49ers fans should thank Jimmy Garoppolo

San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner, left, celebrates with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) after the 49ers defeated the Dallas Cowboys in an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

Love him or hate him, every 49ers fan should take a moment to thank Jimmy Garoppolo for his time in San Francisco.

From the moment Garoppolo steppon on the field in San Francisco he made their team better. Winning the last five games of 2017 energized a previously dormant fan base.

There is no denying Garoppolo had his flaws, however, the results were often positive with him on the field. From 2014 to 2021 the 49ers posted a regular season record of 49-80. In Garoppolo’s 57 regular season starts in San Francisco the 49ers went 38-17.

With Garoppolo under center, San Francisco made deep playoff runs reaching the Super Bowl in 2019. In 2021 the 49ers narrowly lost the NFC Championship game.  Those happened to be the two seasons in which Garoppolo was able to stay healthy.

The inability to stay healthy was Garoppolo’s biggest flaw. A knee injury late during a week three loss in Kansas City sidelined him for the 2018 season. In 2020 a high ankle sprain suffered in a week two victory over the New York Jets hobbled Garoppolo and limited him to only six starts.

Even in the two lost seasons, Garoppolo helped make the 49ers better.

Without Garoppolo in 2018 the 49ers floundered their way to a 4-12 record, second worst in the NFL. As a result, San Francisco had the second pick in the 2019 draft, this became Nick Bosa. San Francisco followed that up by drafting Deebo Samuel with its pick near the top of round two.

Bosa recorded nine sacks in 2019 on his way to being named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2019. He would better that up by recording 15.5 quarterback sacks in 2021 and being named to the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career. On the other side of the ball, Samuel had a breakout season in 2021 during which he posted 1,770 yards from scrimmage, second only to Jerry Rice all-time in franchise history. The performance earned Samuel All-Pro honors and a trip to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.

Garoppolo’s inability to stay healthy in 2020 led to another poor year on the field as the 49ers finished 6-10.

As frustrating as those losses were, they provided San Francisco with the twelfth selection in the 2021 draft. The 49ers sent that pick along with their 2022 and 2023 first-round picks along with a third-round pick in 2022 to Miami to acquire the third pick in the 2021 draft.

San Francisco used the third pick to select Trey Lance.

Other than flashes and a terrific second half against Houston in his second NFL start Lance has yet to live up to his draft slot.

San Francisco handed the starting job to Lance for 2022. However, he was lost for the season due to an ankle injury after just five quarters. He will get another chance to prove himself this offseason during OTA’s and training camp.

With Lance down Garoppolo stepped in and steadied the team, keeping them in the playoff picture until he was injured once again.

Brock Purdy stepped in and led the 49ers to the NFC championship game.

Earlier this week Garoppolo agreed to terms with the Las Vegas Raiders, ending his time in red and gold.

In going from New England to San Francisco and on to the Raiders, Garoppolo has followed the same path as former Stanford quarterback Jim Plunkett.

After struggling in his first two stops Plunkett was instrumental in the Raiders winning two Super Bowls.

Jimmy Garoppolo helped make the 49ers relevant once again. His legacy will live on in Nick Bosa, Deebo Samuel, and Trey Lance.

Thank you, Jimmy.

This article has 11 Comments

  1. 100 % agree. He was the best quarterback the Niners had since Jeff Garcia and was a big reason the Niners have made big playoff runs 3 of the last four years. It’s possible that we now have 2 quarterbacks on the roster who are as good or better than Jimmy but Jimmy will always be missed in my mind.
    Thank you Jimmy and good luck in Las Vegas.

    1. Totally agree, I’ve been a niners fan for almost a half century and I can tell you that time just before
      Jimmy came in in 2017 was bleak, maybe the worst. A few years of stumbling along (Tomsula, Kelly) , then hey this guy can throw!
      Like you said those last 5 games gave a shot of energy and confidence we are still riding today.
      Thanks Jimmy!

  2. When i was a boyscout…we had a saying in regards to camping and visiting places…….” Leave it in better shape than you found it in”!
    This basically meant pick up all your garbage and dont mess nothing up, lol.
    JG did that here…..he left the organization in much better shape than it was when he arrived……..unlike #7. So yes, he is the best qb since another JG, Jeff Garcia.

  3. Now that the Raiders have moved to Vegas and most of the loud mouthed 60’s and 70’s Raider fans are either gone or have switched to the 49ers I can safely say that I will be rooting for the Raiders this year. They will be my team in the AFC. Much like A. Smith Jimmy G. was a good soldier and a good 9er. He gave me many exciting Sundays over the last 5 years. Good luck Jimmy.

  4. Great write up, Jack….I just wish Jimmy would have gone to a different organization….I’ve been a Raider Hater since I was a teenager…I wish Jimmy all the best, for him..good health, good stats and a Pro Bowl or two….as for the Raiders, may they finish at or near the back of the pack

  5. DEFINITELY did not love him. He is a slightly above average QB who rarely shined in big high pressure situations.

  6. Jimmy G. surely brought new hope and excitement to the Bay Area after a number of failed experimental QBs and miserable seasons. If he connected with E. Sanders on that throw, he would still be with the 49ers now. One thing that put him above the rest of 49ers QBs is how he handled diversity with class. He is who he is, however, would love to see he smiles less in game days and sparks some fire in fierce competition such as yelling, screaming, cursing, slamming helmet, etc.

  7. I thank Jimmy G..for moments of hope
    I thank Jimmy G for moments of despair..

    Over hyped game manager… that when the chips are down..and things are on the line…
    He couldn’t pull thru for us

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