Football is the ultimate team sport, however Jimmy Garoppolo cost the San Francisco 49ers the game on Thursday night against Tennessee.
In a game between two evenly matched teams’ mistakes were going to make the difference, Garoppolo’s mistakes cost the 49ers 17 points.
Garoppolo’s first mistake came on the 49ers second possession of the game. With the ball on the Tennessee eight, Garoppolo tried to force the ball to George Kittle in the end zone instead of throwing it away. Kittle was well covered on the play and Titans cornerback Janoris Jenkins would come up with the interception. Take three points away from San Francisco.
On the next 49ers possession Kyle Shanahan would dial up a shot play, Kyle Juszczyk would stutter step like he was setting up to block and then run a leak route down the right side. Juszczyk would get wide open, there wasn’t a Titans defender within 10 yards of him and it would be a walk-in touchdown, and Garoppolo would throw so inaccurately that Juszczyk had little to no shot of making the catch. That’s seven points taken away from San Francisco.
Total is up to 10.
Finally, we get to the 49ers first offensive play of the second half. Garoppolo would have Deebo Samuel open over the middle but throw late. This forced Garoppolo to get the ball up and over a linebacker and his pass would sail over the outstretched arms of Samuel into the hands of Titans safety Amani Hooker. Hooker would return the ball to the 49ers 18, setting up the Titans for the game tying score.
That gets us to 17.
Garoppolo will likely remain the 49ers starting quarterback for the remainder of this season, and he should, however games like Thursday night serve as a reminder why San Francisco decided to make a move for their quarterback of the future instead of reworking Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract to make it more cap friendly.
Trey Lance will be the 49ers starting quarterback, in 2022. This entire season was about getting the young quarterback up to speed in the NFL without throwing him to the wolves.
Lance has spent nearly the entire season practicing daily against the 49ers first team defense. According to Fred Warner the rookie has been dicing them up.
We’ll find out soon enough if Kyle Shanahan’s long-term plan for his team pays off.
The 49ers defense played lights out in the first half. The second half was a different story.
San Francisco’s defense could not get off the field in the second half. Ryan Tannehill was able to get into a rhythm and convert on third and long repeatedly.
Unable to get consistent pressure on Tannehill the 49ers defense would allow A.J. Brown to come down with eight catches on third down, the first time since 1978 that a player would make eight or more catches on third down in a game.
Deebo Samuel leaves it all on the field
Samuel would tally 191 total yards on 14 touches against Tennessee, nine receptions for 159 yards and five rushes for 32 yards.
This was the fourth time Samuel has topped 150 total yards in a game, the most in the NFL in 2021. This is the most by a 49ers receiver since Jerry Rice pulled it off five times in 1995.