San Francisco 49ers

49ers report card: Gold stars for Robbie Gould, defense

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is sacked by San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner as linebacker Dekoda Watson (97) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is sacked by San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner as linebacker Dekoda Watson (97) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. AP

Offense: Brian Hoyer has thrown a bad interception in each of the 49ers’ four games and would have had two Sunday if Karlos Dansby hadn’t dropped a second-half attempt. Hoyer completed less than half of his throws. The 49ers should have leaned on their running game, but an oblique injury to Carlos Hyde limited his snaps. Grade: D+

Defense: A week after he had 13 catches for 149 yards, Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald was held to three receptions and 13 yards before his game-winning touchdown. Solomon Thomas, DeForest Buckner and Elvis Dumervil were among the 49ers who had their first sacks of the season and helped keep Arizona out of the end zone until the final play. Grade: A-

Special teams: Robbie Gould has yet to miss a field goal this season and has kicked 28 straight dating back to last year, including five on Sunday. Led by Dekoda Watson and Brock Coyle, the team’s coverage units have been strong and Trent Taylor has been solid on punt returns. Grade: A+

Overall: The 49ers had lost their last three games in Arizona. If team officials are looking for signs of progress in an obvious rebuilding year, taking the Cardinals deep into overtime fits the description. Grade: B-

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

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