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49ers' report card

  • Cardinals running back Tim Hightower is stopped by 49ers cornerback Nate Clements during the second half Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009 in Glendale, Ariz. (PAUL CONNORS / AP)

Quarterback

B

Little was asked of Shaun Hill, and he certainly did enough to help this team pull out the victory. On the winning TD drive, he threw for more than one-third of his total passing yards.

Running back

B

Frank Gore did not have much room to run, but he scored on a 6-yard run (his longest run of the game) and caught the game-winning TD pass in the fourth quarter.

Receivers

C

Isaac Bruce caught a 50-yard pass to set up the team's first TD. Vernon Davis and Josh Morgan combined for eight catches, but they did also let catchable passes slip away.

Offensive line

D

The 49ers had a difficult time accounting for the Cardinals' run blitzes. Adam Snyder struggled at right tackle, as he appeared responsible for three sacks.

Defensive line

A

It was a solid performance against the run and the pass with Justin Smith and Ray McDonald recording tackles.

Linebackers

A

Parys Haralson had a sack, two tackles for loss and four QB hurries. Patrick Willis had an interception and a game-high 13 tackles.

Defensive back

A

Nate Clements had an interception and played outstanding coverage on Larry Fitzgerald. It was a strong first game for Shawntae Spencer.

Special teams

A

Joe Nedney nailed a 50-yard FG, and Andy Lee averaged 49.1 yards (42.3 net) on eight punts to play a huge role in the victory.

Coaching/overall

B

There wasn't much imagination in the offensive approach, but there did not need to be. This will be the 49ers' formula for success. It's not pretty, but it was effective.

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