The San Francisco 49ers split the season series and managed their first victory in 10 tries against the Seattle Seahawks. Take a look as Jeff Deeney of Pro Football Focus provided grades for members of the 49ers who impressed in the 26-23 overtime win over Seattle in Week 15.
1. Nick Mullens
Mullens earned a career high passing grade of 80.5 against Seattle, and received the seventh-best mark among quarterbacks in Week 15. Mullens completed 20-of-29 passes for 275 yards and a touchdown for a 110.6 quarterback rating. The second-year quarterback earned his first-ever FedEx Air Player of the Week nomination following Sunday’s performance. Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s views coincide with the honor, calling Mullens performance against Seahawks his best game so far this season.
Mullens has earned a 72.1 passing grade since taking on the starting role in Week 9, which ranks 13th among quarterbacks during that span. He is averaging 340.3 yards per game and 9.3 yards per attempt for a passer rating of 101.4 over his last three starts.
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2. George Kittle
Coming off of a record-breaking performance against the Denver Broncos, Kittle was held to just 51 yards on three receptions on Sunday, his fewest catch total since Week 2 against the Detroit Lions (2 receptions, 22 receiving yards). Despite a quieter showing than usual, Kittle’s numbers were still in the top 10 among tight ends in Week 15, and he earned a 84.2 overall grade and a spot on PFF’s “Team of the Week.”
His presence in the run game did not go unnoticed either. Kittle delivered his second-highest graded game of the year as a run blocker of 80.2.
3. Garrett Celek
In just 17 snaps, Celek earned the 49ers top mark on offense with a 90.8 overall grade. Celek hauled in both of his targets for 61 yards and a touchdown, his second score of the season. His 61 receiving yards were more than double his total through the first 13 games of the season (27).
4. Dante Pettis
The 49ers rookie receiver continues to string together impressive outings. Pettis caught all five of his targets for 83 yards and drew a huge pass interference penalty in overtime for a 76.6 overall grade. The 49ers have seen significant production out of Pettis over San Francisco’s past four games. The wideout has 17 receptions for 338 yards and four touchdowns in that time span.
5. DeForest Buckner
Buckner is coming off of a career game against the Seahawks in Week 15 and earned the 49ers top mark on defense with an 82.8 overall grade. The third-year defensive lineman recorded a game-high 11 tackles, four tackles for loss, three quarterback hits and notched this 10th and 11th sacks of the season. Buckner is one of three interior defensive linemen to have 11 or more sacks on the year (Aaron Donald – 16.5, Chris Jones – 14.0).
Buckner was also dominant against Chris Carson and the Seahawks ground game, earning a 85.3 grade against the run.
6. Solomon Thomas
The former first-round pick played a season high 65 snaps on Sunday and earned a 74.7 overall grade. Two of Thomas’ standout plays from Sunday won’t show up on the stat sheet. Thomas drew two offensive holding calls that ultimately helped the 49ers claim the overtime win over the Seahawks.
Honorable Mention – Richie James Jr.
James Jr. earned an 86.2 overall grade and was also named to PFF’s “Team of the Week” following his 97-yard kick return touchdown on Sunday. James' kick return marked the franchise's first return touchdown of any kind since Ted Ginn Jr. in 2011. The rookie’s kick return also earned him a nomination for the NFL's Pepsi Rookie of the Week.