Colts vs. 49ers: Live Grades and Analysis for San Francisco

Phil GCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2013

September 22, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55) as cornerback Carlos Rogers (22) looks on during the first quarter at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

In a shocking outcome, Andrew Luck and his Indianapolis Colts went into Candlestick Park and defeated the 49ers, 27-7. Check out final grades and analysis below.



Indianapolis Colts- 27

San Francisco 49ers- 7


Game Analysis for the San Francisco 49ers

Pass Offense: The 49ers passing attack was dreadful to start the half. Colin Kaepernick has looked awful in his last eight quarters of play. Despite some improved play from the 49ers' stable of running backs, this passing offense continues to underperform. Anquan Boldin was the only 49ers receiver who could get open. He finished with 55 yards receiving, while quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw for 114 yards and one interception. This is the second consecutive game for the 49ers without a passing touchdown.

Run Offense: While the rushing attack improved in this game, the 49ers didn’t fully take advantage of a suspect Colts defense. Frank Gore looked far better on the ground in this game than in the last two weeks. Gore carried the ball 11 times for 82 yards. The rushing attack was fine in the first half, but the Niners only added 10 yards to their total in the second half. The 49ers finished the game with 112 yards on the ground.

Pass Defense: Andrew Luck picked apart this 49ers secondary in the third quarter. The 49ers corners were solid in the first half but looked awful to start the second half. Reggie Wayne wasn’t spectacular, but he proved effective against this 49ers secondary. Luck finished with 164 yards passing, while Wayne reeled in five catches for 63 yards. If there was a bright spot, it was rookie safety Eric Reid. Reid will likely be in the discussion for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Run Defense: Many of the 49ers' struggles in Week 2 showed up in the second half of this loss to the Colts. Ahmad Bradshaw led the way for the Colts with 94 yards rushing, but it was a collective effort by this Colts running game. The Colts finished the day with 180 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns. In all of 2012, the 49ers only gave up seven rushing touchdowns. In the last two games, the 49ers have given up five.

Special Teams: 49ers punter Andy Lee matched a great first half with an excellent second half. The 49ers coverage unit didn’t give up any big plays and was solid overall. The 49ers should get LaMichael James back next week, which should kick-start their lackluster kick/punt return game.

Coaching: Jim Harbaugh and company usually do a solid job with adjustments at halftime; however, the 49ers looked mediocre to start the third quarter against the Colts and have looked sloppy and undisciplined in consecutive games. A rare site to behold after all their success the past two seasons.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Anthony Dixon #24 of the San Francisco 49ers runs against Kelvin Sheppard #52 of the Indianapolis Colts and Antoine Bethea #41 at Candlestick Park on September 22, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobs
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

First-half Analysis for the San Francisco 49ers

Pass Offense: Colin Kaepernick was awful in the first half. After a subpar performance against the Seattle Seahawks last week, many expected the young quarterback to bounce back against a mediocre Colts secondary. The opposite has happened. Kaepernick looked rattled in the pocket, and the offensive line isn’t to blame for his shaky performance thus far. In the first half, Kaepernick was 2-of-8 for 38 passing yards. Anquan Boldin was the only 49ers receiver with a catch in the first half.

Run Offense: After back-to-back unimpressive performances in the first two weeks of the season, the 49ers finally got Frank Gore and this rushing attack going. In the first quarter alone, the 49ers rushed for 73 yards. Gore accounted for 61 of those 73 rushing yards. Backup running back Kendall Hunter looked impressive in his 13-yard scamper for a touchdown in the first quarter. The 49ers finished with 102 rushing yards in the first half.

Pass Defense: Andrew Luck and this Colts offense looked sharp out the gate. Luck completed his first five passes, hooking up with three different receivers in their first series. The 49ers secondary looked dazed and confused in that first series, but their play improved as the game progressed. Luck threw for 94 passing yards in the first half.

Run Defense: Trent Richardson started his Colts career with a bang. Richardson capped off an impressive first drive by this Colts offense with a goal-line touchdown to give his team an early 7-0 lead. The Colts have looked solid on the ground thus far. Nothing spectacular. Against this stout 49ers defense, a balanced attack is key. The Colts have rushed for 65 yards in the first half.

Special Teams: Kyle Williams had a nice 14-yard return in the first quarter, but the 49ers couldn’t take advantage of the great field position. Punter Andy Lee was solid as usual. Kicker Phil Dawson didn’t attempt a field goal in the first half.

Coaching: It looks like 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman stuck to his word. Roman talked about emphasizing the running game coming into Week 3. With both Gore and Hunter having success on the ground in the first half, I would say Greg Roman should be pleased with his offense. The 49ers did struggle with penalties in the first half, however.