49ers report card: Grading offense, defense in 38-10 thrashing of Cardinals

MEXICO CITY — The 49ers on Monday night made this place their home.

The 49ers treated their large international fanbase to a complete-game performance in a 38-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at Estadio Azteca.

It was a memorable night for the 49ers, made even more special with their most impressive showing of the season — fighting against a team that’s going nowhere and playing its backup quarterback.

Here’s a look at the 49ers’ report card from a thorough beatdown of the Cardinals:

Rushing offense

While the game was still in question, the 49ers featured five different runners, including Jimmy Garoppolo and fullback Kyle Juszczyk, both of whom collected first downs on short runs.

Elijah Mitchell saw a reduction in playing time after his 89-yard performance a week earlier against the Los Angeles Chargers. But he still led the way with 59 yards on nine rushing attempts

Deebo Samuel provided one of the highlights of the game with his electric 39-yard touchdown run, which featured center Jake Brendel delivering a pancake block of Cardinals safety Budda Baker 30 yards down the field.

Despite playing against a six-man line, the 49ers still ran the ball effectively, gaining 159 yards on 28 carries for a 5.7-yard average.

Grade: A

Passing offense

Garoppolo was the model of efficiency on Monday night with a high completion percentage and a strong success rate on third downs.

Garoppolo and McCaffrey had nice chemistry, as they teamed up for completions on all seven of his target for 67 yards.

Brandon Aiyuk caught only two passes but both went for touchdowns. His first one game the 49ers a 7-3 lead, and his second score sealed the deal in the second half.

Tight end George Kittle scored on touchdown catches of 36 and 32 yards. He had a game-high 84 yards.

The 49ers’ pass protection was outstanding, as Garoppolo had plenty of time to throw and was not sacked.

Grade: A

Rushing defense

The 49ers’ run defense was impenetrable, as the group allowed just 67 yards on 24 rushing attempts for an average of 2.8 yards per carry.

James Conner scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, but on the night he managed only 42 yards on 14 rushing attempts.

Linebacker Dre Greenlaw had a strong night with nine tackles.

Grade: A

Passing defence

Nickel back Jimmie Ward came up with one of the big plays early in the game when he collected an interception from a Colt McCoy pass.

McCoy likes to get rid of the ball quickly, and when the Cardinals fell behind he was forced to attempt more than just underneath throws.

Nick Bosa, Kevin Givens and Fred Warner registered sacks.

Sam Womack kept the second-half shutout intact with an interception in the closing minutes of the game.

McCoy completed 24 of 34 passes for 218 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Grade: A

Special teams

Womack has emerged into one of the top players of that unit. His play to bat the ball backward at the goal line enabled Tarvarius Moore to down Mitch Wishnowsky’s punt at the 4-yard line.

Wishnowsky averaged 54.5 yards on four punts with an impressive net average of 45.8 yards.

Robbie Gould made a 39-yard field goal and, as expected in the high altitude, all seven of his kickoffs were touchbacks.

Grade: A


It appears it was a good idea for the 49ers to train at the Air Force Academy in Colorado to acclimate to the high altitude, after all.

Coach Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans pushed all the right buttons and made the adjustments to lead a master class against the overmatched Arizona Cardinals.

Grade: A


It took a while, but the 49ers have found their identity.

RELATED: Where 49ers stand in NFC playoff picture of win over Cardinals

The Cardinals are not a good team. They are going nowhere, but the 49ers left no doubt in this one.

Arizona is a team the 49ers should have beaten handily on Monday night, and that is exactly what they did.

Grade: A

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