For 49ers, it’s now Super Bowl or bust

For the 2022 49ers, anything less than a Super Bowl victory will be a failure.

San Francisco came into this season with a roster regarded by many as the best in the NFL. The only question was whether new starting quarterback Trey Lance would be up to the task.

The quarterback question no longer exists. 

Jimmy Garoppolo takes over for the remainder of this season. The 49ers have enjoyed great success when Garoppolo has been able to stay healthy. 

In 2019, Garoppolo started all 16 games, leading San Francisco to a 13-3 regular season record. 

After an injury-plagued 2020, Garoppolo returned in 2021 to lead the 49ers to a 10-7 regular season record.

Two healthy seasons. Two playoff berths. 

Unfortunately, that regular season success has yet to carry over to the postseason. The 2019 team fell short, losing to Kansas City in the Super Bowl. They were one step away from a trip back to the Super Bowl in 2021. San Francisco ultimately fell to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.

Led by Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, and Talanoa Hufanga, San Francisco’s defense has allowed only 19 points through the first two weeks.  

The 49ers offense has shown it can move the ball up and down the field behind a solid line and playmakers such as Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. 

With that core, the blueprint for success will be like what we saw over the second half of last season. 

San Francisco will lean heavily on the run game and defense. With the quarterback being asked to move the chains off play action and short throws, which provide receivers opportunities to pick up yards after the catch. 

The 49ers will also lean on its defense to keep up its strong start to the season.

For San Francisco to win the Super Bowl, they will need Jimmy Garoppolo to elevate his level of play in the postseason. 

In Garoppolo’s six playoff starts he has thrown six interceptions to only four touchdowns and seen his quarterback rating drop from 98.4 down to 74.1.

That’s not the worst of it. In the fourth quarter of those playoff games, Garoppolo has posted a passer rating of 28.0. To put that in perspective, it’s the lowest number of any quarterback with at least 30 passes since 1991. 

There’s no doubt the 49ers have one of the most talented rosters in the league. 

To win a Super Bowl requires the quarterback to make a play at some point, and San Francisco will go as far as Jimmy Garoppolo can take them.

No pressure Jimmy.

This article has 32 Comments

    1. That..and, as had happened in the past, Kyle gets out coached in the second half when the game is close, or on the line..he seems more reactive than proactive..

  1. Everything is predicated on the run game working. Remember early last year, due to early injuries (like now) our run game was non-existent until Debo started running. I really hope they do not overuse him, considering the injury history of our running backs and their subsequent fate. We are down to two starters again, then scraping the barrel. Hope we can eke it out until reinforcements arrive

  2. 49ers was only one dropped-interception to play in the last Super Bowl. The D-line ran out of gas in the 4th quarter chasing Mahomes in the previous one. Ouch! painful memories…

    1. I am so flabbergasted at this continuing fantasy. Even if Tartt had the most basic level of hand eye coordination to make the interception, what makes you think Jimmy could have moved the offense for a score? Jimmy couldn’t complete a pass at that time.

      1. Get a command of the facts before you go off accusing others of fantastical thinking.

        Niners had the lead at the time of the dropped Int. If the defense, the one that JG rides to every single win, does it’s job Niners win 17 – 14 and it’s SB #2 of the Jimmy era.

        1. Actually our Offense had the ball twice after that missed interception by Tart and could not even get a couple of 1st downs.
          KS offense in the 4ht quarter in the biggest games have been outscored on an astonishing lopsided rate. Very alarming for a so called genius.

  3. It’s SB or bust for a number of teams and as good as the 49ers roster is it’s not above some others like Buffalo who have a big advantage at QB. This team has come close in 2 out of the last 3 years so they are a contender, but SB or bust? Nah I don’t think so.

  4. SB or bust? Maybe I have been a fan too long and have suffered through WAY too many losing seasons in fact Way too many losing decades. I don’t ever measure a seasons success as to whether we win the SB or not. Entertain me each and every week. Make sure going into the last week that we are still playing for a playoff spot. If we make the playoffs stay alive as long as we can. With out a doubt I want to experience a SB victory but if the team can fulfill those other measures I will be a reasonable happy fan.

    1. Winning a Super Bowl is very hard. They odds are in 32. We’d all like a super bowl victory, but it does not define success or failure. Those who do are in for a lot of let downs.

  5. At no point, have the 49ers been SuperBowl favorites. Oddsmakers put several teams ahead of the 49ers. Superbowl win or the season is a failure is extreme to say the least. Several questions remain at multiple position groups including O-line and Safety. Everyone knows about Jimmy’s failures but its not all on Jimmy’s shoulders to win the Superbowl. What about the other guy who touches the ball on every offensive play? Jake Brendel could easily be the reason the 49ers don’t win the Superbowl. He couldn’t hold the block that got Trey hurt. What happens if Aaron Donald lines up over him in a crucial play in the 4th qtr of the NFCCG? Or what about Mike McGlinchey’s problems in pass pro. What happens if MM is going against Von Miller in a crucial spot in the Superbowl? Can Spencer Burford block Chris Jones an entire game? It’s not all on Jimmy’s shoulders. Yes, he has to play better in the playoffs. Of course, thats true. But this team will only go as far as the offensive line takes them.

  6. “No pressure Jimmy”

    That’s right, no pressure at all. He’s the guy the team didn’t want, likely won’t be here next year either. Other than teammate comradery he owes the team nothing. Even as he plays for the team, he’s essentially a free agent – SB championship or playoff flameout, he walks. If he stays healthy we’re likely to see a different Jimmy this year, similar to the guy who played out the end of the 2017 season.

  7. That is the kind of talk I engage in after a few adult beverages , but in the morning I want them to get a W on Sunday.
    One game at a time.
    Go 9ers.

  8. If there is a mechanism to bet that the 49ers reach the Superbowl , I would definitely take that bet. The NFC is unusually weak this year and our defense looks dominant. Winning the Superbowl is another matter. Bills and Chiefs are a tough nut to crack. We play the Chiefs 10/23 at Levis.

  9. DJ Jones is going to absolutely eat Jake Brendel’s lunch and then steal his girlfriend. That matchup is going to be ugly. I”m sure Kyle will scheme around it but that matchup likely means Kittle’s going to be staying in to help block Bradley Chubb because Brendel is going to need help on the interior. Broncos have Chubb, Jones, Randy Gregory, Pat Surtain, and Kareem Jackson on defense. This Broncos game is going to be light years different from the first 2 defenses the 49ers played. I expect the 49ers to win and cover but this game is a real test for this offense.

  10. “At no point, have the 49ers been SuperBowl favorites. Oddsmakers put several teams ahead of the 49ers. Superbowl win or the season is a failure is extreme to say the least.”

    Absolutely. The Chiefs were given favorable odds last year along with Tampa Bay and Buffalo. At least more so than the Rams.
    We don’t know what we don’t know.
    Mike Dikta said after his SB win (way back in the 80’s), that sometimes you need a whole lot of luck.
    In my world, a win is a win.

  11. Big game Sunday. I don’t see this team in the SB. I would not see a game or 2 won as a fail in the post-season. We don’t know what Jimmy G. has since he never practiced in camp. Terrible decision.
    Niners may have an improving OL but we need a starting caliber center and have for several years.

  12. If Jimmy can win the SB, it will be one of the best redemption stories in the 49ers history.
    Hey, it would likely have Hollywood giving him a call. And according to my wife, Hollywood is a perfect scenario for JG, lol.

    1. Jimmy’s possible redemption reminds me of J. Brodie’s redemption. Brodie went from being booed and having bottles thrown at him after games to being carried of the field after the last regular season game in 1972. The biggest difference is it took Brodie 13 years to make the playoffs. Jimmy G. did it in his first full year as a starter.

  13. Upon further review of Trey Lance’s injury, and his feeble sliding attempt, I can say with confidence that Trey’s injury is one of the biggest failures of Kyle’s career. Heck, it’s one of the biggest failures of any HC in the history of the league!

    NFL Rulebook: RULE 7, SECTION 2, ARTICLE 1 – says a play is over when any ball carrier (not just a quarterback) declares himself down “by sliding feet-first to the ground. When a runner slides feet first, the ball is dead the instant he touches the ground with anything other than his hands or his feet.” What a tremendous advantage this rule has become for a mobile QB, especially because the NFL evolved this rule even further for QB’s, with the results being that if a defender merely touches a QB who in the act of sliding, it amounts to an Unsportsmanlike Conduct – 15 Yard Penalty, as well as an Automatic 1st down!

    The NFL’s “slide rule” has been around for nearly 40 years now, so imagine drafting and developing a kid like Trey Lance? Imagine, as a HC, learning early on in the process that your mobile young QB doesn’t understand how to slide? And then imagine, as a HC, this same young QB getting hurt in his very first NFL start, specifically because he hasn’t developed this skillset? And then imagine, as a HC, STILL not making this a point of emphasis for Trey Lance’s development after an almost disastrous first start? How could this happen to one of the highest paid HC’s in the league, especially considering that this HC was RGIII’s Offensive Coordinator when he suffered what was essentially a career ending knee injury? How is this something that didn’t raise concerns and major red-flags for Kyle Shanahan on the first day of training camp during Trey’s rookie year? I’ll go one further … how did this not come to Kyle’s attention after watching an extensive amount of Trey’s college game film during his initial pre-draft evaluation, when it’s clear that Trey never used this technique even once during his lone record-breaking season at ND State?

    And how about Scangarello? Did Trey’s QB Coach – Rich Scangarello, have any experience developing a mobile QB prior to developing Lance? What’s the point of spending 3 first round picks on a “RAW”, duel-threat QB, if the HC doesn’t even care to properly develop him? I’m not saying the 49ers should fire Kyle at this point, but this IS a fire-able offense, IMO! And then to use Trey the way Kyle used him …. this should unacceptable to everyone.

    ** And BTW, I have more to say about Steve Young, who this week completely contradicted what he had to say about Trey Lance’s usage last season, so that’s coming next!

      1. Felix
        * “Just more blah blah blah.” YEP!

        * OLD ADAGE: ” Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference!”
        NOTE: Just scroll on by and ignore him…..HE WANTS ATTENTION!

    1. Jax,
      I wish you would stop posting that the 49ers gave up 3 first round picks to draft TL. They traded away 2 picks and swapped one 1st round pick for another 1st round pick. A total loss of TWO 1st round picks.

      1. OldCoach, with all due respect, I haven’t been saying that the 49ers gave up 3 first round picks. I keep saying the spent (my post above) or used 3 first round picks on Lance, and that’s absolutely a fact.

        1+2 = 3 first round picks.

        Or think of it another way, OldCoach. Had the 49ers used all of the first round picks they used on Lance, on separate players, they could have had 3 different first round prospects. And that’s really the point. You don’t use 3 first round picks on 1 player, if that player is either:

        A) not ready to contribute immediately, and/or
        B) if that player is a QB who can’t win from the pocket

        These things sound really obvious for us on the outside looking in, but because Kyle Shanahan is unable to separate his emotions with his job duties, the situation becomes much more clouded. And to be clear, Kyle Shanahan absolutely has the final say on all matters, including personnel matters.

        And this especially true if you believe the rumors:

        That the original plan when the 49ers traded a package of 3 picks (2021, 2022 & 2023) in order to move up to the #3 overall spot, was to draft Mac Jones, and that the plan only changed once Kyle Shanahan became fixated on Trey Lance, in the final stages of their draft prep. This is according to an associate who has a very close relationship to the 49ers previous QB’s Coach – Rich Scangarello. According to this source, the rest of the 49ers organization, including John Lynch, the 49ers entire Scouting Dept, Rich Scangarello, and even Jed York, were all unanimous in regards to drafting Mac Jones. And according this source, Kyle Shanahan became “oddly fixated on Lance” at the very end of the pre- draft process, and well after they made the blockbuster trade with the Dolphins.

        And I believe this sounds very plausible, OldCoach, because we’ve seen the way Kyle approaches the draft. Just about every single offensive prospect who is connected to Kyle pre-draft, whether it’s Joe Williams who Kyle pounded the table for, CJ Beathard who was highly regarded as a 5th or 6th round prospect, Dante Pettis who had questions about his lack of physicality, & Jalen Hurd who had a lot of mileage on his tires despite the fact that he had only been playing WR for 1 season. Most of these prospects have 2 things in common – they were all over-drafted, and they all quickly fell out of favor with Kyle, and they are all considered 49ers draft busts. It’s obviously too soon to know if Trey Lance and Tyrion Davis-Price are going to continue this trend, but it’s not looking good for the young QB!

  14. And about my guy Steve Young, and the opinion he voiced yesterday on KNBR …. this is a real head-scratcher for me, and I can’t seem to exactly square what he told Tom Tolbert and Adam Copeland on Thursday, with what Steve said after Trey Lance’s first NFL start.

    Here’s what Steve Young said yesterday, and then let’s compare the point I think he’s trying to make to what he said after Trey Lance’s first career start @ Arizona, last year. Maybe you can can make some kind of sense of this, but to say Steve Young is all over the place on this issue, would be an understatement!

    49ersWebzone (9/22/2022): There’s been no shortage of individuals within the 49ers organization that have come to Kyle Shanahan’s defense this week. A very vocal segment of the fanbase and media have criticized the head coach’s use of Trey Lance. The quarterback suffered a season-ending ankle injury during the first quarter of Sunday’s win against the Seattle Seahawks. One respected analyst, a HOF quarterback and 49ers icon, believes the idea that Shanahan is to blame for Lance’s injury is laughable.

    Steve Young yesterday (9/22/2022) on KNBR: “Look, it’s football, and running quarterbacks out of the huddle is dangerous. You remember last year when Trey played, I think it was against the Cardinals, I think [Shanahan] ran him 13 times out of the huddle. I mean, we all kind of were like, ‘Really, is that what we’re doing?’ At some level, you want to believe that we’re putting Trey in the best spot to be successful. Running him, certainly, we saw last year, was going to be in the cards. And so I worry that Trey, like, there’s guys that can run because they understand how to get down (slide) and get out of trouble, and there’s guys that don’t. Trey has so little history that we can draw on”, Young said. “Everything’s new knowledge. Is Trey maybe not that guy to be calling quarterback runs out of the huddle? We thought he was, but maybe not. I think there remains tons of questions because we all have them, and he has to go prove it to us all,, but as far as Kyle’s culpability for an injury, Tom, I’ve got to be honest with you. That’s kind of a goofball question.”

    So it sounds like Steve is ultimately defending Kyle, even though he did reference some of what he said about the questions surrounding Kyle’s use of Trey Lance after Trey’s first NFL start last season. So that’s yesterday, and here is Steve Young talking to KNBR on 8/12/2021, in regards to the same kinds of questions surrounding Kyle’s reckless game-plan for Trey Lance last season VS Arizona:

    Steve Young on Monday (8/11/2021): “That (Trey’s game plan) is not replicable, right? That’s not something we can keep doing. That’s just clearly an effort to get him kind of in the mix. What’s obvious to me, Larry, is that he’s not trusted. He’s young, in his first game. When I say not trusted, people are gonna overreact. What rookie in his first start is trusted? Nobody. What I’m saying is it’s a sign that I don’t want to put him in a spot where, you know, I know, for a fact that if I put him on the run, that’s going to be something that he’s going to be very comfortable with and maybe we can get away with some things”.

    The problem, Young said, is that quarterback runs should typically be decongested attempts. Lance was dealing with significant traffic when he carried the ball, and it’s not a recipe for Lance to thrive. He can’t be in those situations consistently.

    Steve Young continued on (8/11/2021): “You hope that you have the extra blocker and extra little deception and then there’s not so many tough yards. You do not want Trey Lance out there running for the tough yards. No quarterback [should], not even Cam Newton; most of the yards the quarterback gets, 80 percent of them should be uncontested. That’s the whole point. And then the last 20 percent, you’ve got to figure out a way to get to the ground or get out of the way or not take a big hit.”

    Now, Steve went on to talk about how he took responsibility for doing things on his own to protect himself when he was playing, like sliding, and stuff like that. But I just can’t get on board with Steve’s flip-flopping! I know he’s a 49ers icon who still has strong ties with the organization, but still, it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that, for whatever reason, Steve Young has decided to basically walk back his own criticism of Kyle Shanahan’s atrocious game plan for Trey Lance’s first start, even though the fact is, if it was valid criticism last year, and it was according to Steve himself, then it’s DOUBLY VALID criticism of Kyle Shanahan now, because Kyle’s game-plan for Trey is still equally atrocious, it’s nearly a full calendar year later,

  15. COULD IT BE?
    * Jaxson16 =49Reasons?
    * Jaxson16 = Anonymous?
    * Is Jaxson16 + 49Reasons, + Anonymous = The same guy that promised to STOP POSTING?

    1. I don’t know about all that stuff, GEEP.

      But I hope you guys know that I don’t think Kyle Shanahan is incapable of being an outstanding HC. All I am saying is that he continues making mistakes in terms of the big, organization-wide decisions. Most of the top teams, like for instance the World-Champion LA Rams, have kind of insulated the GM from the HC, and for good reason. I understand that Bill Belichick has been able to do it all, at a super high level, but he had TB12 for 20 years. Suddenly Belichick looks like he’s in way over his head without the GOAT bailing him out.

      Kyle’s W-L record is below .500, but I want you guys to know that I don’t believe Kyle is incapable as a HC! Here are the qualities that I believe he does well as the Head Coach of the 49ers, and why I believe that Kyle still has a chance to succeed, and even win a Super Bowl as the 49ers HC, just as long as Jed York relieves him of any and all personnel decisions, and ESPECIALLY In REGARDS TO THE FORTY NINERS’ QUARTERBACK position:

      Things Kyle Shanahan does at a high level as the 49ers HC:

      1) Coaching non-mobile QB’s (not developing, but coaching)
      2) Building (from a non-personnel standpoint) a strong, resilient team that plays hard for one another
      3) Developing and maintaining a cutting-edge rushing attack
      4) He has a terrific nose for outstanding coaching on both sides of the ball (Saleh, Ryans, Forester, Kocurek, Lynn, McDaniels, Holland, Turner, etc)
      5) Understanding of play-action concepts, and the relation between play-action and run game concepts
      6) Clock management has improved a great deal

      Jed, If you are reading this ….. it’s imperative that you make a couple changes. It’s as simple as relieving Kyle Shanahan of any and all personnel decisions, and especially at the QB position! Signed …. ALL FORTY NINERS FAITHFUL!

  16. Jaxson, Reasons, Anonymous; you’re obviously the same person. Own up to it. Be honest please.

    That said, I believe the points you’ve made about Kyle’s mishandling Trey’s running and Young waffling about it are completely valid.

    I’ll say this about Shanahan. I doubt he’ll go down as one of the great NFL head coaches but
    -He’s created a very good front office including talent evaluation
    -Same for the position coaches
    -If it was his call on drafting Trey over Mac, it was the right one. Although I think it was a damn shame it wasn’t Fields. I think Lance has a chance to become a 1b NFL qb if he survives Kyle but Fields has a chance to become a 1a.
    -He did turn around last season and get us to that fourth quarter.
    -Let’s give praise where it’s deserved. We’ve become one of the top franchises again.

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