San Francisco 49ers

Report card: 49ers still in preseason mode

Carolina Panther Thomas Davis stops Carlos Hyde for no gain in the first quarter of the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Carolina Panther Thomas Davis stops Carlos Hyde for no gain in the first quarter of the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The Bee

Offense: There were glimpses of brilliance. But they were buried under of a pile of mistakes, penalties and dropped passes. Kyle Shanahan lived up to his aggressive reputation by going for it twice on fourth down in the first half. Should he have? Both failed and led to two Panthers field goals. Grade: D+

Defense: The 49ers had to defend a short field for most of the game and did so without one of their most talented players, linebacker Reuben Foster. That they gave up only 287 yards, and only 116 yards on the ground, suggests significant progress from last season. Grade: B-

Special teams: The 49ers didn’t have a lot of opportunities for special teams highlights. Robbie Gould was good on a 44-yard field goal in his 49ers debut at Levi’s Stadium. Rookie Trent Taylor reliably handled punts. Grade: B

Overall: Mistakes, penalties, players lining up in the wrong spot — the 49ers looked a lot like they did in the preseason, finishing the game with 10 penalties for 74 yards. Their two biggest weaknesses, a porous interior offensive line and an inexperienced secondary, were prominent on he Panthers’ first score, which really was all Carolina needed. Grade: C-

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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