After every 49ers game this season, Press Democrat staff writer Eric Branch will grade the team's performance. Following are his grades after Sunday's win over the Broncos in London:

A

QUARTERBACK Troy Smith didn't commit a turnover and compiled a quarterback rating of 115.2, a figure Alex Smith has topped twice in 50 career games.

B

RUNNING BACKS Frank Gore (29 carries, 118 yards) got a rest ... when the Niners led by one score with 2:14 left in the game? Such curious decisions, obviously, aren't quite as magnified in wins.

B

WIDE RECEIVERS Delanie Walker and Michael Crabtree had six of their eight catches and 122 of their 138 yards in the second half, when the Niners needed it most.

B

OFFENSIVE LINE Smith wasn't sacked and there were no false-start penalties, a favorite transgression through seven games. But the Niners managed just 3.4 yards a carry against one of the NFL's worst units vs. the rush.

A

DEFENSIVE LINE Justin Smith (2 sacks) set the tone by snuffing out a reverse on the game's third play. The Broncos (17 carries, 59 yards) can't run and the Niners made sure they maintained the status-quo.

A

LINEBACKERS If Pro Bowl berths were based only on Week 8 performances, Manny Lawson would be heading to Hawaii. Kyle Orton will be seeing Lawson in his nightmares. In July.

C

DEFENSIVE BACKS Had to see this one coming after last week's 308-yard performance from Matt Moore. Orton threw for 260 of his 369 yards in the second half. Will James must have breathed a sigh of relief when Orton's final pass was intended for Jabar Gaffney and not human-highlight-film Brandon Lloyd (7 catches, 169 yards).

B

SPECIAL TEAMS Ted Ginn's 36-yard kickoff return set up the game-tying, fourth-quarter TD drive. Two things come to mind when watching Ginn: 1. He doesn't enjoy contact. 2. He's fast. And the Niners could use some more guys that move like he does.

C

COACHING/OVERALL Yes, it was a win. But they didn't take the reins off Troy Smith until it was almost too late, they didn't seem to notice that Gore's longest run came on a sweep outside and they put rookie Anthony Dixon in with the game on the line.