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49ers 21, Seahawks 28: Grades

The Jimmy Garoppolo Era is over.

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers just lost 28-21 to the Seattle Seahawks, and now find themselves in last place in the NFC West with a 2-2 record. Here are the 49ers' grades for this performance.


Jimmy Garoppolo started out well, as he completed his first 6 throws. But he injured his calf, and completed just 8 of his next 17 throws, and did not play in the second half. Afterward, he held back tears as he said he hopes he only will miss a couple weeks. I feel for Garoppolo, but the 49ers should bench him for the rest of the season. He's the past. The Garoppolo Era in Santa Clara is over. 

Trey Lance needs as much experience as he can get, because right now he is so poorly coached on the finer points of playing quarterback, it's hard to watch. When he replaced Garoppolo, Lance relied 100 percent on his athletic ability and playground instincts, and he was effective at times playing this way because he's such an athletic playmaker. But the 49ers have not improved one aspect of Lance's game from a passing perspective since he joined the team, and that's on Kyle Shanahan. More on him below.


Trey Sermon rushed for 89 yards and averaged 4.7 yards per carry. He never was the problem with the 49ers' running game -- the blocking was the issue, and it improved in this game.


Deebo Samuel is the best player on the offense. Today, he had 8 catches for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns. He's off to a Jerry-Rice-esque pace this season. None of the other wide receivers made an impact, though.


George Kittle played through a calf injury and struggled -- he caught just 4 of 11 targets and gained only 40 yards. But his backup, Ross Dwelley, caught a beautiful 21-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo. That was the only pass Dwelley received all game. Shameful not to get him more involved.


Alex Mack improved tremendously from last week, while Daniel Brunskill did not -- he's still terrible. But collectively, this group did well blocking in the run game. Unfortunately for the 49ers, Trent Williams left the game with a shoulder injury. That's not good.


They put Russell Wilson under pressure for most of the game and stopped the run well, too. Good bounce-back performance by a defensive line that got dominated by Green Bay last week.

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Fred Warner did an excellent job stopping the run, and so did Azeez Al-Shaair, although he also gave up a touchdown catch. Overall, the front seven played quite well.

SAFETIES: A-MINUS. Jimmie Ward gave up a touchdown at the goalline, but otherwise did a good job, as did his counterpart, Jaquiski Tartt. They're a consistent, solid duo.


The 49ers have committed eight pass interference penalties through four games -- tops in the NFL. Today, backup cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick commited one, which is to be expected. The 49ers are trying to win games with corners they picked up at the bus station. Not easy.


Robbie Gould injured his groin in warmups and didn't play. His replacement, Mitch Wishnowsky, missed a field goal and an extra point. And the kick returner, Trenton Cannon, fumbled twice on the same kick return, and the Seahawks recovered deep inside 49ers territory. Who knows, the 49ers might have won this game had Cannon not made that mistake.


DeMeco Ryans did a solid job with the backup cornerbacks the 49ers provided him. He managed to limit the Seahawks offense to a miniscule 4.3 yards per play, which is impressive.

But Ryans is a mere footnote. Shanahan is the main story here. He faced a Seahawks team that had zero first downs and negative 11 net yards 25 minutes into the game and still lost. Which means Shanahan has lost 9 of his past 10 home games. And now, his win-loss record as a head coach is 31-37. Next week, after he loses to the Arizona Cardinals, it will be 31-38.

It's becoming abundantly clear that Shanahan is not a good head coach -- he makes erratic decisions that cost his team victories. But it's also becoming clear he's not a good quarterback developer, either. None of his quarterbacks the past five years ever improved. And now, Lance looks like a complete novice. 

That's what happens, Kyle, when you as the head coach and offensive coordinator have not adequately prepared your No. 2 quarterback in training camp, preseason and the regular season. Everyone knew Jimmy Garoppolo isn't good enough and would get injured this season -- the fact that he lasted 3.5 games is progress for him. The transition to Lance was inevitable, and yet Shanahan hasn't prepared for it.

Which means Shanahan is on the hot seat. Or he should be. If the 49ers miss the playoffs, and they might, they should fire Shanahan. 

No more excuses.