Grading the NFC West: Week 2

Handing out grades to the 49ers' three divisional rivals in the NFC West for their losing performances in Week 2 games.


Cardinals report card: Washington 22, Arizona 21


PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Kevin Kolb shows tremendous poise and toughness in the pocket. And he can throw the long ball. He made a poor decision that resulted in an interception, but overall, he played well enough for the Cardinals to win.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- Beanie Wells gained all 93 of the Cardinals rushing yards on just 14 attempts. The Cardinals didn't have the ball much in the first half, so Wells' attempts were limited. The offensive line did a nice job run blocking.

PASS DEFENSE: C -- The Cardinals had two interceptions but they let Rex Grossman guide the Redskins to two scores in the fourth quarter. Coverage has been inconsistent with receivers running open far too many times. The Cardinals sacked Grossman just once.

RUSH DEFENSE: F -- The Cardinals were helpless to stop the Redskins in the first half. Tim Hightower pounded them for 83 of his 96 yards. The Cardinals were getting whipped up front and seemed helpless to stop it.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- The Redskins returned a punt 35yards but the Cardinals thwarted the scoring opportunity with a blocked field goal. Two kickoff returns didn't produce much and other areas were uneventful.

COACHING: D -- The Cardinals looked horrible on defense for the second consecutive week. In week one, they couldn't stop the pass. In week two, they couldn't stop the run. In both games, the defense has given up long drives early, which suggests game plans have not been up to standard. Offensively, you can see the Cardinals plan, but they are still making too many mistakes to carry it out efficiently.


Rams report card: New York 28, St. Louis 16


PASSING OFFENSE: C-plus -- That seems like a rough grade considering Bradford passed for a career-high 331 yards and didn't throw an interception. However, he completed less than 50 percent of his passes (22-for-46) and had a passer rating of 79.2 despite not having an interception and with an average per attempt of 7.20. Bradford did have some big plays on third down, but overall there wasn't consistency, as he was 7-for-16 on third down for 155 yards.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- Without Steven Jackson, the ground attack did little. Cadillac Williams averaged just 2.8 yards per attempt, carrying 13 times for 36 yards. Jerious Norwood added eight yards on three attempts. QB Sam Bradford accounted for 15 of the team's 59 rushing yards, and 17 came on one run.

PASS DEFENSE: B-minus -- Overall, the pass defense held its own, save for three critical plays. The Giants scored a touchdown in the final minute of the first half when the final 53 yards came on passes to Mario Manningham (31) and Domenik Hixon (22-yard touchdown). On the first, there was apparent miscommunication when cornerback Al Harris let Manningham go past him and safety Quintin Mikell got there late. Then, safety Craig Dahl never located the ball on the catch by Hixon. The Giants' final touchdown was set up on a third-and-17 screen pass from the 32-yard line to Ahmad Bradshaw that went for 23 yards. Of QB Eli Manning's 200 passing yards, 75 came on those three plays.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-plus -- The Rams limited the damage from Bradshaw (15-for-59) and Brandon Jacobs (16-for-50). Fourteen of the 34 rushing attempts by Giants running backs came in the fourth quarter and accounted for 47 of their 131 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Greg Salas did have a 29-yard punt return, but his muff of a punt led to the Giants' first touchdown after the Rams had stopped the Giants on their first two possessions. Quinn Porter, making his NFL debut, had a 32-yard kickoff return, but also fumbled on a kickoff that the Rams fortunately recovered. K Josh Brown made all three of his field-goal attempts, but they were all from inside 30 yards: 21, 25 and 27).

COACHING: C -- The Rams' drops, penalties and mental errors can't be blamed on coaching, but the utilization of personnel can. Especially wide receiver Danario Alexander, who is the team's one player with the ability to make big plays, and is often not on the field. The decision not to try a 2-point conversion when a third-quarter touchdown made the score 28-15 was puzzling, as was the decision on fourth-and-28 with 1:41 to play to punt and not even attempt to get the first down. Spagnuolo said he didn't go for it on fourth down because the team was unlikely to win and he didn't want to take the chance of getting Bradford hurt.


Seahawks report card: Pittsburgh 24, Seattle 0


PASSING OFFENSE: F -- Tarvaris Jackson completed 20 of 29 passes for 159 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Jackson's longest completion was a 17-yard catch by fullback Eddie Williams. Jackson also was sacked five times, and did not create any explosive plays. Seattle receivers also had three drops.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F -- Seattle rushed for just 31 yards on 13 carries for a 2.4 yards-per-carry average. The Seahawks are averaging just 2.7 yards a carry so far this season, as the team's young offensive line has yet to get on track.

PASS DEFENSE: D -- The Steelers threw for 298 yards, with Mike Wallace leading the charge with eight catches for 128 yards and a score. Seattle finished with two sacks, but did not get consistent pressure on Ben Roethlisberger.

RUSH DEFENSE: C-minus -- After shutting down San Francisco on the ground a week ago, the Seahawks allowed Pittsburgh to rack up 124 yards on the ground. Rashard Mendenhall led the charge, finishing with 66 yards on 19 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- A better effort for Seattle on special teams after giving up a punt return and a kickoff return for touchdowns against San Francisco a week ago. Seattle still allowed Antonio Brown to spring for 41yards on a punt return. Jon Ryan had a good game punting the ball, finishing with a 48.1 average, including three punts down inside the 20-yard line.

COACHING: D -- The Seahawks have yet to score in the first half in two games this season, and part of that blame lands on the shoulders of head coach Pete Carroll and not getting his players in the right frame of mind to start the game. Carroll also has handcuffed offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell by having him call a conservative game plan in the first half. Seattle needs to get off to a better start at home against Arizona this week.



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