San Francisco 49ers

49ers report card: Garoppolo magic leads to last-second victory

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looks for open receiver on a second quarter drive again the Tennessee Titans during a game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday December 17, 2017.
49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looks for open receiver on a second quarter drive again the Tennessee Titans during a game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday December 17, 2017. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

Offense: Jimmy Garoppolo has started five NFL games and has led game-winning drives in three of them. Sunday’s was the most incredible, with the 49ers quarterback taking over with 67 seconds left and hitting three consecutive passes to set up Robbie Gould’s game-winning field goal. Grade: A-

Defense: The Tennessee Titans, who spent a week in Arizona before Sunday’s game, seemed to wake up in the third quarter. They scored on three possessions in a row and a 49ers defense in need of a playmaker, especially an elite pass rusher, had a hard time stopping them from that point on. On the plus side: Tennessee had only 90 rushing yards. Grade: C+

Special teams: Gould continues to make a compelling argument for the Pro Bowl. He’s made 20 consecutive field goals, including six on Sunday. The problem: Fellow NFC kickers Greg Zuerlein (Los Angeles Rams) and Graham Gano (Carolina Panthers) have been nearly flawless, too. Grade: A-

Overall: It wasn’t entirely clean, but the 49ers showed with their 25-23 victory Sunday that their recent uptick wasn’t due entirely to underwhelming opponents. Garoppolo and Co. will get an even better test next week against a Jacksonville Jaguars team that arrives with the NFL’s best defense. Grade: B+

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

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