49ers Testimony: Offense, Defense Rating in 37-20 win over Commanders

SANTA CLARA — Kyle Shanahan admitted he was frustrated the 49ers were tied with the Washington Commanders at halftime on Saturday.

But the 49ers scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to take control of a 37-20 win at Levi’s Stadium.

The Commanders stayed through the fourth quarter when the 49ers settled for three short field goals from Robbie Gould.

“It should have been a lot worse than it was,” Shanahan said.

Still, the 49ers, the No. 3 in the NFC, made more than enough games to earn the crucial win over a team that is currently No. 7 and the last seed in the NFC playoffs. The Commanders (7-7-1) are a half game ahead of Seattle and Detroit.

Here’s a look at the 49ers’ testimony from their Week 16 game:

Rushing Offense

The 49ers faced one of the NFL’s best defenses, and the commanders were determined not to allow the 49ers to control that game on the ground.

Christian McCaffrey and Ty Davis-Price didn’t have much room to take on Washington’s stacked box, though the 49ers broke through when wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud took a handoff on an orbital move, picking up blocks from Mike McGlinchey, McCaffrey, Jauan Jennings and Willie Snead to turn the corner and run away for a 71-yard touchdown run.

McCaffrey finished with 46 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries while Davis-Price had 30 yards on nine carries. McCloud’s touchdown run was his only carry of the day.

Grade B

pass offensive

Brock Purdy kept the 49ers going with another strong performance on Saturday. The rookie completed 15 of 22 attempts for 234 yards with two touchdown passes, threw an interception, and finished with a 114.6 passer rating.

Purdy hit twice on touchdown plays with tight end George Kittle. The first was a ball down center meant for McCloud, but Kittle altered his route to make the grab for a 34-yard touchdown in front of McCloud.

Later in the third quarter, Kittle converted a short Purdy pass into a 33-yard touchdown on the 49ers’ next drive.

Purdy threw an interception that wasn’t his fault as Jennings bobbled a pass on target and safety Darrick Forrest allowed the interception.

Purdy converted fourth and third plays late in the game with a throw to Kittle in a narrow window.

Kittle had six receptions for 120 yards while Brandon Aiyuk added 81 yards on five catches.

Class: A

Rushing Defense

The Commanders are a running team, but they couldn’t find anything to take on the 49ers’ burly front seven.

That didn’t stop Washington from trying, however, as they gained just 79 yards on 33 rushing attempts for a measly 2.4-yard average. The Commanders’ lead rusher, Brian Robinson, only rushed for 58 yards on 22 attempts.

Pro Bowl linebacker Fred Warner came through with 13 tackles, including tackles to stop two fourth-down attempts.

Class: A

pass defense

Defensive end Nick Bosa recorded two sacks and set a new career high at 17.5, along with four quarterback rushes, while also notching another unrecorded sack to stop a two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter.

Jimmie Ward had an interception in the fourth quarter

However, the commanders had some success in the passing game. Taylor Heinicke completed 13 of 18 for 166 yards with two touchdowns while Carson Wentz was 12 of 16 for 123 yards and a touchdown.

Washington’s two quarterbacks had a combined passer rating of 115.9.

Grade: B-minus

Special teams

Robbie Gould was perfect on his three field goal attempts in the fourth quarter, but the highlight of that phase of the game was the 49ers’ cover.

San Francisco’s kick coverage unit was particularly strong, with George Odum having an incredible day with four tackles.

Washington averaged 15.5 on six kickoff returns.

Class: A


Shanahan was a little more aggressive from the start, betting for a fourth and one in the first quarter, though the 49ers’ option attempt with Kyle Juszczyk failed at that point.

Late in the fourth quarter, Shanahan followed up with a fourth and three, and Purdy delivered to Kittle with a close.

The 49ers pushed all the right buttons offensively, including running play against McCloud, which broke a goalless tie in the second quarter.

RELATED: How Shanahan hilariously used Deebo to start McCloud’s TD

The 49ers’ offense showed more vulnerability than it has in a while against an offense not known to be productive.

Class: A

In total

The Commanders have a playoff defense, and the 49ers came through with a well-rounded game.

Players appeared on offense, defense, and special teams en route to San Francisco’s eighth straight win.

Grade: A minus

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