whether Kroft will be placed on IR, which would allow the team to create another roster spot, where they could potentially get another tight end on the roster.

Offensive Line: B+

After a down performance in Week 1, especially from the tackles when compared to expectations, the 49ers offensive line bounced back in Week 2, leading the charge for a strong rushing performance early in the game, while also holding up in pass protection.

Aaron Banks and Spencer Burford were both big factors in Week 2, with the former allowing just one pressure, while the latter allowed zero on the day. Banks’s IQ was on display as he consistently found work to do, be it finishing other blocks, picking up blitzers, or getting to the second level in the run game, while Burford’s strength could be clearly visualized.

Center Jake Brendel had an up-and-down game after a fairly strong performance in Week 1, fumbling a snap, but mainly being somewhat inconsistent with four blown blocks, according to Sports Info Solutions.

Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey seemed to have bounce-back weeks as well after rougher showings in Week 1, as the entire team allowed just one sack to Uchenna Nwosu, who was the NFC Defensive Player of the Week against the Denver Broncos.

The offensive line did simmer down towards the end of the game, as the rushing attack wasn’t as sustainable when Jimmy Garoppolo entered, although the team had a strong final drive during which they went 13 plays for 63 yards and a touchdown. Of those 13 plays, 11 were rushing plays.

The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

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