SANTA CLARA -- Here are the San Francisco 49ers' grades for their 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
Trey Lance completed 2 of 3 pass attempts for 30 yards before he broke his ankle in the second quarter on a run between the tackles -- a play which Kyle Shanahan called (more on him in a minute). Lance will miss the entire season, which means he has started just four games since 2019. Jimmy Garoppolo replaced him and completed a respectable 62 percent of his passes and threw for a modest 154 yards and one touchdown against a bad team. Garoppolo is good enough to lead the 49ers back to the playoffs, but not good enough to lead them to a Super Bowl victory -- we know this already. He's the same quarterback he always has been. But at least he'll keep the season interesting.
RUNNING BACKS: B.
Kyle Juszczyk scored a rushing touchdown. Jeff Wilson Jr. ran hard and gained 4.6 yards per carry. And Ty Davis-Price also ran hard and had a 20-yard gain on the ground. But other than that play, he gained just 13 rushing yards on 13 carries. Kyle Shanahan should have given his carries to undrafted rookie free agent Jordan Mason, but didn't because Shanahan handpicked Davis-Price in Round 3 of the draft.
WIDE RECEIVERS: B-PLUS.
Brandon Aiyuk had five catches for 64 yards, and Deebo Samuel had 97 yards from scrimmage.
TIGHT ENDS: B.
George Kittle didn't play, and no one noticed, because Ross Dwelley caught a 38-yard touchdown. George who?
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: B.
They gave up just one sack, but the rushing attack averaged just 4.2 yards per carry, which is subpar.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: A.
Nick Bosa recorded two sacks, and the Seahawks averaged just 2.6 yards per carry. Kevin Givens also had four tackles and three tackles for loss. He was the 49ers' best defensive tackle.
Dre Greenlaw made eight tackles and a tackle for loss, then was rewarded after the game with a two-year contract extension.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: A.
They recorded five pass breakups, and free safety Tashaun Gipson intercepted Geno Smith. Good night, Seattle.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C-MINUS.
They gave up a blocked field goal and allowed the Seahawks to return it for a touchdown, which cut the 49ers' lead to 13 points. These were the only points Seattle scored all game.
A win is a win, and Kyle Shanahan and DeMeco Ryans get credit for having the 49ers ready to blow out an inferior opponent at home. Ryans in particular did a great job, as his defense gave up zero points. But Shanahan sacrificed the future of the season and the franchise to win one game, and he did that by repeatedly calling unnecessary quarterback runs between the tackles in the first and second quarter. Why were they unnecessary? Because the running backs were running well. Jeff Wilson Jr. gained 20 yards on his first three carries before Lance's injury, which occured on 2nd and 8. Which means Shanahan ran Lance between the tackles not to pick up a first down or a touchdown, but to pick up a mere four yards. The 49ers could have picked up four yards plenty of other ways. Shanahan did not have to run Lance between the tackles on 2nd and 8 in the second quarter to win this game. His risk-reward analysis was ridiculous in this case. It's one thing to call a quarterback draw on third down against a lighter nickel defense that expects the offense to pass -- it's a completely different thing to run a quarterback between the tackles against a base defense with all those behemoth defensive linemen on the field. When Lance got hit, he also took a vicious shot to the helmet and looked concussed. Shanahan clearly learned nothing from Lance's first start last season in Arizona when Shanahan used Lance like a battering ram and he injured his knee. Nor did Shanahan learn anything from coaching Robert Griffin III, another quarterback Shanahan ran into the ground. Now we have no idea if Lance will be the same when he returns. What a shame. What a waste of three first-round picks. Shanahan could write a book on how not to develop a young quarterback. Before the season, I thought Shanahan had grown, which is why I picked the 49ers to win the Super Bowl. Now I see he hasn't grown, and I'm beginning to think he never will win a Super Bowl as the head coach of the 49ers. I sincerely hope I'm wrong.