San Francisco 49ers

49ers report card: Factory of Badness in Cleveland

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) scrambles from San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Eli Harold (58) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015, in Cleveland.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) scrambles from San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Eli Harold (58) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015, in Cleveland. AP

Offense: A Browns defense that entered the game with the third-fewest sacks in the league – 17 – recorded nine against Blaine Gabbert. That tied a franchise high for the 49ers, who didn’t commit a turnover but otherwise looked as bad as they have all season. Grade: D-

Defense: The 49ers allowed the Browns’ woeful rushing attack a season-high 231 yards. Johnny Manziel threw for 270 yards as the now-three-win Browns pumped life into a stadium that was dead at the start. Two takeaways raised the defensive grade from the floor. Grade: D

Special teams: Quinton Dial blocked an early field-goal attempt, and Bruce Ellington’s 36-yard punt return set up Phil Dawson’s 44-yard field goal in the second quarter. The fact Dawson, a former Brown, supplied his team’s only points until a meaningless touchdown with 1:42 to play likely was familiar to Cleveland fans and disturbing to 49ers fans. Grade: B+

Overall: At times, it was hard to determine what was worse, the 49ers’ offense or defense. (The offense gets the narrow win, er, loss in the end.) After showing signs of life in recent weeks, San Francisco reverted to its sluggish self and was eliminated from playoff contention. Grade: F

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

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