49ers Report Card: Week 17

Published: Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 5C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 - 2:49 pm

REPORT CARD

• Offense: After sleep-walking through the first quarter, the offense wakes with a kick in the second quarter as Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree connect for 97 yards. Another good sign: Frank Gore gets going in the second half. Grade: B+

• Defense: At one point, the Cardinals go 28 minutes without a first down and finish 3 of 12 on third-down conversions. Ricky Jean Francois leads the 49ers with six tackles. Best news: Ray McDonald rests in the fourth quarter. Grade: A

• Special teams: David Akers' confidence is shaky from 40 yards and longer, and the 49ers have to consider replacing him for the playoffs. Coverage units are solid and so is LaMichael James on kickoff returns. Ted Ginn has a mental error on the game's first punt. Grade: C-

• Overall: Welcome to the NFL: A week after the 49ers psyche was rattled in Seattle, everything seems to go their way on the eve of the playoffs. The 49ers get to host a divisional game and Justin Smith's triceps gets an extra week to recover. Grade: A

– Matthew Barrows

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