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49ers reports card: Week 4

Published: Friday, Sep. 27, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3C
Last Modified: Friday, Sep. 27, 2013 - 7:07 am

Offense: The 49ers broke out of their funk by going back to basics. Frank Gore proved that, despite turning 30, his legs are still young and Anquan Boldin showed his Week 1 outing was no fluke. Receiver Jon Baldwin showed promise. Grade: B

Defense: The team had its most dominant effort despite missing Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith. NaVorro Bowman had an especially strong game as the 49ers held St. Louis to just 18 rushing yards. Grade: A

Special teams: Phil Dawson, who was signed for his long-range prowess, misfired on a 53-yard try. Rams returner Tavon Austin, however, had nowhere to go against San Francisco's coverage units. Grade: B

Overall: The 49ers badly needed a win after the roughest week in the Jim Harbaugh era and got it over a team they could not beat last season. Their reward – eight days of rest and some extra time to prepare for the Houston Texans. Grade: A-

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MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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