PFF's ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game's most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.
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Jimmy Garoppolo‘s return to the gridiron didn't go as planned. He completed just one of his six attempts for zero yards and an interception on the night. He also nearly threw a second interception before exiting the game, but he was fortunate the Broncos defender dropped the errant pass. To say Jimmy G. looked uncomfortable would be an understatement. He lacked confidence in the pocket and struggled to effectively react to pressure.
Solomon Thomas needs more games like the one he had against Denver. The 2017 first-rounder recorded multiple pressures and picked up a handful of positive marks in run defense on the night. All involved parties want similar performances from Thomas moving forward.
Veteran offensive tackle Joe Staley had the tough task of facing Bradley Chubb early in the game, and it proved to be quite the challenge. Staley couldn't slow down Chubb off the edge, and the 49ers' offensive line was having a difficult time picking up the numerous stunts the Broncos were bringing.
Running back Raheem Mostert turned two receptions into 42 yards against Denver's defense on Monday night. An undrafted free agent out of Purdue, Mostert played just 21 offensive snaps in his three years prior to the 2018 season. He earned an impressive 73.0 overall grade across 89 offensive snaps before breaking his arm against the Oakland Raiders in Week 9 of last year.
Stanford product Kaden Smith caught two passes for 24 yards from three targets on the night, but one of his receptions was called back due to penalty. Deebo Samuel wasn't targeted in this one, but he did take an end around 45 yards down the left sideline and nearly scored diving for the pylon. Jordan Thompson, an undrafted Northwestern standout, was fantastic in run defense against the Broncos' front five.
Veteran wideout Emmanuel Sanders was electric in limited action against San Francisco on Monday night. After suffering an Achilles injury eight months ago, Sanders took an end around 19 yards and caught one of his two targets for five yards in the contest. He also had a 45-yard reception called back due to a holding penalty along the offensive line. It wasn't much, but it was enough to get excited for Sanders' return from injury in 2019.
A fan favorite among many coming out of Penn State, Broncos receiver DaeSean Hamilton turned in a strong performance in limited action against the 49ers. He caught 2-of-3 targets for 21 yards on the night, both of which going for first downs.
Second-year edge defender Bradley Chubb was absolutely unblockable Monday night. He showed a variety of moves to get into the backfield as well as coming up with a strip-sack that the 49ers were fortunate to recover.
Veteran defensive interior Shelby Harris finished the 2018 season on a high note, earning a 90.8 overall grade in the process. And he flashed similar signs of dominance against San Francisco, recording a handful of defensive stops in the run game and an outstanding tackle on a screen pass.
Fifth-rounder Justin Hollins was a liability in run defense and added little as a pass-rusher against San Francisco. Rookie Kansas State product Dalton Risner didn't blow anyone away with his performance Monday night, be he still had an overall positive impact in pass protection and as a run-blocker when called upon. Former Missouri signal-caller Drew Lock completed just 7-of-12 passes for 40 yards before exiting the game with a hand injury. He was inconsistent from an accuracy standpoint and struggled to have success pushing the ball downfield. First-round tight end Noah Fant caught two passes for seven yards before exiting the game with an ankle injury.
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