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Bland game, blase grades

  • Coach Jim Harbaugh congratulates Vernon Davis on his 3rd quarter touchdown. The San Francisco 49ers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 23-7 on Sunday, November 20, 2011. (JOHN BURGESS / PD)

After every 49ers' home game this season, Press Democrat staff writer Phil Barber will grade the 49ers' performance. Following are his grades for the team after Sunday's win over the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park:


Quarterbacks: C

Alex Smith missed several receivers and threw a pick, but compared favorably to Arizona QBs.

Running Backs: B

Only 3.3 yards per carry, but tough running by committee as Gore/Hunter/Dixon combined for 147.

Receivers: B

Big days by Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams overshadow Braylon Edwards' struggles.

Offensive Line: B

Most importantly, no sacks. A few struggles in short yardage.

Defensive Line: B

Weird fact: just one tackle for the entire unit. Justin Smith did hit the QB twice.

Linebackers: A

Patrick Willis had 7 tackles and an interception, and forced a fumble. Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith had sacks.

Defensive Backs: A

Group had 6 passes defensed on a day when Cards completed only 14. Interceptions for Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson.

Special Teams: C

NaVorro Bowman recovered a fumbled punt, but Akers missed 3 field goals, including two that got blocked.

Coaching/Overall: B

A bland victory over a weak opponent - and the Niners will take it every time.

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