NFL

Why 49ers Fans Shouldn’t Give Up on Jimmy Garoppolo

The 49ers did something in Super Bowl LIV that the franchise isn’t used to doing in Super Bowls. They lost. And San Francisco’s starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, didn’t play very well. Was his poor performance enough for the team to move on from him? Or should 49ers fans not give up on him just yet?

Jimmy Garoppolo’s 2019 NFL season

The 49ers traded for Garoppolo in 2017. In his first year, the QB started (and won) five games, showing promise for the future. Then, 2018 was a disaster. He went 1-2 before suffering a season-ending injury.

Entering 2019, expectations were high. And Garoppolo seemingly met them. He led the team to a 13-3 record and an NFC West Division title. They clinched the division with a thrilling Week 17 victory over Seattle. Here were Garoppolo’s stats for the 2019 season: 

  • 329 completions on 476 attempts 
  • Completed 69.1% of his passes
  • 27 touchdowns
  • 13 interceptions
  • 3,978 passing yards
  • 8.4 yards per passing attempt

Garoppolo’s efforts helped the 49ers achieve a first-round bye and the first overall seed in the NFC playoffs. He also led them to victories over Minnesota in the divisional round and Green Bay in the championship game. This set a Super Bowl matchup.

How the 49ers came up short in Super Bowl LIV

Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers calls a play against the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV
Jimmy Garoppolo calls a play in Super Bowl LIV | Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

While the 49ers had a lot of momentum entering Super Bowl LIV, they weren’t able to capitalize on it. Despite a strong defense and running game, they lost 31-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Garoppolo was never really the strongest component of the 49ers’ offense, but he did not have a great game nonetheless. The 28-year-old completed 20 passes on 31 attempts for 219 yards and a touchdown.

What really stood out was Garoppolo’s turnovers: He threw two costly interceptions that severely impacted the 49ers’ ability to win. These gave KC chances to get back in the game. Garoppolo was unable to make the big throws needed to run the clock out. His quarterback rating was 69.2.

Garoppolo didn’t play much worse than Patrick Mahomes, who also had an underwhelming game. The difference took place in the fourth quarter. With a 20-10 lead, Garoppolo played poorly. On the other hand, Mahomes rose to the occasion, saving his best for when the team needed it most. 

Why 49ers fans shouldn’t give up on Jimmy Garoppolo

Despite a disappointing result, there’s hope for the future in San Francisco. In fact, 49ers fans would be wise not to give up on Garoppolo for several reasons: 

  • Garoppolo’s first full season as a starter took place in 2019. He should only show improvement from here on out. If you judge this as almost his de facto rookie year, then his performance was not bad at all. 
  • The quarterback is playing under Kyle Shanahan, one of the most creative offensive coaches in the NFL. He’ll keep putting Garoppolo in a position to succeed and make plays moving forward. 
  • Garoppolo was coming off an injury entering the last offseason. Now, with a full healthy season under his belt, he’s bound to have more confidence in his ability in 2020. 
  • He lost to Mahomes, one of the most electric quarterbacks in NFL history. 

The final reason 49ers fans should have hope? Garoppolo showed he was capable of leading a team to a Super Bowl. Not many current NFL quarterbacks can make that claim. If he could do it once, he can do it again. The 49ers franchise is in good hands with Garoppolo.