Since the San Francisco 49ers‘ disappointing loss in Super Bowl 54 against the Kansas City Chiefs, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has caught the brunt of the slack for his team’s shortcomings on that stage. Garoppolo has received his far share of criticism about being unable to lift his team to a championship while it brought forth about his ability to be a legitimate franchise quarterback. Throughout the process, the 49ers coaches, front office, and players have stuck firmly behind him as being their long-term future under center. Garoppolo also has drawn the strong support of Hall of Famer Joe Namath, who recently had some huge praise in his direction.
Jimmy Garoppolo has faced significant criticism
The 49ers put forth an impressive 2019 campaign that saw them go from being well out of the playoffs to being considered one of the top teams in the league.
San Francisco rode that success on through to the Super Bowl, where they fell short in the fourth quarter despite holding a double-digit lead. That immediately led the conversation to turn to criticism directed at Garoppolo being unable to step up in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.
That was backed by those pointing to his lack of production heading into Super Bowl 54 as the 49ers had significant production from their running game. Garoppolo benefited from playing behind a stacked defense and a strong running game that did much of the heavy lifting
The 49ers defense gave up a franchise-best 147 total yards to the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round. That was followed by Raheem Mostert becoming the first player to have for 200 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a playoff game. In the two games ahead of the Super Bowl, Garoppolo completed 17-of-27 passes for 208 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
His lack of significant production only further piled on the criticism toward him over the last few months. Despite all that, one Hall of Fame quarterback has his back in support.
Joe Namath praises Jimmy Garoppolo
There has been no shortage of doubt throw in Garoppolo’s direction since the Super Bowl 54 loss.
That hasn’t been the case from the former New York Jets great as he recently voiced to Scott Ostler of The San Francisco Chronicle that he has tremendous confidence in the 49ers quarterback’s ability on the field.
“It’s great to hear that he’s that kind of guy,” Namath said, “and that his teammates can appreciate him, and he appreciates them. He knows he’s not doing it all himself. He can flat play, I know that. And that coach is pretty damn sharp. And look at that defense, and the way (Nick) Bosa’s playing. … Well, that’s a hell of a team they’ve got.”
Outside of the 49ers’ organization, there hasn’t been any strong belief that he can be the deciding factor toward leading the team to the Super Bowl. Namath’s support does show that some see him as a franchise cornerstone talent that can lead the team to success.
Jimmy Garoppolo poised for bounce-back 2020 season
The 49ers may have experienced a tremendous amount of success last year, but there’s no doubt that Garoppolo’s reputation took a significant shot.
The 2020 season is a chance for him to prove that he can be the deciding factor in the offense with his arm. He showed in various instances throughout the year, but the focus will be on him more directly this upcoming campaign.
The table is set for him to not only prove his doubters wrong but help guide the 49ers back to the Super Bowl for an opportunity to secure a sixth championship.