Numbers show how Jimmy Garoppolo has transformed 49ers


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) signals during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

SANTA CLARA — The Garoppolo Effect is real.

Before Jimmy Garoppolo became the 49ers starting quarterback, they had lost 10 of 11 games, including five by three points or fewer. Since he became the starting quarterback three weeks ago, the 49ers have won all three of their games, including two by three points or fewer.

They’re winning the close games they were losing earlier in the season.

That’s the Garoppolo Effect.

Here’s a look at how the Garoppolo Effect affects the entire team.

This article has 54 Comments

  1. Thanks Grant. Great research which amplifies how important the QB position is to any team and how great play by the QB can lift the entire team’s performance. It’s a QB league for sure. Jimmy will be here for at least another year and probably two, and if he continues to play like he is, most likely long term. The key will be whether they can put together the right pieces around him to take it to the next level. Tomorrow should be a good measuring stick on just how many pieces they need. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    1. There is a lot of truth in what you say. The question still left is how much of an impact does the QB actually make when put in isolation with other contributing factors. The other factor would be- Does JG represent a typical top level QB. I don’t think so. I believe JG has impacted this team on a far greater level than say a the average top ten QB in the league might have. JG seems to be superior in the exact skills and talents that would have the ability to do so. We also need to consider that the team as a whole is becoming much more comfortable with the scheme than they once were.

      I respond to the past criticism of the lack of QB play being responsible for the 49ers past woes. Well the fact is that QB that possess intangibles like JG are not only scarce in availability but seldom even exist. They only come into the league every now and then. It is actually very unrealistic to expect a QB to make that much of a difference in a team. Ones that do are the rare exception rather than the norm.

  2. Good read. I hope Garoppolo keeping his head up will improve the running game. With an improved running game, the RZ numbers could get better.

  3. Good news, Niner faithful. Jimmy G. could be the second coming of a combination of Joe Montana and Tom Brady. As long as ShanaLynch surrounds him with the proper weapons. Like improving the O-line. I can’t wait for the draft! If that no-good Trent Baalke had stayed, we would’nt have Jimmy. Sooo happy he’s gone.

    1. Actually you bring up a point that came into my mind as well. The decline of the team under baalke sort of set the stage for Shanahan/Lynch and this rebuild. It also set the stage for the potential of JG being the QB of a team that will be able to challenge for a championship for a long period of time rather than a one or two and then a team decline as often happens. Even Jeb ! If he doesn’t make this big mistake with Trent would he have taken the risk of hiring the team of Shanny and Lynch. They were one of the only viable groups to apply. They did so because of the ideal conditions that existed for the rebuild much of which existed because of Trents incompetency and screw ups. It’s sort of you usually do not rebuild a house unless it is so damaged that it is no longer salvageable.

  4. They should sign Jimmy now, instead of waiting until next year when he will be more expensive. Draft a big time, true #1 receiver to pair with Pierre and marquise. Someone who can do for them what Julio Jones does for Atlanta. And CB, pure edge rusher.

    1. O-line should be a top priority. They can use the top pick for a skill position player though because you usually only get those high in the draft and they will not be picking this high again. The line is worse than it appears with JG behind center. He just has the quickest release I have ever seen. That and his escapeability mitigates their weakness. I think his quick release has had the greatest impact on this team because it compensates for the lack of protection.

  5. I wonder if last year the defense was that bad or merely had the challenge of having to defend for as long and as frequently as it did. Teams ran at will against the 49oers and this was due to injuries and also lack of effective penetration against opposing OLs.

    Having JG has done wonders in terms of poor production and 3rd down conversions though RZ touchdowns do need to improve significantly if the team is going to take the next step.

    Where are the penalties since JG took over? Similar or any different? That would also be interesting to see as the team tightens their game up too.

    There are several areas where the team was already starting to improve prior to JG starting so some of the effect is causal and some may be correlative. In either case it is a welcome change and a net positive to the overall team.

    Opposing Ds will look at tendencies and adjust. Be interesting to see how this plays out this weekend.

    Merry Christmas to all and the very best wishes to you and your families in the upcoming year.

      1. Thanks 80. That’s surprising as I had thought that penalties were down, but I guess not. The overall play has improved to offset the penalties. Wonder if anyone breaks down penalties as to their effect on yardage, situations and impact?

        And backatcha!

        1. East, just from non-scientific observation every time the Niners have entered the RZ we’ve seen at least one, sometimes two penalties. That explains the frustrating lack of RZ production and soaring FG attempts Grant noted in his article. MD posted a RZ breakdown on, I believe, the Bears game

          1. I think this has been happening all year though. I’d want to see something a bit more concrete because I’d venture to guess that we all thought the penalties were down too, but they aren’t.

            1. I think this has been happening all year though.

              We hadn’t been in the RZ near as much in the early part of the season as these last 3 games. BTW, here’s the breakdown for each RZ trip in the Garropolo era:

              RZ #1 penalties 2 – offensive holding, offensive PI. Result FG
              RZ#2 Result FG
              RZ#3 penalties 2 – 2 false starts. Result FG
              RZ#4 penalties 1 – illegal touch pass. Result FG
              RZ#5 Result game winning FG

              RZ #1 result FG
              RZ #2 result TD
              RZ #3 result half ending FG
              RZ #4 result FG
              RZ #5 penalties 1 – offensive holding. Result TD

              RZ#1 result FG
              RZ#2 result TD
              RZ#3 result FG
              RZ#4 result FG
              RZ#5 penalties 1 – offensive PI, TD nullified. Result FG
              RZ#6 result game winning FG

              The good news is they are playing smarter in the RZ.

  6. Good material as we approach the end of December and the end of the 2017 season. Hope we can avoid serious injuries and roll into the off season with enthusiasm and purpose. Draft and FA acquisitions will be fun–all subject to deep and brilliant analyses.

  7. Today’s popular tags on Grant’s blog…

    A.J.Jenkins Ahmad Brooks Aldon Smith Alex Boone Alex Smith Anquan Boldin Anthony Davis Anthony Dixon Brandon Jacobs Bruce Miller Carlos Hyde Carlos Rogers Chris Culliver Colin Kaepernick Dashon Goldson Delanie Walker Donte Whitner Eric Reid Frank Gore Geep Chryst Greg Roman Jim Harbaugh Jim Tomsula Joe Staley Justin Smith Kendall Hunter Kyle Williams LaMichael James Mario Manningham Michael Crabtree Mike Iupati NaVorro Bowman Patrick Willis Perrish Cox Quinton Patton Randy Moss Ray McDonald Steve Young Tarell Brown Ted Ginn Jr. Tramaine Brock Trent Baalke Vance McDonald Vernon Davis Vic Fangio

  8. sorry for the OT .. but this is for those who have
    young ones in the house … Today.. you can track Santa’s travels ..(here)

    (a tradition in our household for years)

    And while I’m at it … Here’s wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas
    (hope you’re on the “nice” list) … and also..
    for our host .. (Grant) … a very Happy Hanukkah to you !

    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours MW.

      My children are all grown, but I have to pass along the link to show for their 5 grandchildren. They will absolutely love this. Thanks for posting!

      1. St. Lou ….
        You’re very welcome ! … For us (at least) …
        “NORAD Tracks Santa “.. builds a little more excitement
        for the kiddies … for what happens tomorrow …;-}

        Yeah .. our kids are grown as well .. and we have now.. started this
        “family tradition” .. with the Great Grandkids !

        Cassie … So glad you’re posting again… and here’s hoping Crazy Kim
        doesn’t nuke Santa as he flies overhead !

  9. Great analysis. Personally, I think you do better with this kind of stuff than with informing us of overweight or over-the-hill players, or other team shortcomings.

    I especially appreciate your language skills – knowing the difference between less and fewer, who and whom, etc. I know that others get really defensive about any criticism, but it just seems to me that if a person is going to write professionally, a requirement should be some writing skills. If fans mix up there, their and they’re – well, we’re fans – not “righters.”

  10. For my first “year” on the blog, I have to say it’s been a blast.
    Thanks to Grant for the forum, and the insider updates. Thanks to all for the passion, the insight, and the levity
    (special mention to Cassie!)

    Lest I forget, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and special wishes for safe travels.
    The holidays can be a lonely agony for some, so my thoughts and prayers go out to those who may be struggling during the season.

  11. One thing:

    Since JImmy G became the starter, we’re having our first White Christmas since I moved to St. Louis in 2010. It’s amazing how Jimmy G makes everything better.

      1. A high school buddy of mine is a long time resident of St. Louis. He had Rams season tickets for years but in the late years he had trouble using all four of his tickets. One day when he had two extra tickets he put them under his windshield wiper for someone to use. He said, when he returned to his car after the game, there were FOUR tickets.

      2. Used to live in Kirkwood, but was only there for my youngest daughter’s education. Kirkwood is one of the few cities with good schools AND will allow dual-enrollment (I homeschooled but couldn’t teach a language).

        Now I live in Dutchtown (really close to Ted Drewes frozen custard stand (the one on South Grand)) which is far rougher, but more my style. I also looked just off Cherokee and in Carondelet which was my first choice, but I couldn’t find anything that didn’t need 30K worth of brick-work or a complete gut-and-remodel or was not what I was looking for.

        1. I certainly envy the proximity to Ted Drewes!… especially in deep summer.
          We’re quite a but further west in Lake St Louis, so I don’t get to really enjoy the city scene much.
          One of these days we’ll have to meet up to raise a glass.

  12. Best wishes to all-y’all during this holiday season. Let the good feelings roll!
    A few years ago Lowell Cohn wrote a charming piece about the holidays at his house where they celebrate Hanukkah and Lady Cohn trims a tree, and all the good stuff that emanates from the traditions. It’s good to remember that there are things bigger than ourselves.
    So here’s wishing family, fellowship, friends, food, fun, a bit of football, and a whole bunch of fa-la-la-la-la to all.

  13. A blocker needs to be back with he punt returner to knock off the first defender down which ALWAYS affects the returners chance to make a decent return!!!

  14. Did they not tell you that part of the deal was that once TB12 retires that you have to trade Jimmy G back to NE for a 1st rounder. Merry Christmas

    Fan with Traders Remorse

  15. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to everyone. Thanks for the NORAD link MWNiner! I’ll send that along to my kids for “there” kids! JK Big Jim! They are all at the “still believe” stage!! My older siblings had me believing for quite a few years before one of them, ojust to be mean, broke the news! I can still remember the disappointment!
    As for football, when I referred to pieces Waterboy, it’s both sides of the ball I meant, not just offensive players surrounding Jimmy. I agree that the O-Line is number one, especially at the guard positions, maybe another big receiver and running back. I’ll See if one or more of my grandchildren will ask Santa for them! I doubt it, but I’ll ask! ;-) Have a great weekend everyone! Go Niners!!!!!!

  16. LOL
    Niners getting pounded today.
    And it wont be close.
    Get a real job kid. Not one Puff Daddy gave you.
    Your brilliant analysis is just the same old stories of the past,
    over and over. Over.

  17. Nice article, Grant. Merry Christmas to you and all the fans here!

    One reason I have been excited by the Jimmy G effect is that this a rare, rare phenomenon to measure the effect of inserting a franchise QB into a situation where essentially nothing else had changed right during the season.

    The scheme is the same. The other QBs where handpicked by the coach to suit his scheme, and Jimmy G was also a favorite of Shanny coming into the draft. The talent level offense is below league average so that the QB effect is more pronounced.

    This is an ideal situation of basically doing a controlled experiment to assess the value of a franchise QB. I will be surprised if number crunchers in the league are not developing some $$ models for future use in estimating value of franchise QBs. Such an opportunity is rare. Maybe someone should send an email to Stephen Dubner/Steve Leavitt team of Freakonomics to do a case study on this.

  18. 5 Burning Questions For Today:

    1) Can the 49ers minimize mistakes and be patient?

    This “Seahawks D” will require them to stay balanced and work underneath.

    2) Can Garoppolo match Blaine Gabbert?

    Gabbert put up a QB rating just over 83 in the Cardinals victory over the Jaguars. This was one of the best put up against them all season. It was also the Jaguars last trip out West.

    3) Can the 49ers defense make Jacksonville one dimensional?

    Blake Bortles has been playing well recently, but the 49ers need to force him to win the game.

    4) Can Marquise Goodwin keep on his roll?

    Goodwin is 1 yard short of 3 straight 100 yard receiving games. If he can reach 100 today he’ll become the first 49ers receiver since Jerry Rice to pull off the feat. He’d also join Antonio Brown, the Steelers #1 receiver as the only receivers to put up 100 against the Jacksonville defense.

    5) Can the middle of the 49ers offensive line hold up?

    The Jaguars are terrific at pressuring the QB. The key today will be keeping the middle of the pocket clear to give Garoppolo room to step up and get the ball out. Calais Campbell is a beast in the middle. Big matchup advantage to Jacksonville.


    49ers 19 Jaguars 17

    1. Can Garoppolo match Blaine Gabbert?

      Jack , you mean can Garoppolo , in his 6th career start match a QB who has had 45 career starts and inexplicably posted over 10 points higher than his career average against the Jags*? Yeah, that’s something burning to look for today. /s

      *The one game wonder didn’t help him. He was benched for Drew Stanton today.

  19. One Negative: loss in draft position means we actually gave up the equivalent of a top 10 pick for Garappolo. Before the trade, we were projected #2 with first and second round picks, or the equivalent of 3160 draft points. We gave up the second, and are now down to possibly the 6th or 7th pick, meaning we lost about 1500-1600 draft points or the equivalent of the 6th or 7th pick in the draft. So we have given up more than just a top second round pick, but the winning momentum should be good for next year.

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