What everybody missed about Jimmy Garoppolo

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) before an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Since the moment San Francisco used three first-round draft picks to acquire Trey Lance, there have been cries from some of the fan base to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo.

It’s hard to blame those who wanted a change to be made as soon as possible. A move like that brings excitement, and like a child on Christmas, people want to see how the shiny new toy works.

When the team fell to 3-5 halfway through the season, the noise to move on from Garoppolo only grew louder from outside the 49ers organization.

Instead of making a switch, Kyle Shanahan stuck with Garoppolo, and the 49ers won seven of their last nine games to reach the playoffs for only the second time since 2013.

So, what did everybody miss about Jimmy Garoppolo?

“When you watch the tape, I didn’t think Jimmy was playing that bad. I thought as a team there were a number of things we weren’t doing well,” said Shanahan.

“We still thought Jimmy was giving us the best chance, and we wanted to give Trey more time. Not just for him, but also for our team.”

Two of the qualities Kyle Shanahan likes about Garoppolo are his ability to make plays in tough situations and rebound from mistakes.

Jimmy Garoppolo has led nine game-winning drives during his time with the 49ers, and a number of key scores late in the first half. Garoppolo did both on Sunday against Los Angeles to help San Francisco come out victorious.

What are the factors that go into Garoppolo thriving in those situations?

“I think he’s a real good quarterback. The way he can throw it, how quick he can get rid of it despite protection. He’s made good decisions,” said Shanahan.

“When you’re in those situations, that’s when pass rushes tee off. So that’s when they become real hard. And sometimes you block them well, sometimes you don’t and when you don’t, if you get sacked, usually the drive is over.”

Throughout his time in San Francisco, Garoppolo has shown the uncanny ability to rebound from a turnover and lead the offense to a score.

What is it that Shanahan sees in his quarterback that triggers him to rebound on the next drive?

“When you let that ball rip and you’re not scared of failing, it doesn’t always go perfect,” said Shanahan.

“You watch a lot of good quarterbacks in this league, and some do a really good job of never having picks, which is rare, but you even look at some of the great ones, they’re going to get some interceptions because they’re aggressive with it.

“It could help keep both teams in it, but usually they get you over the hump if you keep swinging, and that’s how Jimmy’s been. Sometimes it’s better than others, but when you throw the ball like that and you’re not afraid to fail, sometimes stuff happens.”

This article has 17 Comments

  1. Who shows up this Sunday? Good Jimmy or bad Jimmy, seeing that GJ shows up about 70% of the time while BJ comes around about 30% i’m hoping for GJ. Go niners

  2. Next year we’ll have Good Trey/Bad Trey.
    Let’s see who we can hold on to if they make it to the SB!

  3. 2 minute Jimmy is a cold piece. It’s the 58 minute Jimmy that worries me a bit. But still I was at the conclusion that if they went 3-8. It was time to start the rookie. Season would have been over, and as much as I love the future with this kid, he isn’t ready to lead this team to the playoffs. And by saying that half the “fan base” would call you a Lance hater.
    Reminds me of the old Alex smith days, except Alex smith was the number one pick and was Alex smith , while Jimmy was the free agent who did help this team get to a Super Bowl. But that’s old news. This team was built last offseason to win now, And to toy with that when they’re still in a playoff race would be ridiculous. No experience journey is worth that. And here we are, ready to watch them in the playoffs. Glad they stuck with Jimmy. Wouldn’t have gotten here without him, probably would have won two more games without him, but hey. He’s no top tier QB. But he is good enough to reach the Superbowl again, and lead the team to a title.
    This isn’t a team built for a dynamic QB only. The whole team is solid everywhere and they do their jobs well most of the time. If they get past this game, I won’t worry at all with the other teams they face. Just injuries and refs.
    Hope it won’t be a Dallas blowout or another nail biter. Don’t think my blood pressure or heart can take another Rams game…. so that means that will more than likely be the case. 🤣 let’s GOOO!!! Oh and Kittle will have a monster game!

  4. I’ve never understood the dislike of Jimmy. He’s a top 10 QB statistically and a proven winner. He’s not perfect for sure but who is? He is the best quarterback we’ve had in a long time. Some would say since Alex and some would say since Jeff Garcia. I know there will always be detractors no matter who you are or how good you are but Jimmy is a great leader, loved by his teammates, and a great human being. If you’re a 49 fan how can you not support him?
    Hopefully Lance will turn out to be better than Jimmy but there’s no guarantee and the odds probably aren’t in Lances favor. I trust Kyle and John so I believe he will be better at some point. I just hope that Lance gets the support he will deserve.

    1. Yeah, I don’t get it either Felix. Jimmy throws ints? Yeah, all QBs do. He has an approx career 2-1 TD/int ratio. Guess who else was right around 2-1 over their career? Joe Montana.

      Shannie is well aware of his head coaching record – 33-15 when Jimmy plays, 8-27 when he doesn’t. No doubt that’s why he pushed so hard for Jimmy this season, he’ll be starting from scratch with Trey next year.

  5. Rams ranked 3rd in the NFL with 50 Sacks this year. They had 2 players, Aaron Donald and Von Miller, rank in the top 20 in Sacks this year. The 49ers had Colton McKivitz at LT, Daniel Brunskill at RG, and Tom Compton at RT going against one of the best pass rushing teams in the NFL. Brunskill and Compton are routinely ranked well below avg in pass pro by PFF if you buy into that stuff. McKivitz was just brought up from the practice squad to go against a HOF pass rusher. The 49ers gave up 3 Sacks for 26 yards and 6 qb hits on 32 pass attempts. In my opinion that is an absolutely fantastic performance against a very good pass rush. It’s also a testament to good coaching, good play calling, and quick decision making by Jimmy Garoppolo. I have maintained almost all year that Jimmy G should be the starter over Trey Lance. I had my moment of weakness after the Titans game but I still understood why Jimmy should remain the starter. My sincere hope is Jimmy finds a great landing spot after this season. I really like the guy and how he handles himself. I also hope Trey Lance becomes the top 5 QB that Jimmy can never become. Right now, Jimmy reads defenses and anticipates throws much better than Trey and it isn’t close. If Trey Lance started against the Rams then the 49ers lose that game and are out of the playoffs. That’s my armchair QB opinion.

  6. It’s not a gimme that there will be no Jimmy (next year that is). He goes deep in the playoffs,(or even to the S.B.) what do you do ? Could it be possible we actually have 2 Q.B. s??

    1. Unless Jimmy Garoppolo wins the Superbowl MVP, he will not be a 49er next year. Only other way is if Trey Lance looks worse at his job than Aaron Banks looks at his job in practice.

    1. Very. Maybe some facts will shut up those people who make outrageous disparaging and unfounded criticism of Jimmy. They clearly aren’t 49er fans. Note that I’m not calling out all criticisms, just the stupid ones from we know who.

    2. Key scores by situation:

      Play-action: 97 (1st)
      Quick passes: 88 (4th)
      Vs. the blitz: 97 (4th)

  7. @Jack If Jimmy wins a playoff game does his value actually go to mid first rounder as reported?

    1. I would be surprised if the 49ers are able to get a first rounder for Garoppolo, but who knows. Teams have been known to overpay for QB’s.

  8. Even after Jimmy G pulls a rabbit out of the hat and miraculously tears the heart out of the LA Lambs, the fickle 49ers fans, the press, and even Steve Young cannot give Jimmy G credit. I hear fans saying the 49ers won in spite of Jimmy G. I heard a ridiculous claim by Grant Cohn that the offensive lineman (Tom Compton) was the hero of the game for recovering the fumble that Jimmy G lost a fumble in the second possession of the game. He probably said it in jest. In an article in from KNBR and NBC Sports Net, Steve Young pointed out that HC Sean McVay should have went for the WIN by passing the damn ball instead of what actually happened running out the clock with three run plays and punting. Anti-Jimmy G fans didn’t think he could pull it out, and they were calling for Trey Lance. There are so many anti-Jimmy G fans, and you would think their all anti-49er fans. This is HoF 49ers QB Superbowl MVP Steve Young talking and using hindsight to tell LA Lamb fans what should been done to win. I didn’t hear him congratulate Jimmy G on the terrific comeback. It sounded more like Jimmy G got a lucky win because Coach McVay F..ed up.

    Let’s take review how the game started. After LA kicked a FG, Jimmy G’s first possession consisted of six plays (3 runs and 3 passes) and 20 yards. On third and 8, Jimmy G threw a deep ball down the sideline and it was right there in Hasty’s hands, but the DB knocked it away. Fourth down, the 49ers punt.

    LA’s second possession is a TD and the score is 10-0. What happens when a “run first” team falls behind by 10 or more points? They tend to alter the game plan and pass more. SF’s second possession was a three and out (sack/fumble recovery, sack, run, and punt). They would have passed on third down, but it was third and 27 inside the SF 10 yard line. HC Shanahan waved the white flag and ran the ball basically to give the punter more room to punt. The Rams got what they wanted by forcing the 49ers to pass, and Aaron Donald and Von Miller pinned their ears back to rush the QB. LA’s third possession was another TD, so now the score is 17-0.

    Let’s give credit to Jimmy G for the CREDIT he deserves. With 38 seconds left in the first half, Jimmy G passed four times for 61 yards and SF kicked a FG. The score is 17-3 at halftime. On the opening drive of the third quarter, Jimmy G led a TD drive with three passes gaining 50 yds. It’s 17-10 LA, but the momentum is on the 49ers side and because the lead is just a one possession game, the 49ers returned to the original game plan of smash mouth football. On the 49ers next drive, it’s an eleven play drive with the first ten plays are running plays. The score is 17-17. Yes, Jimmy G threw a second interception, but it was tipped by Kittle and LA CB Ramsey made a heck of an interception by keeping it alive and keeping in the air catching it while falling backwards. LA scored a third TD and it’s 24-17. With a minute and 47 seconds left, Jimmy G tied the game at 24 a piece with a 14 yard pass to Jennings. He threw six passes and completed four of them. One of the incompletions was a spike incompletion to stop the clock.

    In overtime, Jimmy G led the game winning FG drive with a 12 play drive covering 69 yards. Seven running plays and five pass plays with Jimmy G completing four passes for 50 yards. Jimmy G’s stats for the LA game: 23 for 32 (71.9% completion rate) for 1 TD and 2 Int.

    Everyone 49ers fan who witnessed The Catch in the 81 NFC Championship game remembers Sprint Right Option where Montana pump fakes Ed Too Tall Jones and two other Cowboys in the air and floated the ball and DC87 got the rebound and slam dunked it in the end zone. What people don’t remember is Joe Montana throwing three interceptions and fumbling the football once. The 49ers had six turnovers and Joe Montana caused four of them.

    Yeah, Jimmy G threw two interceptions, but who remembers the negatives.

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