49ers report card

If 'D' stands for deplorable, then you know where we're coming from this week while handing out grades to the 49ers after their dismal 33-22 defeat to the Tennessee Titans.

PASSING OFFENSE: D -- QB Ken Dorsey is not entirely to blame for this mess. He did not receive much pass protection, and there was bad fortune on both of his interceptions. The first pick came when TE Billy Bajema had a perfectly thrown ball bounce off his chest and into the hands of LB Keith Bulluck. The second interception occurred after WR Brandon Lloyd fell while running his route. Coming off a huge game the week before, the inconsistent Lloyd did not always appear to be running his routes with urgency and crispness. Dorsey completed 23 of 43 passes for 192 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. WR Arnaz Battle got back into the offense with seven catches for 75 yards and a score.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D-minus -- Things might have been a lot different if RT Kwame Harris had not been flagged for holding, thus nullifying Kevan Barlow's 75-yard scoring run. Barlow finished with 40 yards on 14 carries. Backup Maurice Hicks provided a change of pace with 30 yards on six carries.

PASS DEFENSE: D-minus -- Aside from Shawntae Spencer's 61-yard interception return for a touchdown, the pass defense was as bad as it has been this season. Titans QB Steve McNair passed for 343 yards and three touchdowns. It was the worst performance from the 49ers' pass defense since the fourth game of the season when CB Bruce Thornton joined the starting lineup. Thornton had his worst game of the season. Spencer's stellar play - the interception and five passes defensed - is the only thing that prevents this grade from being lower.

RUSH DEFENSE: C -- The 49ers' front seven missed DE Bryant Young, who is out of action with a right knee injury. The 49ers had a tough time putting the clamps on Travis Henry, who gained 86 yards on 13 carries. The 49ers did a pretty good job on starter Chris Brown, who was held to 30 yards on 10 rushes.

SPECIAL TEAMS: F -- It was easily the worst game of the season by units that have played consistently well throughout the year. The 49ers committed a turnover in their kicking game for the third consecutive game. Return man Otis Amey made a poor decision to run up on a punt in the third quarter that bounced into him. The Titans recovered and scored a touchdown on the next play. The 49ers also missed Joe Nedney, who sat out with a groin injury. Fill-in Jose Cortez missed a 34-yard field goal that would've been the game's first score.

COACHING: F -- Offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy stayed with a vanilla attack on offense when the 49ers fell behind in the third quarter. Aside from a play in which Arnaz Battle ran the option, there was not a lot of imagination in the play-calling. Trailing 30-14 with 12 minutes still remaining in the game, the 49ers called for three consecutive runs by Barlow and then punted on fourth-and-1. The 49ers were out-coached again as Tennessee made all the adjustments at halftime and San Francisco failed to respond. The 49ers should have been able to put up a better showing against a team on their level.

OVERALL: D-minus The 49ers are supposed to be getting better at this point of the season, not worse. After incremental progress in previous weeks, this was a step backward against a weak opponent in a game that was there for the taking. The 49ers just aren't good enough to take anything from anybody at this point, particularly when they are on the road. The 49ers reverted to performing like an expansion team again, and that goes beyond just the players on the field.


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