Some of these players were effective because of their consistency throughout, while others came up big in tight situations. On the other hand, there were players that happened to be exposed this week, while others fell short of their respective expectations.
Taking a look back at San Francisco's statement victory in Week 14, we've narrowed down individual grades and analysis for each player. Below includes the criteria and thought process when making final decisions on each.
Feel free to leave your own report card below in the comment section.
- Expectations: Some players can look really good out there, but how much did they leave on the field?
- Statistics: If you were blanked, booming or something in between, this plays a significant role as to how a player is graded.
- Impact: Stats are great and all, but did those yards come in garbage time or on a 3rd-and-long? The clutch value factors in here.
- Consistency: One big play can change a game, but consistency down-to-down can make sure you win it. Who was bringing it on every play?
Statistics provided by ESPN.com Game Center and Pro Football Reference, unless specified otherwise.
Colin Kaepernick: B-
On Sunday, Kap finished 15-of-29 for 175 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 67.5 QB rating.
He also racked up 31 yards on nine runs, some of which were designed, as opposed to just scrambles. It wasn’t a terrible showing, seeing as he didn’t make any costly mistakes against a very good defense.
However, when presented with the opportunity, Kaepernick did not impose his will and take the game over.
There were multiple red-zone chances where the team failed to capitalize, which could’ve hurt San Francisco down the line. It would’ve been nice to see that same confidence from him as either a thrower or a runner. He appeared hesitant, fearful of slipping up.
Had he been more assertive, Kaepernick would've had a higher grade.
Frank Gore: A+
Frank Gore finished the day with an average of 6.5 yards per carry, gashing the Seahawks defense for 110 yards, including a long of 51 yards. The 49ers tailback’s last burst was the equivalent of a game-winning drive for a quarterback. Gore exploded through when the team needed it most and set up the game-winning field goal.
He is a viable candidate for the game ball.
Kendall Hunter: N/A
It’s getting harder and harder to provide a fair grade when it comes to Kendall Hunter or any of the backup running backs in San Francisco for that matter. It appeared as if the 49ers' No. 2 tailback was more engaged this game, but appearances can be deceiving, as Hunter still only carried the ball four times.
His 16 yards contributed to the pot, but it’s dissatisfying when he’s capable of much more.
LaMichael James: N/A
Tailback LaMichael James had no carries or receptions in Sunday’s game, perpetuating his non-existent role on offense. The coaches have not been working the stretch or toss plays with James or using him in the read-option. Screens haven’t shown up either. However, he did continue his featured role as a return man.
Bruce Miller: B+
Fullback Bruce Miller was involved again in Week 14, earning six total touches. He had three carries for six yards, which included a couple first downs. Miller also managed three grabs for 21 yards. While he is not the most dynamic, No. 49 has emerged as Kap’s favorite checkdown receiver, of which the quarterback does not have many.
Vernon Davis: B
Vernon Davis was only targeted three times, which was the second-lowest number of the season (two in the Week 10 loss to the Carolina Panthers).
However, the 49ers star tight end did reel in two of those passes for 21 yards and a touchdown. This TD was Kaepernick’s only one of the day and Davis’ 11th on the season. He has been an all-star weapon for San Francisco this season. Every time he touches the ball, it's an impact play.
The quality of Davis' use has become most apparent in 2013.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 9, 2013
Vance McDonald: D+
While his former Rice teammate Luke Willson went off for the Seahawks (70 yards and a touchdown), McDonald did not earn a single target. The team’s second-round draft pick continued to function in a run-blocking role for the most part and a decoy in the passing game.
He has had no significant impact on the passing offense this season.
Anquan Boldin: A
First-year 49er Anquan Boldin has continued to be the workhorse receiver for the San Francisco passing offense, even with last year’s starters back in the lineup. On Sunday, he racked up 93 yards at 15.5 yards apiece, making some man-sized catches over the Seahawks cornerbacks, including Richard Sherman.
Believe it or not, Boldin currently leads the 49ers in receptions and yards, and he is on pace to hit the 1,000-yard mark, which he hasn’t done since his last year with the Arizona Cardinals in 2009. He only needs 85 yards over the next three games to accomplish it.
Anquan Boldin on DBs playing physical: "If guys want to pretend to be tough, I look forward to it."
— Scott Kegley (@ScottKegley) December 9, 2013
Michael Crabtree: B-
Michael Crabtree still looked a little rusty but also flashed that same brilliance from a season ago. He pulled in a couple clutch catches, including an acrobatic 17-yard grab down the left sideline. However, his grade takes a slight hit here because he had a drop and only caught 50 percent of his targets. The 49ers are still waiting on Crab to return to No. 1 production.
Mario Manningham: D-
Sorry Super Mario, but not too good. While No. 82 did not see a ton of field time, Manningham had four targets on the day and did not come up with any of them. With only three games remaining in the season, the Niners want to get all of their top three wideouts rolling, but that’s easier said than done.
Manningham is the only one who has been quiet over the past couple games.
Joe Staley: B-
Not perfect, Joe, but a solid performance against a very tough Seattle defensive front.
The Seahawks were bringing heat, and the pocket hasn’t been as sturdy as of late. Clearly the pass protection has struggled.
Even Staley got singed this week, as defensive end Chris Clemons spun him around like a top before working inside to sack Colin Kaepernick.
Adam Snyder: D-
On top of the 49ers having little to no run presence without Mike Iupati at left guard, Adam Snyder was torched for a sack on Sunday, proving that he just isn’t very good, even as a stopgap. Seeing this line without its starters this year, it’s clear the 49ers need to look to the draft for a starting-caliber backup.
Jonathan Goodwin: B-
Certainly not the worst performance by Jonathan Goodwin, as the 49ers rushed for 163 yards on the ground with one of best runs of the day coming up the middle. While he got thumped in pass protection a bit, everyone on the line did.
Alex Boone: B
The 49ers had a little more success running in the middle and toward the right side, which is Alex Boone’s territory. He has been San Francisco’s best interior O-lineman over the past few weeks with Iupati out of the lineup. That interior run presence has been all him. However, the pass protection wasn’t pristine.
Anthony Davis: B+
San Francisco tackle Anthony Davis has a long-standing relationship with Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril, stonewalling him in all of their NFL matchups. Although Avril got by a couple times, whacking Colin Kaepernick, Davis held him without a sack once again.
Justin Smith: A+
Wait, an A+ for a player that didn’t even show up in the box score? That’s pretty much Justin Smith in a nutshell. He can be a game’s most influential player without ever having to make a tackle. He did not finish with any numbers, but he was chasing down Russell Wilson, busting up the pocket and collapsing rushing lanes.
Justin Smith didn't show up on the stat sheet, but he sure did when watching the game.
— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) December 9, 2013
Glenn Dorsey: B+
Nose tackle Glenn Dorsey continued his superb season in the middle of the 49ers defense on Sunday, once again demonstrating his presence against the run. Even though Marshawn Lynch scored a TD, San Francisco had its best day versus the Seahawks back. He didn’t get rolling or have any tempo-setting runs, being held under 100 yards (3.6 YPC).
To be honest, a big reason the Niners were able to accomplish this was because of Glenn Dorsey being settled in his starting role inside.
Ray McDonald: A
As one of the more underrated players on the 49ers defense, Ray McDonald made his presence felt, piling up four tackles and one sack. Playing the run and pass, he had an all-around strong performance in his second game back from an ankle injury. McDonald set the edge and closed that pocket around Russell Wilson.
The 49ers All-Pro inside linebacker was exposed a bit in coverage on Sunday, getting burned by rookie tight end Luke Willson.
The Seahawks tight end had two big gainers against Willis on a day where he finished with 70 yards and a touchdown. Willis did finish the day with five tackles and also took Marshawn Lynch head on, but those lapses in coverage could’ve been backbreaking plays.
NaVorro Bowman: A+
NaVorro Bowman was once again your tackle leader, racking up nine on the day, including a sack on Russell Wilson. He was swarming the Seahawks QB when he left the pocket, getting really physical with him. Bowman also teed up Lynch at the line of scrimmage and put him down for a loss.
On top of that, No. 53 was solid in coverage. He’s playing outstanding football.
Ahmad Brooks: A-
The team’s sack leader was held without a QB hit on Sunday but was still effective versus the run and the pass. Brooks accrued five tackles, but his most notable play was when he got right up in the quarterback's face and made an excellent play, breaking up the short pass.
Aldon Smith: B-
At this point, the 49ers were probably expecting a little more out of Aldon Smith, who did not have one of his best games on Sunday. He only had one tackle, and while he had a couple pressures, there were some downs where Russell Wilson just had all day to throw. Smith did not pick up a sack.
Carlos Rogers: C+
The 49ers cornerbacks did not let up a lot of yards, but when they got hit, it was Carlos Rogers getting shown up. Not only was he exposed in coverage on multiple occasions, but he also did not tackle well. On Luke Willson’s 39-yard TD, he ran right through a halfhearted arm tackle by Rogers.
He did, however, finish with eight tackles, which was the most for the defensive backs on the day and second-most overall behind NaVorro Bowman.
Tramaine Brock: A
Starting once again for Tarell Brown (ribs), Tramaine Brock’s tremendous instincts were on display in this game, sticking the Seattle receivers. He had one of the defensive plays of the game, breaking on a route to Golden Tate on third down, getting a huge stop late in the game.
Eric Wright: B
In a year where the 49ers have really had to reach for depth at the position, free-agent signee Eric Wright has continued to play very well at the third featured cornerback spot, which is key in this defense. He played tight coverage throughout the game and came down with the walk-off interception.
The 49ers could look to bring Wright back next year.
Eric Reid: A
Fourteen weeks into the season and 49ers rookie Eric Reid is one of only six NFL safeties to have played 400-plus snaps and not allowed a touchdown in coverage.
This is one of the more impressive feats of a remarkable debut season for Reid that has seen him play at a Pro Bowl level already.
He finished with five tackles on the day, tying Patrick Willis and Ahmad Brooks.
Great win! Needed that one 😁
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) December 9, 2013
Donte Whitner: A
Donte Whitner has become a complete NFL safety for the 49ers, finding a way to become one of San Francisco’s consistent defensive players. Once again, the strong safety put forth a solid showing, this time versus tough competition that has had a lot of success taking shots downfield.
He would end the day with four tackles, but his most notable play was a pass breakup in the deep part of the secondary.
Andy Lee: A+
Booming kicks from Andy Lee really helped this 49ers defense out on a day where it needed every one pitching in. On four punts, Lee averaged 49.8 yards per attempt with a long of 54 yards. He also pinned the Seattle offense back inside its own 20-yard line on two separate occasions.
Phil Dawson: A+
The 49ers All-Pro placekicker can add a game-winner to his three 50-yarders and 19 consecutive field goals in 2013. Phil Dawson accounted for 13 of San Francisco’s 19 points on Sunday, hitting four times from the field and banging in a clutch 22-yarder to end it in the fourth quarter.
Not only was the coverage unit swarming on Sunday, but it was also making big plays. On top of a big hit by Ray Ventrone to back Seattle up, the 49ers also benefited from a blocked punt by special teams ace Kassim Osgood. Their guys were all over it. Return specialist LaMichael James also showed that quick-twitch ability, helping to position the offense.
James took out three kickoffs for 81 yards, boasting a solid 27.0-yard-per-return average.